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 October 18-24 National Teen Driver Safety Week
State Farm, Children Hospital of Philadelphia
 National Teen Driver Safety Week
 State Farm, Children Hospital of Philadelphia

Start Planning Now for National Teen Driver Safety Week 2009 – October 18 to 24

Be part of the solution and tap into a subject that captivates teens. The idea is to help teens ride like a friend and drive like they care. Because once they start driving peers, distractions can be deadly. See how your group can participate in the effort behind National Teen Driver Safety Week all year round by checking out the \"Ride Like A Friend/Drive Like You Care\" program at

Start planning for NTDSW 2009 now. Work on getting budget and administration approvals using \"Ride Like A Friend\" as an example.

Theme for National Teen Driver Safety Week 2008: Passengers

Last year\'s National Teen Driver Safety Week, held October 19 to 25, 2008, brought teens, community leaders, educators, and parents together to help prevent teen crashes and injuries. Through the \"Ride Like A Friend\" campaign, hundreds of communities across the country spread the word about limiting distractions from peer passengers for new teen drivers and shared evidence-based advice on how to be a good passenger. This year, with your help, we had an even greater impact than last year\'s first-ever National Teen Driver Safety Week.

The Young Driver Research Initiative (YDRI) team has been busy engaging in formative research to develop unique tools to help teens, parents, schools, and youth-serving organizations get next year’s safety message out.

By using the campaign recruiting tools our Young Driver Research Initiative (YDRI) team developed with teen and youth leader organization feedback, we were successful in getting this year\'s safety message out to more teens, parents, and youth serving organizations than ever before.

The risk of a fatal crash for a teen driver increases exponentially with each teen or adolescent passenger.

Recent research from YDRI stresses the importance of discussing safe passenger behavior with teens and adolescents. For older child passengers, risk of dying in a crash involving a teen driver doubles between the ages of 12 and 14, according to a study published March 3, 2008 in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. This risk increases with each teenage year. More than half of teens who die in crashes are passengers. They raise their risk when they don\'t wear a seat belt or when they ride with a new driver or on high-speed roads. Read the press release and watch a video.

According to the National Teen Driver Survey conducted by The Children\'s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm, few teens view their friends as inexperienced drivers and believe that teen passengers make a lot of difference in their driving safety. Teens in this survey did provide insights into what specific passenger behaviors could affect driving safety such as \"acting wild\" or encouraging the driver to speed. (Pediatrics, May 5, 2008 Read the press release.

These important gaps in teens\' perceptions about factors that can lead to crashes emphasize the need for traffic safety practitioners, educators, and parents to more effectively convey safety messages that resonate with all teens. Teens may be on to something. By identifying the passenger behaviors that distract drivers, they can help us develop effective interventions to prevent these unsafe situations.

Unifying behind the theme of minimizing passenger risks for new drivers supports many graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws and bills that limit the number of passengers new teen drivers can transport.

Helping Our Youth: Connect With Other Practitioners

Many youth-serving organizations representing education, school administration, healthcare, traffic safety and teen advocacy encouraged their members to make teen driver safety a focus, particularly during National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW).

More that 1,100 stakeholders from these fields participated in a survey to help us better understand what communities need to implement successful teen driver safety campaigns. We thank the following organizations for their valuable impact and for partnering with other groups and individuals to promote NTSDW and its 2008 safety messaging:

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