Educating Teens


1.     Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.

2.     In 2010, seven teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries.

3.     Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.

These facts are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ([ Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online]. (2012). National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (producer). [Cited 2012 Sept 28] and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ([ Fatality facts: teenagers 2010External Web Site Icon. Arlington (VA): The Institute; 2012 [cited 2012 Sept 28]. Web Site Icon].)

While these may be the sad facts they do not have to be the end of the story.  We can change the future statistics.

Educating parents and teens is the key to a brighter set of stats.  How?  By focusing on role-modeling, practicing and demanding safe driving habits from everyone – new drivers and older drivers alike.

For instance, parents are the primary role models for their teenage drivers and they must role model better driving habits when behind the wheel.  Do you drink coffee while driving?  Talk on the cell phone or text while driving?  Do you put on your make-up or reach for a purse or wallet?  These actions do no model safe driving habits.

Parents are also the primary teachers of their teen drivers and must insure that their teens practice safe driving habits.  Do you actually discuss what driving habits are not acceptable and outright dangerous when driving?   Have you discussed with your teen driver the consequences of  inattentive and distracted driving?  Have you told them it is okay to demand good driving habits when they are a passenger in someone’s car – and that would include you when you are the driver?

But it is not only up to parents.  Teens need assurance that it is okay to demand that the driver who is behind the wheel is not inattentive or distracted while driving.  How much would the statistics change if teens simply refused to ride with a driver who does not practice attentive driving habits and who is callously putting the life of every passenger in their vehicle at risk.

The Connor Johnson Foundation seeks to actively and financially support programs that are intended to change the facts.   We will offer support to teen driver safety programs and help put teens in touch with conferences and programs that can make a difference in their community.  We are also pleased to speak at any of your events or conferences to help get this message out there.

Lets us know your ideas.  Let us know how we might be of help.