New Tool for Parents, Guardians to Create Safer Teen Drivers

PennDOT announced today that a new partnership will help keep teen drivers safe and save the commonwealth nearly $70,000 in annual printing costs. “The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program,” developed by the Safe Roads Alliance and sponsored by State Farm Insurance and Sheetz, provides parents with a printed handbook designed as a simple, easy-to-follow guide to help their teens become safe and responsible drivers. The alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving highway safety by improving driver education with particular emphasis on behind-the-wheel training.


The program also provides a mobile app to help parents track their teen’s practice drive times and training progress. Booklets have been printed and distributed to driver license centers statewide and will be distributed to all teen drivers when a learner’s permit is issued.

“We are pleased to be part of this important collaborative effort to help parents and guardians actively guide their teens as they start to drive,” said PennDOT Executive Deputy Secretary Bradley L. Mallory at an event at Mechanicsburg High School. “Adults set a positive, safe example for young drivers in their family and the new guide offers detailed steps to assist with that mission.” “The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program” booklet is replacing an existing PennDOT publication. The new guide is underwritten by the sponsors, saving the Commonwealth $70,000 in annual printing costs.

The announcement of the new program comes as Governor Tom Corbett proclaimed Oct. 19-25 as Teen Driver Safety Week to coincide with the national observance. “Research tells us the single most important thing parents can do to help their teens stay safe on the road is to allow as much supervised practice behind the wheel as possible,” said Ed Gold, State Farm marketing director. “Driving with a parent builds a new driver’s confidence and we hope this new resource will help parents and teens make the most of this time together.”

From 2009 to 2013, there were 97,712 crashes involving a 16- to 19-year old driver in Pennsylvania, resulting in 759 fatalities. More than 46 percent of those crashes resulted from either the teen driving too fast for conditions (24,452 crashes), driver inexperience (9,652), driver distraction (9,571) or improper/careless turning (8,009). There were a total of 45,444 crashes with one or more of these teen driver factors.

The risk of a crash involving any of these factors can be reduced through practice, limiting the number of passengers riding with a teen driver, obeying all rules of the road and using common sense. “We are excited to sponsor ‘The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program,’ ” said Ryan Sheetz, director of brand, Sheetz, Inc. “Sheetz is a high energy resource for people on the go, and we take tremendous pride in our ability to connect with people in the communities we serve. ‘The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program’ not only allows us to act on those key aspects of our mission in a meaningful way, but it also ensures that we have safe and happy new drivers on the road.”

For more information on the “Parent’s Supervised Driving Program,” visit http://www.theparentssuperviseddrivingprogram.com. PennDOT also partners with safety groups and law enforcement for teen-driver safety education and training. For more information on available programs and other young driver safety resources, visit PennDOT’s highway safety website, www.JustDrivePA.com, and visit the “Young Driver” information center or school programs page in the “Resources” section.

Information from Press Release from PennDOT
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