Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Maryland Teen Driving Coalition Announces Decline in Teen Driver Deaths in Maryland

Last week’s teen driving tragedy in North Potomac was yet again another reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving. Yet, a recent report from the Maryland Teen Driving Coalition was encouraging. The organization announced that the number of 15-to-17 year old drivers killed annually in car crashes in Maryland declined from 14 to 7 deaths per year since 2011. Read the Coalition’s press release below:
Teen Driver Deaths on the Decline in Maryland
Maryland Teen Safe Driving Coalition targets No.1 killer of teens—car crashes

Linthicum, MD – The number of 15-to-17 year old drivers killed annually in car crashes in Maryland has declined from 14 deaths per year to 7 deaths per year since the Maryland Teen Safe Driving Coalition was established in 2011. Maryland is one of 10 coalition states to experience a drop in fatal teen car crashes. Deaths in states with coalitions declined an average of 52 percent while states without coalitions declined just 24 percent.

Maryland also ranks the lowest of all states when it comes to unintentional injury-related death rates, including car crashes, for the fourth straight year in a row with only 26.9 deaths per 100,000 people compared to the national average rate of 40.6 (view press release here).

The Teen Safe Driving Coalitions, established by the National Safety Council (NSC) and supported by The Allstate Foundation, are comprised of traffic safety professionals, parents, legislators, business leaders and representatives from the nonprofit sector who are dedicated to reducing the number of teen driving related crashes in their state.

“The Maryland Teen Safe Driving Coalition has been working since 2011 to help change the culture of teen driving across our state,” said Cathy Gillen, leader of the Maryland Teen Safe Driving Coalition. “We are encouraged by the reduction in deaths among teen drivers, but we know we need to do more than just reduce teen driving deaths, we need to eliminate them completely.”

The 10 Teen Safe Driving Coalitions, including the Maryland Coalition, collectively have reached more than 1.6 million people through rallies, school programs, speaking engagements and other events. Some of the programs include:

  • Ticket Your Parent:  Middle school focused program designed to get students thinking about driving behaviors years before they even begin to drive.
  • Rx for Teen Safe Driving:  Prescription pad for doctors to share with teen patients and their parents that includes a list of best driving practices for new teen drivers. 
  • Teen Crashes GTG (Got to Go):  Peer-to-peer program that can be implemented in schools.
  • GDL (Graduated Driver Licensing) Game Plan:  Guide designed for coaches to emphasize the importance of GDL, especially with teens before they drive home after practice.  
Since 2010, The Allstate Foundation has supported NSC with more than $4.2 million in funding for coalition efforts and parent education initiatives.

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Contact:  Cathy Gillen, Leader, Maryland Teen Safe Driving Coalition, (443) 463-4449