With so much current emphasis being placed on the dangers of teen-age drinking and driving, most teens and parents are surprise to learn that crashes involving drugs or alcohol account for only about 30% of all teen automobile related fatalities.
JourneySafe believes it’s time we paid more attention to the primary cause … young driver distraction and error due to inexperience – which is most often associated with multiple passengers. More often than not it’s the teen passenger who faces the highest risk. For this reason JourneySafe stresses the importance of teen passenger safety in conjunction with teen driver safety. We believe an educated teen passenger plays a critical role in helping reduce distractions and encouraging the teen driver to stay focused … first and foremost on their job as the driver.
Changing laws to further restrict teen driving privileges will be ineffective in the future, unless we can change attitudes among teen drivers. Teens care about each other, they identify most intensely with their peers and are more likely to listen to suggestions from their friends than advice from parents or teachers. Concerned and responsible teens should be aware of the risks they face as new drivers and as passengers riding with young drivers. They should accept and respect the JourneySafe pledge as a critical part of growing up, and be role models for their peers, modeling safe, healthy behaviors on and off the road, and practicing positive peer pressure to prevent at-risk situations.
Educating, encouraging and trusting teens to take a primary role in their own driver and passenger safety will save lives and reduce the number of teen automobile crash fatalities. Becoming more aware of the unique risks we face as new drivers, we believe that most teens will choose to make safer decisions behind the wheel and in the passenger seat(s) while riding with friends.
Parent involvement is critical. We encourage parents to set good examples, make careful choices about their teen’s driver education programs and be more aware of the situations in which teens are driving or riding with friends. JourneySafe is a family concept. Teens should be able to rely on their parents to help them avoid situations that may place them (or others) at risk.
Ideas & Goals
JourneySafe encourages teens to be role models for their peers. Friends protect friends by raising awareness and helping their peers understand the unique risks and pressures faced by newly licensed drivers and their teen passengers.
JourneySafe encourages teens to practice “positive peer pressure”. Friends, more than parents or teachers can empower each other to make good choices behind the wheel, in the passenger seat and throughout adolescence.
JourneySafe encourages teens to practice a buddy system during their early driving years and urge their friends to do the same. Teens traveling in groups understand the need for a designated passenger. The designated passenger helps reduce the possibility of driver distraction and error by double checking for seat belts, answering cell phone calls on the driver’s behalf and encouraging others in the car to turn off or minimize their cell phone use as well. He or she controls the automobile accessories (radio, air conditioning, mp3 player, etc.) and reminds others to keep commotion in the car to a minimum.
JourneySafe encourages teens to make a pledge to take their responsibility as a driver and/or as a passenger seriously. JourneySafe cards are signed and carried in their wallets as a testimony to their commitment to protect themselves, their friends and other on the highway.
JourneySafe encourages teens to communicate and participate with their families in the effort to make driving distracted “socially unacceptable”. Teens can and should remind their parents that their example is important. Parents need to make good choices about driver’s education programs and help reduce their teen’s crash potential by taking an active role in supervising situations in which teens travel in groups or may be tempted to engage in road related risk-taking.