Teen Safe Driving Program Expanding To All Michigan High Schools

Contact: Kristin Allen, Michigan Office Highway Safety Planning, allenk14@michigan.gov, 517-241-2486
Agency: State Police

October 12, 2015

Students at every high school in Michigan now have the opportunity to help make their fellow teens better, safer drivers by taking part in the Strive For a Safer Drive (S4SD) program. This public-private partnership between Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning seeks to reduce the leading cause of death for teens: traffic crashes.

In 2014, there were 40,865 crashes in Michigan with a driver age 15-19. Those crashes resulted in 69 fatalities and 479 serious injuries, down from 2013, in which there were 41,975 crashes with a driver age 15-19, resulting in 60 fatalities and 573 serious injuries.

S4SD helps teens talk to other teens about safe driving. Previously, the program was limited to the top counties for teen driver traffic fatalities and serious injuries, but it was expanded this year to include all Michigan high schools. Up to 50 schools will be selected to develop and implement a student-led, peer-to-peer traffic safety awareness campaign. Campaign topics may include distracted driving, seat belts, underage drinking/impaired driving, speeding and winter driving.

Participating schools will receive up to $1,000 for their campaign. Following the activity phase, cash prizes will be awarded to the top five schools and all participating schools will have the opportunity to send students to a free Ford DSFL hands-on driving clinic with professional driving instructors in the spring.

All Michigan high schools are encouraged to apply for S4SD. Participation and application information is available on Michigan.gov/s4sd. Applications are due Nov. 20.

Since S4SD began in 2011, the number of participating high schools has nearly tripled. Last year, 35 high schools participated.

Established in 2007, National Teen Driver Safety Week is an effort to raise awareness of teen driver safety and encourage safe teen driver and passenger behavior.