Ford Fund and GHSA Grants Target Teen Speeding; Office of Highway Safety Planning awarded $25,000 grant for Michigan
March 28, 2022
Ford Motor Company Fund and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) are extending their commitment to improving teen-driving skills by awarding grants totaling $135,000 to Michigan and five other state highway safety offices to help combat teen speeding.
Michigan has been awarded a $25,000 grant to create and implement programs to address teen speeding. Ford Fund and GHSA also awarded grants totaling $110,000 to state highway safety offices in Kentucky, Montana, New York, Tennessee and Utah.
Vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teen drivers. Data from a Ford Fund and GHSA report released last year revealed that, from 2015 to 2019, teens accounted for a greater proportion of speeding-related fatal crashes (43 percent) than all other age groups (30 percent).
During 2020 in Michigan, 11.2 percent of drivers in the 15- to 20-year-old age group involved in crashes were speeding.
“As a former prosecutor, public safety is a core issue for me, and we must work together to keep young Michiganders safe on the roads,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “And as a mom, I know how I want my daughters to be safe behind the wheel, just as all parents do. We know that teen drivers account for a greater proportion of speeding-related fatal crashes than any other age group and that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teen drivers. This grant from the Ford Fund and GHSA will help raise awareness of the dangers, and consequences, of speeding. Together, we will save lives and ensure everyone can get to where they need to go safely and on time.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic deaths reached a 13-year high in 2020, despite a decline in driving during the pandemic. NHTSA reported that 38,680 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2020 — the highest number since 2007 and an increase of 7.2 percent from 2019.
“The alarming number of crashes and fatalities involving teen drivers is tragic — and preventable,” said Alicia Sledge, interim director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. “We’re grateful to the Ford Fund and GHSA for providing grants and continued support to help us educate parents and teens about this vital issue and save lives."
Speeding is often identified as a factor in fatal crashes. In 2020, speeding-related fatalities rose by 17 percent from the previous year.
“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, and speeding is often a significant factor,” said Jonathan Adkins, GHSA executor director. “We must remain steadfast in our commitment to combat traffic fatalities and equip teens with the skills they need to be safe drivers.”
To learn more about Ford Driving Skills for Life, visit drivingskillsforlife.com.
About GHSA: The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of U.S. states to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management, and promote best practices. Visit ghsa.org for more information or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
About Ford Motor Company Fund: As the automaker's philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund has been supporting underserved and underrepresented communities for more than 70 years. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in more than 50 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2.1 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit www.fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.