Monday, July 21, 2014

Increasing Teen Seat Belt Use the Focus of GHSA Report

It's well known that wearing a seat belt dramatically increases one's chances of surviving a crash. Yet, more than half of teen drivers killed during 2012 did not wear one. And 20% fewer teen passengers killed in crashes use a seat belt than their driving counterparts.

Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Allstate Foundation partnered to identify initiatives to reverse these trends and offer tools to help states combat these trends by highlighting programs across the country that can serve as models to increase seat belt use rates.

Titled "Getting It to Click: Connecting Teens and Seat Belts," the report examines elements of effective teen seat belt programs, highlights programs implemented by 12 states that show promise, and offers recommendations that can improve the success of such programs.

The report identifies seven elements that effective programs have in common, with the most successful programs using a multifaceted approach:

  • laws and enforcement;
  • peer-to-peer efforts;
  • parental participation;
  • community involvement;
  • social media;
  • incentives;
  • resources useful to diverse audiences.

"Developing innovative, engaging approaches to teen safe driving reduces injuries and ultimately helps save lives," says Allstate's Steve Sorenson. "We hope that highlighting effective programs already underway in states and cities across the country will help expand their reach and encourage everyone in the car to buckle up on every trip."