One way The Allstate Foundation works to help teens be safer drivers is through a program called Act Out Loud. Designed to address a variety of dangerous driving behaviors, it encourages peer-led, school-based youth traffic safety activities and gives teens a chance to compete for awards totaling more than $270,000 for their school.
Teens themselves say the program works. “Act Out Loud has helped our school with a structured and organized guideline on how to get our local community more aware of the dangers of distracted driving,” says Elizabeth Ryan, a student at Park View High School, Sterling, VA. “Act Out Loud has affected my life in a positive way by teaching me how to get the word out about distracted driving and the dangers of texting while driving.”
When The Allstate Foundation was founded in 1952, improving the skills of young drivers was among its first priorities. That was particularly important because fewer than one in four American high schools had a driver training program at that time. We quickly became a leader in the movement, funding driver’s education training programs around the nation.
Today, one of the most dangerous years in a person’s life is the first 12 months after receiving a driver’s license1. Annually, there are about 2 million teens under the age of 18 in their first year of driving on U.S. roads, according to a National Safety Council (NSC) estimate based on the 2012 edition of Injury Facts. Their driving can pose a deadly risk to themselves and anyone who shares the road with them. In fact, in 2011 alone, 1,987 young drivers, 1,191 passengers of young drivers and 1,589 other people were killed in crashes involving young drivers (ages 15–20)2. That same year, about 25 deaths each day were associated with drivers under the age of 183.
Drivers under the age of 18 are involved in about 900,000 crashes each year — an average of nearly 2,500 each day, the NSC reports (2012 Injury Facts). About half of new teen drivers will be involved in some sort of crash before they graduate from high school (NSC estimate).
We’ve spoken to far too many parents, brothers, sisters, and friends of teens who have died in car crashes. There are few greater tragedies in life than the loss of a young person. That’s why we continue to focus our time and resources on making driving safer for teens and everyone who shares the road with them.
We help increase public understanding about the causes and consequences of dangerous teen driving.
In 2005, the Foundation championed a groundbreaking report on the state of teen driving. The findings brought to light the fact that no one was leveraging the power of peer-to-peer communication—teens talking to each other about dangerous driving attitudes and behaviors. In addition, we encourage key teen influencers (parents, doctors and community leaders) to share safety information with teens. We also help increase public understanding of the causes and consequences of dangerous teen driving. These efforts have helped make a big difference: Since 2005, teen crash fatalities have decreased by about 43 percent. But our work is not done yet: Our long-term goal continues to be to reduce fatalities by 50 percent through 2015, creating the safest generation of teen drivers ever.
In 2012, we:
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