At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Center for Transportation Research (CTR) we are very intentional about our work with teens. They are over represented in highway fatalities. Our Get Convinced program promotes safety behind the wheel and targets teen and novice drivers using effective simulators. We know that teens aren’t ready to have the same driving responsibility as adults, so our goals are to:
- Educate teens on the importance of always wearing their seatbelt.
The statistics we hear regularly don’t seem to change; automobile crashes are the leading cause of death in teens 15-19 years old. We think we can have a positive impact (reinforcing seatbelt use) by letting as many teens as possible ride our crash simulator.
- To encourage teens to not text and drive.
Again the statistics are sobering as we read that texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving under the influence of alcohol.
- To educate teens about the dangers of speeding.
Nearly a third of teen car fatalities are due to speeding.
Our program is built to help teens better understand the risks they face behind the wheel and equip them with the knowledge to drive responsibly.
Our crash simulator showcases the reality of a slow speed impact. It’s called the Seatbelt Convincer, see it in action on our Get Convinced page. It’s a powerful tool that allows the rider to safely experience a 5-7 mph crash. As with any effective program, giveaways are a great tool for keeping our message in front of the student. We have popular branded items to give to each teen who we interact with.