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National PSA Campaign Launched to Empower Teens to Take on Their No. 1 Killer – Motor Vehicle Crashes

Northbrook, Ill., June 9, 2008 /PRNewswire/ – Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens in America today, resulting in nearly 6,000 deaths and 300,000 injuries each year.

Keep the Drive, a national teen-to-teen smart driving movement sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, announced today a new public service (PSA) campaign to help combat the crisis and empower teens to speak up when they feel their safety is threatened in a car.

Despite safer cars, better roads and decades of safe-driving programs, the tragic rate of teen driving fatalities has not changed significantly in over a decade.

  • The crash rate per mile driven for 16- to 19-year-olds is four times that of older drivers.
  • In 2006, 62 percent of teenage passenger deaths occurred in vehicles driven by another teenager.
  • 75 percent of teen crash deaths are due to speeding and driver error.
  • Adding just one passenger to a teen driver's car doubles the risk of a crash, and that risk increases proportionally with the number of teenage passengers.

In 2005, an Allstate Foundation survey of teens found that peer-to-peer outreach is essential in safe driving programs. Traditionally these programs have been limited to adults "talking at" teens, however more than half of the teens said their friends would be the most effective in getting them to drive safely.

Unfortunately, 70 percent of teens surveyed said they felt unsafe when someone else was driving, but less than half (45 percent) would speak up. The new "Say Something" PSA campaign harnesses the power of positive peer influence with real-life teen testimonials that encourage teens to speak up when confronted with a risky driving situation. The result – a genuine, impactful message that teens can relate to and use in their own driving experiences.

Keep the Drive

Keep the Drive is a national teen-to-teen smart driving movement funded by The Allstate Foundation. It educates teens about the issue, impacts the way they think and act in the car and empowers them to become smart driving activists in their schools and communities. For more information, visit www.KeeptheDrive.com. Additional information on teen driving, including tips for parents of teen drivers, is available at www.ProtectTeenDrivers.com.