From: Charlene Sligting, National Safety Council
Charlene Sligting is the Victim Advocate for the National Safety Council. Charlene manages the HEARTS Network, which provides a national platform for victims of teen driving crashes who want to share their stories to help reduce crashes and keep teens safe behind the wheel. HEARTS, which stands for Honoring Everyone Affected, Rallying The Survivors, is managed by the National Safety Council and initiated in part by The Allstate Foundation.
Thanksgiving is a time of year when many people pause to give thanks to those who have made a difference in their lives. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the families who have shared their stories in hope of changing teen driving behaviors. Your efforts are helping to save lives.
The holidays also are a time when our children are on break from school. This provides an opportunity for parents to help build their teens’ experience and confidence behind the wheel. Studies have shown parents have the greatest influence on their teens’ driving behavior. This would be a great time for parents to ride with teens and ensure that teens have retained safe driving practices. Parents also can reinforce the need to ignore distractions such as cell phones and they can share the importance of seat belt use by all occupants on every trip.
To help parents stay involved throughout the year, the National Safety Council launched a new initiative, DriveitHOME™. The goal is to keep the roughly 1 million teens who get their licenses each year safer on the roads. Research shows crashes, currently the leading cause of teen death in America, drop dramatically as teens gain experience. DriveitHOME™ offers parents proven ways to help reduce risk for their new teen drivers during the first year of driving and beyond.
Visually compelling and easy to share, the heart of DriveitHOME™ is a website, www.driveithome.org, which contains a library of resources illustrating the risks for new teen drivers in easy-to-understand text and videos.
Please pass the information about this new initiative to your friends, families and neighbors.
Thank you. Have a safe holiday.
Victim Advocate, National Safety Council