New tool for parents, guardians to raise safer teen drivers

June 19th, 2015 9:31 am

First Posted: 10/22/2014

PennDOT announced on Oct. 20 a new partnership which will help keep teen drivers safe and save the commonwealth nearly $70,000 in annual printing costs.

The Parents Supervised Driving Program, developed by the Safe Roads Alliance and sponsored by State Farm Insurance and Sheetz, provides parents with a printed handbook designed as a simple, easy-to-follow guide to help their teens become safe and responsible drivers. The alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving highway safety by improving driver education with particular emphasis on behind-the-wheel training.

The program also provides a mobile app to help parents track their teen’s practice drive times and training progress. Booklets have been printed and distributed to driver license centers statewide and will be distributed to all teen drivers when a learner’s permit is issued.

The Parents Supervised Driving Program booklet replaces an existing PennDOT publication. The new guide is underwritten by the sponsors, saving the Commonwealth $70,000 in annual printing costs.

The announcement of the new program comes as Governor Tom Corbett proclaimed Oct. 19-25 as Teen Driver Safety Week to coincide with the national observance.

According to PennDOT, from 2009 to 2013, there were 97,712 crashes involving 16- to 19-year old drivers in Pennsylvania, resulting in 759 fatalities. More than 46 percent of those crashes resulted from either the teen driving too fast for conditions (24,452 crashes), driver inexperience (9,652), driver distraction (9,571) or improper/careless turning (8,009). The risk of a crash involving any of these factors can be reduced through practice, limiting the number of passengers riding with a teen driver, obeying all rules of the road and using common sense.