Drive Smart

Teen driver fastening seatbelt
Car with teen driver and friends
Teen driver and friend

Distracted Driving Prevention

Drive Smart is an initiative designed to help teens recognize and prevent the dangers of distracted driving. Available information guides parents to model safe driving behavior, and teaches passengers how to limit distractions to help everyone arrive safely. The website contains several tools available for parents to start and continue the conversation about driving safely, including a printable parent-teen safe driving agreement. Drive Smart has also developed programming for middle school teachers and staff, a presentation designed for driver’s education graduations, posters and brochures for health clinics, and information about how to request Drive Smart for your community event.

Safety Around Cars

  1. Teach safe habits by explaining and doing. Always cross at crosswalks, stop at curbs and look left – right – left before entering the road. Crosswalks aren’t a guarantee that a driver will see you or stop where they are supposed to. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing. Practice what you teach!
  2. Always walk on the sidewalk. If there isn’t one, stay on the shoulder and walk facing traffic. Wear reflective and/or light clothing to improve visibility.
  3. If children play where you park, be aware of your blind zone – the area behind your vehicle that you can’t see. Teach children that if they can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see them and they shouldn’t play around cars. Nationwide, fifty children a week are injured after being backed over with a vehicle. Most of these involve a parent or close relative and an SUV.
  4. Cars can be appealing places for kids to want to play. Always keep car doors and trunks locked. Teach children that cars are not places to play, and show them how to unlock a car door in case of emergency.

Safe Driving

  1. Kids start to learn driving behaviors the moment their car seats face forward. Avoid distractions, and they will too. A distraction is anything that takes your mind off the task, hands off the wheel, or eyes off the road. This includes texting, talking on cell phones (even hands free), eating, and adjusting the radio.
  2. Create an environment where kids feel comfortable speaking up about unsafe behaviors in a vehicle. Then they’ll be more likely to do so when they’re passengers in friends’ or family members’ cars. By teaching them how to be good passengers, you also teach them how to be safe drivers.
  3. Always Drive S.M.A.R.T.
    • Stay Focused on Driving
    • Make Preparations before you begin
    • Avoid all other activities
    • Rely on Passengers
    • Text or Talk Later

Get more information, a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement, or request a free teen driving toolkit with Cell Keeper bag ▸