State Farm has awarded a $100,000 grant to TTI’s Teens in the Driver Seat (TDS), making the company the largest corporate sponsor of the growing peer-based safety program for young drivers. The funding will go toward supporting the program in Texas.
State Farm made its announcement on the eve of what is typically the deadliest month of the year for teens nationwide. The average number of fatal crashes involving teenagers over the past decade has been highest in July, and that month has surpassed all other months in eight out of ten years from 2000 to 2009, based on crash records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Teenagers face more danger on the roads than any other group, and that danger peaks in July,” said State Farm Public Affairs Manager Sophie Harbert. “This is an ideal time for us to highlight our support of Teens in the Driver Seat and our overall commitment to roadway safety.”
Nearly 500 Texas schools have started TDS programs, reaching more than half a million of their peers with safe driving messages. The schools can request help from TTI staff, but the students are ultimately responsible for developing and delivering the safety messages in ways that resonate best with other students.
“Most young drivers don’t know that they’re many times more likely to die in a crash than people in other age groups,” says TDS Program Director Russell Henk. “But they need to hear the message from a source they trust; they need to hear it from each other. The support we receive from State Farm will help to ensure that they do.”