Teen driver safety is a community issue. Bringing an orientation like Share the Keys to your community can increase awareness and community involvement to help keep teen drivers safe!
Kean University in partnership with the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety and New Jersey State Police developed Share the Keys, a research-based, data-driven orientation designed to reduce teen driver crash risks by increasing parental involvement.
Share the Keys is approximately 60-90 minutes in length, and is presented by facilitators in community based settings (i.e., schools and libraries). It can be linked to parking permit requirements, classroom driver education orientations and back-to-school nights. The orientation is designed for parents and their teens in the pre-permit/permit stage of licensure and includes a resource guide full of materials that support parental involvement and safe driving behaviors.
Parental involvement has a significant benefit on teen driver safety. Driving through the Eyes of Teens, A Closer Look, a research report from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute and State Farm, examined the impact parenting styles had on teen driver safety and found that teens whose parents set rules and pay attention to their driving activities in a helpful, supportive way are half as likely to be involved in a crash.
The GDL is a complex law and can be very confusing. Share the Keys offers an overview of the law and its lifesaving components. It also provides easy-to-use reference materials and tools.
Researchers have found teens mimic their parents’ driving behaviors. Share the Keys examines the behaviors that have the most potential to influence teen driver safety and encourages parents to become good role models by adopting best practices through interactive exercise.
Two of the GDL restrictions have the most lifesaving potential; the curfew and passenger restrictions. Forty percent of all teen fatal crashes occur after 9 PM. Teens with just one passenger have nearly twice the risk of being involved in a fatal crash. Share the Keys presents compelling statistics while offering examples of effective parental enforcement through interactive exercise, role play and the use of driving contracts.
During the first twenty four months of driving, teens are at the greatest risk for being involved in a crash. Practice driving is essential in lowering their crash risk but for many parents finding time to practice is a challenge. Share the Keys supports parents with ways to find at least one hour of practice driving a week and provides tools to support effective driving instruction.
Research has revealed that teens who requested permission to use the car were 50% less likely to be involved in crashes when compared to teens who had primary access*. Drivers whose parents controlled the keys were also less likely to violate the provisions of the GDL. Share the Keys introduces this best practice and encourages parents to control the keys.
* Center for Injury Research and Prevention. (2009). Driving through the eyes of teens. A Closer Look. Philadelphia, PA: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm.