SACRAMENTO, Calif. October 22, 2018 – Collisions are the number one killer of teens in the United States and distracted driving is often the cause. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is working with Impact Teen Drivers (ITD) on a year-long program to help eliminate these preventable collisions.

With a one-year grant that started October 1, 2018, the CHP and ITD are working at schools and community events throughout California to help teen drivers. The Teen Distracted Drivers Education and Enforcement grant includes an education component as well as enforcement operations. The message of the program is simple: focus on the road ahead and get where you are going safely.

“Any distraction can be dangerous for a driver, but young drivers are at the highest risk,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Electronic devices, other people in the car, adjusting vehicle controls – these are just a few ways any driver can be distracted. Our goal is to protect young drivers through education.”

A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2016 found that nine percent of drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal collisions were reported as distracted. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the fatal collisions. The study also found that hand-held cell phone use while driving is highest among 15- to 29-year-old drivers.

“We are privileged to work with the California Highway Patrol to stop the number one killer of teens in California—preventable car crashes,” Dr. Kelly Browning, Executive Director of Impact Teen Drivers, said. “Through a strong combination of education and enforcement, we can change the driving culture to one that is distraction free.”

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.