Teen Safe Driving

The Safe Mobility Project wants to keep teens safe on the roads of Summit County. The Safe Mobility Project, a collaboration between Akron Children's Hospital and the Goodyear Foundation provides educational programs to promote safe driving practices in teenagers throughout Medina, Portage, Summit, and Stark Counties.

The Safe Mobility Project is pleased to offer SIDNE, a go-cart teaching tool that delivers impaired and distracted driving experiences. SIDNE demonstrates the impact of alcohol, marijuana, drowsiness, and distractions on a person's driving abilities.

Participants feel the simulated impact of impairment on their ability to drive. They also experience riding in a vehicle when the driver's ability to operate the vehicle is impaired.

The Safe Mobility Program also offers Teen Safe Driving Program (TSDP), a multifaceted program that can be offered in varying settings. The program includes the following activities:

  • PowerPoint presentation
  • An interactive learning experience
  • Anonymous student reporting about dangerous experience in the cars they are riding in
  • Virtual Reality (VR) distracted driving headsets

If you are interested in having SIDNE or the Teen Safe Driving Program at your school event, contact us at safemobilityproject@akronchildrens.org. All inquiries/requests will be evaluated to determine eligibility. All inquiries/requests will be evaluated to determine eligibility.

In Ohio, every person under the age of 18 seeking a driver's license must follow the Graduated Driver's Licensing process. The GDL is designed to minimize crashes and includes restrictions on driving at night and driving with non-family passengers. More information about the Ohio GDL can be found here.

Distracted driving is a rising cause of crashes in Summit County and nationwide. This includes driving while using a cell phone, drinking coffee, changing radio stations, or anything else that takes eyes off the road.

The period known as "100 Deadliest Days" for young, inexperienced drivers runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. During this time, more than 30 percent of deaths involving teen drivers occur. Inexperienced drivers often practice risky driving behaviors - like speeding, driving while drowsy, wear their safety belts less often, and they get distracted easily – especially if their friends are in the car.

Tips for new drivers:

  1. Say no to distractions like cell phones.
  2. Don't speed. One third of teen crashes are due to speed.
  3. Make sure everyone in the vehicle has a seatbelt on!
  4. Limit nighttime driving. Among teen nighttime crashes, 57% happen between 9 pm and midnight.

Advice for parents:

  • The single most important thing parents can do to keep their teens safe behind the wheel is to be actively involved when your teenager is learning to drive.
  • Talk with teens early and often about abstaining from dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving.
  • Talk with your teens about anticipating other driver's mistakes.
  • Teach by example. Maintain appropriate space around your vehicle, adjust your speed to the conditions and minimize risky behavior when you drive.
  • Establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.

Approximately one in four fatal crashes involves cell phone distraction.

Talking on the phone makes you four times more likely to cause a crash. This means it is as dangerous as driving drunk.

The average text message takes a driver's eyes off the road for five seconds. In this amount of time, a car moving 55 mph will travel the length of a football field.

This video is best viewed with a VR cardboard viewer. If viewed without viewer, use mouse to utilize 360 degree views.

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