(AREA) -- Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced Tuesday, December 3 in Dearborn, a new initiative sponsored by Ford Motor Co. to promote safe driving among teens and reduce vehicle crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers 14-18 years old in the United States. Parents who set, monitor and enforce safe driving practices have teens who are less likely to crash and violate the law. Involved parents, who set high expectations as well as nurture their young drivers, will see their children more likely to drive safely at far greater rates than teens with permissive or uninvolved parents (CHOP, 2009).
Joining her were Michelle Chaka, Ford's ASO Advanced Rulemaking and Strategy Manager, Jeff Larson, Safe Roads Alliance President, local resident from Sanilac County, Christine Meddaugh, Owner of UDriveSafe and President of Michigan Driver & Traffic Safety Education Association and local resident from Sanilac County Michelle Irwin parent of a teen driver.
The Parent's Supervised Driving Program uses several different formats, such as website resources, printed materials, and a mobile app to help parents coach their teen drivers more effectively. The goal is to improve upon the 50 hours of required supervised practice driving time for teens with the Level 1 Graduated Driver License, commonly referred to as the "learner's permit." As a part of the campaign, a new instructional booklet, The Parent's Supervised Driving Guide, and an associated RoadReady™ mobile app, which serves as an electronic log book, will be provided to parents and teens at no cost to them or Michigan taxpayers.
"Young drivers are significantly overrepresented in fatal crashes, and this is primarily due to their inexperience and age," Secretary Johnson said. Christine Meddaugh concluded, "We have all the necessary materials to help keep our young drivers safe. It is now up to us not only to utilize the guide but also much more. We as parents must be more committed, motivated and most importantly, drive the way we want our teen to drive."
PICTURED: Left to right; Edsel Ford Principal Scott Casebolt, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, Michelle Chaka, Strategy Manager for Ford Motor Co., Christine Meddaugh, Owner of UDriveSafe and President of Michigan Driver & Traffic Safety Education Association (MDTSEA), Michelle Irwin, parent of teen driver, Jeff Larson, president of the Safe Roads Alliance, Dearborn Mayor John B. "Jack" O'Reilly Jr.