Driving can be very dangerous, especially for younger, inexperienced drivers. To help mitigate the risks of the road and educate teen drivers, General Motors is continuing its relationship with Teens in the Driver Seat, a peer-to-peer safety program aimed at educating teen drivers and develop safer driving habits.
Established in 2002 and developed at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Teens in the Driver Seat provides program resources and technical support to schools at no cost, working to educate young drivers about the dangers of driving and address unsafe teen driver behavior. The program draws funding from multiple sponsors, including General Motors, which established a relationship with the program in 2019.
According to the Teens in the Driver Seat program, progress is being made to reduce risky behavior behind the wheel. In a survey of 11,300 teens conducted between 2019 and 2021, 68 percent of students report not drinking and driving in the last 30 days, while 51 percent report not texting while driving. The survey also indicates that 73 percent of students report that they believe texting and driving is “completely unacceptable,” but unfortunately, the gap in these figures reveals that these behaviors still exist in significant numbers.
“Through this robust research, TDS finds that while students recognize the risky behavior, they need more incentives and positive reasons to change their behavior,” the program states. “The more programs, such as TDS, research to understand what motivates teens to make better choices, the more effective peer-to-peer led outreach can be.”
“General Motors believes programs like Teens in the Driver Seat can help make a difference,” said assistant manager of Corporate Giving at GM, Hal Garling. “We envision a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, and by supporting successful programs like Teens in the Driver Seat, coupled with new and innovative technology, GM is working to help make that vision a reality.”
General Motors offers a wide variety of safety-enhancing tech features, several of which are designed specifically for teen drivers, including Teen Driver Mode, which activates all equipped active safety features, sets a maximum speed alert, and limits the stereo’s max volume settings.