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GHSA News Release

September 16, 2010

Contact: Jonathan Adkins
(202)789-0942, ext. 13

GHSA Produces Teen Driving Guidebook for
State Highway Safety Offices

Publication Funded by State Farm® Will Help States Protect Teens Behind the Wheel

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has announced the availability of a new publication, Protecting Teen Drivers: A Guidebook for State Highway Safety Offices. The resource was developed by GHSA with a grant from State Farm®. Despite growing awareness of the dangers teen drivers pose to themselves and others, teens aged 15 to 20 continue to be significantly overrepresented in all types of traffic crashes. In 2008, while they made up just six percent of all licensed drivers, teens in this age group accounted for 12 percent of all drivers in fatal crashes and 14 percent of drivers in all crashes.

While graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws are indisputably the most important thing a state can do to reduce teen deaths on the roadways, these laws are not magic bullets, and no single law or strategy will absolutely protect young drivers as they take to the roadways. As with most complex problems, improving safety for teen drivers requires a combination of tactics that address many aspects of teen driving behavior.

This new guidebook outlines six strategies that have been proven to be effective or demonstrated significant promise in addressing teen driver safety. The six key areas are: Legislation/Policy; Enforcement; Parental Programs; Education; Peer Education; and General Strategies. The guidebook offers a discussion of each strategy as well as examples of current state efforts reflecting each approach, with guidance on how State Highway Safety Offices can champion these strategies in their own states.

According to GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha, who oversaw the development of the guidebook, “States have been very innovative at addressing teen driving deaths and have made much progress. The goal of this guidebook is to demonstrate what is effective and share strategies to help address this problem as broadly as possible.”

The 63-page publication was developed by Karen Sprattler of the Sprattler Group with the assistance and expertise of an Expert Panel.

Expert Panel Members:

Bob Dallas Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety
Pam Fischer New Jersey Division of Highway Safety
Arlene Greenspan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Suzanne Hill The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Justin McNaull AAA
Sandy Spavone National Organizations for Youth Safety
Amy Spong State Farm®
Jim Wright National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The views and recommendations in the Guidebook do not necessarily reflect those of State Farm® as well as the individuals or organizations represented on the Expert Panel. Printed copies of the publication will be sent to every GHSA Member and Associate Member. A PDF version is available online at A limited number of print copies remain. To request one, e-mail