EPIC Assemblies is a professional touring group of 12 elite and diverse young artists who bring a powerful message to youth from coast to coast. They blend their personal life stories with artistic expressions like dance, drama, original music, spoken word poetry, video and inspirational speaking. They cut straight to the heart of the issues young people are dealing with today such as bullying, drugs, sex, self-image issues, suicide, cutting and self harm, abusive relationships, and violence- challenging the norm and offering hope through positive alternatives.
New Study Reveals Teens are Engaging in Aggressive Driving Behaviors, Neglecting Driving Basics
New Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD study highlights that teens are ignoring the basic rules of the road – and parents are largely unaware
BOSTON (December 1, 2015) While so much rightful attention has been paid to the dangers of distracted driving in recent years, a new study released by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) reveals that teens are still neglecting the most basic rules of the road – from observing speed limits and wearing seatbelts to engaging in aggressive driving behaviors – and parents are largely unaware. With fewer hours of daylight, winter road conditions and busy holiday traffic, it’s critical that parents discuss getting back to the basics with their teen drivers – not only during winter months, but all year round.
Teens’ Aggressive Behaviors Leading to Risky Road Behaviors
Despite a majority of teens (81 percent) who consider aggressive driving to be dangerous, more than one-third (36 percent) admit to having an aggressive driving style, revealing a disconnect between teens’ understanding of safe driving and reality. Even more alarming, 31 percent of teens say they have retaliated or experienced road rage when provoked by another driver – creating a dangerous environment for everyone on the road.
According to NHTSA, aggressive driving is defined as an individual committing a combination of moving traffic offenses, such as driving above the speed limit and cutting off other drivers; while retaliatory driving, also known as “road rage,” is defined as an assault with a motor vehicle, which is a criminal offense. The new data shows these behaviors go largely unnoticed by teens’ parents – with only 16 percent reporting their teens drive aggressively and 13 percent thinking their teens have retaliated when provoked – showing the need for a reality check among parents about their teens’ hazardous driving habits.
“Aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, following too closely or cutting off other drivers can be dangerous for all drivers but especially problematic for teen drivers given their relative inexperience,” said Dr. William Horrey, Ph. D., principal research scientist at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. “The study revealed some significant gaps in what teens and parents think is safe versus teens’ actual behaviors reinforcing the critical need to refocus on the basics along with other safe driving habits before it’s too late.”
Getting Back to the Basics
With winter and holiday driving conditions in full swing, ignoring the basic rules of the road can be dangerous. In addition to aggressive driving styles, the new survey reveals teens are not only neglecting the driving basics, but are also failing to observe the law. For example, one in five (18 percent) teens admit to not wearing a seat belt. Also alarming, while the majority (89 percent) of teens may consider themselves “safe drivers,” 71 percent of these “safe drivers” admit to speeding.
However, this is news to parents. While the majority of teens may disclose their speeding habits, less than half (38 percent) of parents actually believe their teens speed. In addition, teens who have driven for one-plus years are more likely to speed (47 percent) than those who have had their license for less than six months (28 percent) – showing that more experience behind the wheel does not prevent reckless driving behaviors.
Of those same self-described “safe drivers,” two-thirds (67 percent) admit to transporting three or more teen passengers in the car, and only 26 percent of all teens perceive this to be distracting. According to NHTSA, the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in the car; and therefore it’s important for teens to understand the ramifications and dangers of driving with multiple passengers. Just as concerning, parents are also largely unaware of this behavior, with only 40 percent reporting that their teens drive with three or more passengers in the car.
“What may seem insignificant to teen drivers, like having friends in the car or driving a few miles over the speed limit, can have a major impact on their safety and endanger others on the road,” said Stephen Gray Wallace senior advisor for policy, research and education at SADD. “We challenge parents and teens alike to revisit the importance of following the basic safety rules of the road. Ignoring driving fundamentals is simply not worth the risk.”
Start Conversations to Keep Teens Safe
Parents and teens must recognize the dangerous implications of forgetting the basics of road safety – not just the use of technology and social media – to reduce these risks on the road. The report also showed that only 9 percent of teens have formal family driving rules. It’s essential for parents and teens to have open and honest conversations and set expectations around responsible driving. That’s why Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD encourage parents and teens to consider signing a Parent-Teen Driving Contract. The contract is both a conversation-starter about safety issues and a customized agreement that provides both parents and teens an easy roadmap to uphold family driving rules and encourage open communication leading to safer behavior behind the wheel. Whether teens are planning to get a permit or are already on the road, this guide demonstrates a commitment to safe and responsible driving. The signed agreement can help earn mutual trust to give better peace of mind. To download a contract, visit www.LibertyMutual.com/TeenDriving.
About the Study
Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD commissioned ORC International to conduct a qualitative and quantitative methodology to measure teen driving attitudes and behaviors. The study was initiated with a series of focus groups held in Chicago, Ill. and Washington, D.C. from October 28 – October 29, 2014, followed by a survey among 1,622 eleventh and twelfth graders from across the country. Overall the findings from the study can be interpreted at a 95 percent confidence interval with an error margin of +/- 2.23 percent. Error margins for subsets such as licensed drivers will be wider. Additionally, the study surveyed 1,000 parents of high school aged teenage drivers, providing an overall error margin of +/- 2.94 percent.
SADD, the nation’s leading peer-to-peer youth education, prevention, and activism organization, is committed to empowering young people to lead initiatives in their schools and communities. Founded in 1981, SADD today has thousands of chapters in middle schools, high schools and colleges. SADD highlights prevention of many destructive behaviors and attitudes that are harmful to young people, including underage drinking, other drug use, risky and impaired driving, and teen violence and suicide. To become a Friend of SADD or for more information, visit sadd.org, parentteenmatters.org or follow SADD on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
Liberty Mutual Insurance helps people preserve and protect what they earn, build, own and cherish. Keeping this promise means we are there when our policyholders throughout the world need us most.
In business since 1912, and headquartered in Boston, Mass., today Liberty Mutual is a diversified insurer with operations in 30 countries and economies around the world. The company is the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2013 direct premium written as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Liberty Mutual also is ranked 78th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2014 revenue. The company employs over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The fifth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 14,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
Chris Dzurick has been involved with the Missouri Youth Adult Alliance (MYAA) and ACT Missouri since his sophomore year of high school, when he reached out to the organization to help serve a need at his local school. He worked with the organization, attending Speak Hard as a workshop presenter and sharing resources with his school and community. Chris continued his substance abuse prevention work when he joined the staff of the Boys & Girls Club of Cape Girardeau, working with their SMARTMoves and MethSMART drug prevention curriculum. Chris is currently employed with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as the State Adviser for Missouri Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda. His passion for working with the future leaders is ingrained in his soul, and he hopes to make a difference in the outlook on America’s future.
Chris will lead a team of high school students in their efforts to promote substance abuse prevention within their schools, communities, and Missouri. He will provide leadership training, key data facts, and guidance at several events, including Prevention Day at the Missouri Capitol and the Speak Hard Youth Rally.
Bob Carlson coordinates all nonprofit and charity law issues for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. He frequently investigates and litigates cases in all areas of state nonprofit law. Bob is also a past president of the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) and is co-leader of the ongoing Cancer Fund multistate case – one of the largest charity fraud cases ever brought. Bob also teaches a seminar on Nonprofit Organizations at Saint Louis University School of Law and often speaks on topics concerning state Attorney Generals’ regulation of the nonprofit sector and fundraising law.
Bob will discuss the laws governing Missouri nonprofit corporations with an emphasis on governance and fundraising issues over lunch on Tuesday.
We are excited to announce that Jody Belsher, the Director/Producer of The Other Side of Cannabis: Negative Effects of Marijuana on our Youth will be at the 2015 Prevention Conference! She will be presenting the film and answering questions.
The Other Side of Cannabis is an independent film project created by ordinary citizens with no political or economic affiliations or interests, other than bringing attention to the negative effects of marijuana on our youth–adolescents, teenagers and young adults whose brains are still forming.
They are reaching out to our youth, as well as educators, medical and health professionals, researchers, and media, in addition to recovery and treatment center programs, behavioral health departments, law enforcement, and others who influence our youth. In order to make an informed decision to use marijuana, it is important to know the potential risks. This film is not about legalization nor medicinal treatments. While there may be times when components of marijuana are appropriate to use medicinally under proper medical guidance, the message that marijuana is safe, natural and harmless as a recreational substance, must be weighed against the evidence of associated risks.
*You will be required to wear your name tag to each session, keynote, and meal.
The 2015 Substance Abuse Prevention Conference schedule is now available! Be sure to register before October 30, 2015.
The annual Substance Abuse Prevention Conference hosted by ACT Missouri is held in the Fall at Lodge of the Four Seasons at Lake of the Ozarks. Participants are able to attend a variety of breakouts and network with other coalition members from across Missouri.
The Prevention Conference is a time for preventionists, community members, educators, and professionals from across Missouri to come together to learn and network. There are many local experts who are willing to share their expertise with our communities. In past years, specialized tracks of workshops were offered on the latest technology, resources, and coalition building techniques including optional pre-conference sessions on various topics.
In September communities, individuals, and families all over America are celebrating the reality, hope, and possibility of recovery from substance use disorders. To help bridge the gap between prevention and recovery, we want to hear from those who have fought and won the battle over addiction! We know that building resiliency, developing positive coping skills, and reducing risk factors all play a part, but what are the real stories?
What could have been said, taught, instilled, or changed to have prevented this disease from taking over your life in the first place? What would you have told your teenage self that would have changed the course of your life? What will, or did, you tell your children to keep them from following your destructive path?
Help the prevention community celebrate National Recovery Month by weighing in! As Jeff Linkenbach states, “Stories trump data.” Use your story today to keep teen substance use rates on the decline!
Mr. Creagh has written two books: “Nobody Wants Your Child” which identifies some of the things parents may do in child rearing that contribute to their children being undesirable in the corporate workplace, and “Don’t Let the Pothead Drive Your Bus”, for teens and young adults to share life lessons to help them navigate the difficult waters of entering the world of Independence.
We are very excited to announce the debut of our new website! We have worked hard to streamline our website, and make it as user-friendly as possible.
Some of our new features include:
- Regional Support Center, Parents, Youth, and Educators specific pages.
- Everything you need will be located in your “funnel.”
- New and improved method of downloading our free Fact Sheets and other resources.
- New Events Calendar that allows you to purchase tickets directly from our website.
- 100% online applications for all funding sources.
- Find upcoming forms for events easily in our News & Happenings section.
- Search all of our resources easily using the Tag Cloud.
We hope you find this new website to be as informative and helpful as we planned! Continue to check back as new content is added regularly!
The second annual “It Only Takes One” campaign concluded in May 2015, with three groups winning top honors. To take part in this campaign, schools had to register in the fall of 2015. Then, students from 42 participating schools were presented a free t-shirt after submitting a completed parent-teen driving contract to their advisors. The t-shirts proved to be an effective tool to get students talking about the dangers of distracted driving, but many of the schools did not stop there. Students and advisors carried this message out into the community – with posters, thumb bands, belt checks, and other materials that sparked conversation between teens and adults about safe driving practices. Almost 2100 students were impacted by the campaign across Missouri.
For their participation, McCluer North FCCLA received 1st place with a prize of $1,000, Cole County R-V School received 2nd place with a prize of $750, and Douglas County Health Department received 3rd place with a prize of $500. Members of McCluer North FCCLA had a display table at all lunch shifts with a student representative providing information and dispersing posters. They created several school announcements, conducted seatbelt checks, showed the Highway Patrol’s Distracted Driving DVD to 135 students, and collected 50 parent teen contracts.
The “It Only Takes One” campaign has been made possible by grants received from the Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.
ACT Missouri is the statewide training and resource center for substance abuse prevention. Through free trainings, brochures, and education, ACT Missouri works with all areas of the state to combat drug and alcohol abuse, especially among Missouri youth. ACT Missouri also serves at the state representative for national organizations such as SADD and The Partnership at Drugfree.org.
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