Ford DSFL Teen Driving Grant Results: Maryland

Maryland Teen Driver Safety Photo Booth

As one of the recipients of GHSA and Ford Driving Skills for Life’s 2016 teen safe driving grants, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office (MHSO) was able to host a series of one-day high school programs throughout the state to educate students on safe driving.

DSFL MDThe programs were held around National Teen Driver Safety Week in October 2016. All Maryland county schools were invited to propose a Teen Driver Safety Program, noting how their specific event would influence students’ behavior and decision-making skills behind the wheel. Five schools, in Anne Arundel, Carroll, Calvert and Kent Counties, were selected to participate.

MHSO partnered with local organizations including emergency medical services, law enforcement, driving schools, hospitals and health departments to bring a wide variety of activities and educational resources to the participating schools. The Office also collaborated with the National Organization for Youth Safety (NOYS) and local Ford dealerships to provide additional programming and support. All events were held during the school day, and included activities demonstrating the dangers of common driving behaviors such as speeding, lack of belt use, impairment and distraction. MSHO kept students engaged by using interactive games and displays, photo booths, and simulators as teaching aids, and students were also given freebies like water bottles and t-shirts as participation incentives. Finally, students who filled out a Ford DSFL pledge card were entered to win a Kindle Fire tablet.

To demonstrate results, MHSO asked each participating school to distribute pre- and post-event surveys to their students gauging behavioral change. Ultimately, the events were able to educate thousands of novice drivers in the state and create notable changes in students’ comprehension of safe driving behavior.

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