Utah teen drivers had the highest crash rates per licensed driver in 2020. With 159 teen lives lost, Utah showed an increased number of teenage driver-involved fatalities from 2019 to 2020. Teen crash involvement remained at 21%, with 38% of all hospitalizations due to teen motorist crashes. To improve teen driver education programs, the Utah Highway Safety Office (UHSO) was awarded grant funding by Ford Driving Skills for Life and GHSA to address the dangers and consequences of speeding through pre-driver education initiatives.
UHSO developed a pre-driver video, Speeding is Not a Game, that shares the story of a local teen who died in a speed-related crash. His parents shared their story, so other teens and parents could learn from their experience. The video was made available to health teachers to support their driver education curriculum.
The Pre-Driver Presentation focuses on three essential safe driving habits: staying calm, staying focused and staying buckled. To support the presentation, each student received a Pre-Driver Workbook and was tasked with a homework assignment to be completed with a parent or caregiver.
Winter Driving Modules
Five Winter Driving Modules were also developed addressing the following topics:
- Preparing Before You Go
- Drive Safely for Winter Conditions
- Take Actions to Correct a Slide (from Icy Road Safety)
- Follow the Proper Steps After a Crash
- Remember the Move Over Law
Grant Impact and Partnerships
Utah health teachers are using the video, Pre-Driver Presentation and Winter Driving Modules in their classrooms, and the video was added to their online Learning Module System.
During the project, partnerships were developed and fostered with Zero Fatalities, the Highway Patrol and the Utah Department of Education. Based on the pilot project's positive reception, Zero Fatalities is willing to continue to fund these presentations.