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The Allstate Foundation asks teens to talk safe driving in state ranking second in number of deaths from car crashes

teen driver (select to view enlarged photo)

SACRAMENTO, CA--Nov. 4, 2013: Over a five-year period (2007-2011), 1,572 California teen drivers, ages 13-19, were involved in fatal crashes[1], and more than half of those teen drivers caused the crash.[2] To spotlight this issue in California, a state that is ranked second for the most teen crash fatalities, The Allstate Foundation and thousands of California teens will participate in teen safe driving activities during #GetThereSafe Week beginning today. The highlight of the week is when students at 20 high schools will take part in raising a #GetThereSafe flag at their schools to remind each other about the importance of smart driving.

"Peers play a significant role in teens' decisions when they are driving," said Freddy Santos, Field Corporate Relations Manager with Allstate in California. "Thanks to peer-to-peer influence, teens are speaking up when they witness distracted driving, but teen safe driving doesn't stop there. We want to empower teens to speak up when they see speeding or too many passengers load into the car—especially when it is against the law."

The Allstate Foundation's Get There Safe Week is part of the #GetThereSafe program, a teen-led initiative that raises awareness around the dangers of the three risky driving behaviors that frequently cause fatal teen crashes – speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and being distracted by other teen passengers in the car.[3]

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

Fifty-six percent of American teens in fatal motor-vehicle crashes were not wearing a seat belt.[4] Speeding is a factor in one out of every three teen fatal accidents.[5] For teens, adding one teen passenger to a car increases their crash risk by almost 50 percent and that risk grows exponentially as more teen passengers are added – 202 percent more likely to crash with two teen passengers and 439 percent more likely with three or more teen passengers.[6]

As the majority of California teens (84 percent) say they would speak up in a car with someone who was driving in a way that made them feel scared or uncomfortable,[7] the #GetThereSafe program helps to amplify their voices among peers. At each participating school, up to five students will be named social drivers to help ignite the online conversation through social channels. Teens are encouraged to remind their friends to get there safe by using the program and the smart driving behaviors as hashtags – #GetThereSafe, #nopassengers, #slowdown and #seatbelt – and most importantly spread the message.

The Allstate Foundation has pledged $1,000 to each participating California school for their support. To learn more about the #GetThereSafe program, valuable tips for teen drivers and to view social media conversations around this important topic, visit Get There Safe .