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New Data Finds Parents Admit to Engaging in the Same Dangerous Driving Behaviors They Warn Their Children Against

New Data Finds Parents Admit to Engaging in the Same Dangerous Driving Behaviors They Warn Their Children Against

Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD report teens speak up about their parents’ risky driving behaviors, but parents don’t always listen 

BOSTON (August 7, 2014) – As young drivers head back to school, countless efforts and campaigns each year attempt to deter them from reckless behaviors behind the wheel. However, the latest data released today from Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) finds that teens are not the only culprits when it comes to making risky driving decisions. The new survey shows that parents engage in the same dangerous driving behaviors – including driving without a seat belt, texting, and driving after consuming alcohol – that they warn their children against. Equally concerning, nearly half (41 percent) of teens say their parents continue these unsafe habits behind the wheel even after their teens ask them to stop.

While parents may think they’re setting a good example for their teens, these findings suggest that some parents engage in unsafe driving habits more often than they might admit,” said Dave Melton, driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and managing director of global safety. “Research shows that teens often replicate their parents’ poor driving behaviors, so it’s critical for the safety of everyone on the road that parents be a model for responsible driving whenever they are behind the wheel.”

 Parents’ Risky Driving Behaviors

According to the survey, parents actually admit to engaging in many of the same dangerous – and in some cases, illegal – driving behaviors that they warn their own children against, often at alarmingly high rates:

  • Talking on cell phone while driving: 86 percent
  • Speeding: 80 percent
  • Texting and driving: 40 percent
  • Driving after consuming alcohol: 34 percent
  • Driving without a seat belt: 21 percent

The data also reveals that the majority (83 percent) of teens say their parents engage in unsafe driving behaviors with them in the car, sometimes at higher rates than their parents like to admit. For example, 58 percent of teens say they have witnessed their parents texting and driving, and 41 percent have observed their parents driving without a seat belt.

Teens Speak Up, But Parents Don’t Listen

Teens are not only taking note of their parents’ risky driving behaviors, they are making concerted efforts to change them. Of the teens surveyed, 60 percent report they have asked their parents to put an end to dangerous driving habits, with texting and driving being the most common concern among teens (42 percent). Similarly, the majority of parents admit that their teens are speaking up:

  • 40 percent say their teen has asked them to stop driving without a seat belt;
  • 33 percent say their teen has asked them to stop texting and driving;
  • 26 percent say their teen has asked them to stop speeding; and
  • 23 percent say their teen has asked them to stop posting social media updates while driving.

According to the survey data, parents may not be taking these requests to heart. While the majority (84 percent) of parents say they change their driving behaviors when asked, nearly half (41 percent) of teens report that parents do not change their driving habits when requested to do so by their teens. Even more alarming is that more than a quarter (28 percent) of teens report that their parents even justify why they should continue to engage in unsafe behaviors behind the wheel, while 12 percent report that their parents ignore them completely.

“The majority of teens learn to drive from their parents, and an open dialogue about safe behaviors on both sides is critical,” said Stephen Gray Wallace, senior advisor for policy, research and education at SADD. “If parents aren’t setting the right example for safe driving every time they’re behind the wheel, it’s probable that teens will learn and mimic those risky behaviors.”

Parent and Teen Safe Driving Resources

Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD encourage parents and teens alike to have frequent and open conversations about responsible driving, and to consider signing the Parent/Teen Driving Contract. Created by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD, the Contract offers a guide to safe driving conversations and a customized agreement for parents and teens to create and uphold family driving rules.

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 Philadelphia, Pa., and Dallas, Texas from May 29 – May 30, 2013, followed by a survey of 2,537 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 +/- 1.68 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.

About SADD

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, today SADD 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 preserve and protect the things people earn and own and build 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 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 76th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2013 revenue. The company employs over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.

The sixth-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.

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Towards Zero Deaths

Towards Zero Deaths

by Dawn M. Teixeira, National President and CEO SADD, Inc. (Students Against Destructive Decisions)

Thirty-five years ago, a revolution began in the halls of Wayland High School in Wayland, MA with a simple idea that one young person, when empowered, can and will make a difference. Wayland was the birthplace of SADD after that community suffered the loss of three students in three alcohol-related crashes. What followed was a decade of students accepting responsibility and taking change into their own hands. Students rose up and advocated, educated, and joined forces with parents, teachers, and other caring adults, businesses, legislators, law enforcement, and the community at large to stop the deaths and injuries that resulted from the decision to drink and drive. At that time, the organization was named Students Against Driving Drunk and in 1997, the name was changed to Students Against Destructive Decisions at the urging of its student members to address other critical teen issues.

SADD students of today continue the revolution with great passion because they know that their prevention work has no end. It’s true, with decades of mass media campaigns, local peer-to-peer and community education and programming, improvements in road conditions and emergency response tactics and changes in laws, our population is much more aware of the dangers on the roads and the long-term numbers do show the progress. However, motor vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. General lack of experience behind the wheel, judgement and decision-making ability, as well as distractions from other people in the car and personal technology all contribute to the fact that teen traffic safety is an issue that must stay at the forefront of our work. Having just one young person die on our roadways is one too many.

That is why at the recent SADD National Conference on Youth Health & Safety, we announced that SADD officially joined the “Towards Zero Death” initiative. This effort, led by the Department of Transportation and dozens of other organizations across the country, seeks to achieve one goal- a day when no life is lost on our roads; a day when every mom and dad, brother and sister, coworker and friend, gets where they are going safely, every trip, every time.

An effort like this may seem impossible but I am reminded of the numerous moments in history when we doubted the ability of human drive and passion. The students and adults that make up SADD Nation have that drive and passion to make this goal happen by using the SADD approach. The SADD approach challenges each of us to empower the teens around us- whether they are our friends or our children, students in our classroom or in our neighborhood. It challenges us to engage parents, so they know the laws and have those meaningful conversations that must happen to make our roadways safe. The SADD approach mobilizes communities because it not only takes a village to raise a child; it takes a village to keep a teen safe. In the end, we believe the SADD approach saves lives and advances the collective effort Towards Zero Deaths.

As we celebrate SADD’s 35th birthday this year, our wish is simple. We need each of you! We ask you to join this commitment with us. Join the commitment simply by:

  • Reflecting on how you drive each time to get behind the wheel
  • Educate others on the issues
  • Speak-up when you see a driver being unsafe
  • Do whatever it takes to make sure that everyone around you gets home safely

Find more information and free resources and programs for parents and teens please visit SADD’s website: www.sadd.org/tzd.

 

Teen Driving Study Reveals “App and Drive” is New Danger Among Teens, New Worry for Parents

Teen Driving Study Reveals “App and Drive” is New Danger Among Teens, New Worry for Parents 

Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD provide tips and tools to help parents worry less about teen drivers as social media and app usage on the road increases

BOSTON, August 1, 2016 – Teens have been inundated with messages about the dangers of texting while driving over the past several years—and while this message is still vitally important, texting is not the only danger popping up on their smartphone.  According to new research conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), while 27 percent of teens today still report texting and driving, a bigger concern is that two out of three teens (68 percent) admit to using apps while driving.  In fact, when asked to rank the driving behaviors they perceived to be most dangerous, looking at or posting to social media apps ranked much lower as compared to texting and driving or driving under the influence of alcohol, for example.

In many cases, teens’ reported actions didn’t match with what they implicitly felt. In the explicit, self-reporting survey, almost all teens acknowledge app usage as a danger behind the wheel (95 percent). However, when presented with a visual of an app notification appearing on a smartphone during implicit association testing, it was revealed that approximately 80 percent of teens fundamentally view app use while driving as “not distracting.”

“This research identifies teens’ underlying beliefs about key driving habits, providing insight into what teens really believe,” said Dr. Gene Beresin, senior advisor on adolescent psychiatry with SADD and Executive Director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital.  “Teens as a whole are saying all the right things, but implicitly believe that using their phone while driving is safe and not a stressor or distraction behind the wheel.”

The Dangers of “App and Drive”

Teens may consider navigation and music apps as “utilities,” diluting the perception of the dangers related to their use while driving. While 41 percent explicitly state that using navigation apps while driving is dangerous or distracting, 58 percent report using them on the road.  More teens (64 percent) say that using music apps while driving is dangerous or distracting, but nearly half (46 percent) still admit to using them in the car. 

While navigation and music apps may seem harmless, how teens interact with them can be distracting.  Turning on music apps, changing a destination, actively checking directions and flipping through a playlist are all examples of potentially dangerous app usage behind the wheel.  Implicit association testing also indicates that teens believe checking a notification or opening an app is less dangerous and distracting than texting while driving.

“Phone use while driving is one of the most concerning behaviors by inexperienced teen drivers.  Any behavior that takes your eyes and focus off the road, even for mere seconds, can impair your ability to react to hazards and other vehicles,” said Dr. William Horrey, Ph.D., principal research scientist at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Research Institute for Safety.  “It’s not the apps themselves that are dangerous, but how we, and our teens, interact with them while behind the wheel.”

Conversations and Tips to Help Parents Worry Less

When it comes to changing teens’ behavior on the road, it’s essential for parents to realize the important role that they play.  Understanding teens’ unconscious bias can also help to change their habits and deep held beliefs on what is safe vs. dangerous behavior.  Keeping these conversations open and honest has the ability to encourage responsible driving among today’s teens. Horrey and Beresin offer the following tips to help parents of teen drivers:

  • Hide the phone! 73 percent of teens admit to having their phones nearby while driving alone. Ask teens to keep their phones out of reach and on silent so they’re less tempted to check incoming app notifications and more likely to keep their eyes on the road.
  • Map it out: 42 percent of teens say they text while driving to get directions or find out how to get somewhere.  Teach teens to program their navigation apps before getting behind the wheel or pull over to double check directions.
  • Set Expectations: Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD encourage parents and teens to use the Teen Driving Contract as a conversation starter and discussion guide. This tool covers important safety issues and is an easy roadmap for parents and teens alike to uphold family driving rules.

 

For more information, visit www.libertymutual.com/teendriving.

Teens Are Apping Behind the Wheel Infographic

Teens Are Apping Behind the Wheel Infographic

Infographic

About the Study

Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD commissioned Olson Zaltman to conduct implicit association testing with teens, and commissioned ORC International to conduct a quantitative survey that measured teen driving attitudes and behaviors. The implicit association testing (IAT) part of the Teen Driving Study was conducted February 10-29, 2016, among 2,650 teens, and the survey was conducted April 4-28, 2016, among 2,500 teens from high schools across the country. Overall the findings from the Teen Driving Study can be interpreted at a 95 percent confidence interval, with an error margin of +/- 1 percent (IAT) and +/-1.9 percent (survey). Error margins for subsets such as licensed drivers will be wider. Additionally, the study included a survey of 1,000 parents of teenage drivers in high school that has an overall error margin of +/- 3.1 percent.

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 fifth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2015 direct written premium data as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.   Liberty Mutual is ranked 73rd on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2015 revenue. The company employs over 50,000 people in over 800 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.

 About SADD

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 www.sadd.org or follow SADD on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Glenn Greenberg
Liberty Mutual Insurance
617-574-5874
Glenn.Greenberg@libertymutual.com

Melinda Bonner
360 Public Relations
857-300-6307
mbonner@360pr.com

 

 

Social Media Toolkit – OH

How to Use Social Media to Promote Safe Driving and Ohio SADD

Why Use Social Media?

You can use social media to effectively share information and stories directly with teens who are interested in the dangers of distracted driving.  As you begin to plan your Ohio SADD activity year, think about using social media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and YouTube. Not only can they help increase the number of teens who see your messages about the dangers of distracted driving, social media posts can increase attendance at your events, raise awareness of Ohio SADD and may even save a life.

Be sure to check out the Ohio SADD website at (URL) each month to get updates on local and statewide programs, events, resources, news and information that can be helpful to you and your social media outreach.

You can connect with Ohio SADD on the following social media sites:

Remember that social media is more powerful if you are an active, ongoing user.

Be creative with your content. Post interesting videos, pictures and stories to help promote your local Ohio SADD activities and events. Encourage your local Ohio SADD members to post to their social media sites as well.

Please, do not create your own Ohio SADD Facebook page, group or profile for your local Ohio SADD events. This can get very confusing for social media users. Instead, connect to the Ohio SADD social media sites and post your messages, photos, comments there.  If you “like” the Ohio SADD page from your personal Facebook page, your posts on the Ohio SADD page will appear on your personal page.

Easy Ways to Promote your Ohio SADD Support

Post pictures of student drivers having fun at your local events. Post the “Ohio SADD” the “You Are The Key” and “PROMise a Safe Summer” logos on your social media sites.

Post photos to Twitter using Twitpic. When posting on Twitter, try to use the #OhioSADD

Share Videos and Photos

Go to the Ohio SADD YouTube Channel and share video clips from your event. Click “share” after uploading the video and select Ohio SADD as the social media website you wish to post it to.

Create a video/or photo slideshow about your event. Share this video on YouTube and post it to social media websites such as Facebook.

Link to Ohio SADD’s newest YouTube video featuring Ohio students sharing the important “You are the Key” message.

Post Links

Repost Ohio SADD stories on your Facebook and Twitter pages.

Share links from the Ohio SADD website using the “share this” feature in the upper right-hand corner of each page.

Create a Facebook Event

Create an event by clicking “events” on the left side of your Facebook page and then create a new event. Fill in the event details for your local event and invite all of your Facebook friends to attend.

Sample Facebook Posts

  • Car crashes are the top killer of teens like you and me.  Alcohol, speeding and texting while driving can lead to tragedy. You are the key to safe driving. Learn more at www.OhioSADD.com
  • Remember, you are the key to preventing crashes from happening. Be a responsible driver. Buckle up, park the cell phone and pay attention to the road. Learn more at  www.OhioSADD.com
  • Find out how to drive on Ohio’s roads more safely. Most crashes occur at busy intersections. Learn more atwww.OhioSADD.com
  • In rural areas, single car crashes are common and deadly. Avoid alcohol, speeding and texting while driving. Learn more at www.OhioSADD.com
  • Did you know that about 38% of all serious injuries in Ohio occur at intersections? Stay alert, slow down, don’t run lights.  Learn more at www.OhioSADD.com
  • Just read that about 40% of all fatalities involve motorists who hit trees, utility poles and other roadside objects. Remember don’t drive while fatigued, drinking or talking on the phone. Learn more at www.OhioSADD.com
  • Attention teen drivers!  Did you know that Ohio law banned texting while driving effective August 30, 2012? Learn more at www.OhioSADD.com
  • Did you know that teen drivers will lose their license and pay a hefty fine if they text while driving in Ohio? Learn more at www.OhioSADD.com

For TWITTER

Since Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters (including spaces) and hyperlinks are often long, you should post “short links” in your Twitter posts. To do this, go to http://bit.ly and register for free by creating a username and password.

Once registered, you can copy and paste the link and click “shorten.”  It will give you a short link that you can post and also a box that says “share.” You can type your tweet in that box and it will post directly to your Twitter page.

Bit.ly also tracks the number of times your link is ‘clicked,’ so you will know what types of news your followers are interested in, the number of unique visitors that were directed to that link, as well as the number of visitors that reposted that link.

Sample Tweets

  • EVENT visitors pledge to avoid distracted driving.  Come out on DATES. www.OhioSadd.com  #OhioSADD
  • Cell phone use increases driver reaction time as much as alcohol. Remember to park you phone while driving. www.OhioSadd.com #OhioSADD
  • The leading source of driver inattention is use of a wireless device. www.OhioSadd.com  #OhioSADD
  • Drivers using cell phones are 4 Xs as likely to get into serious crashes w/ injuries. www.OhioSadd.com #OhioSADD
  • 10% of drivers aged 16 to 24 years old are on their phone at any one time. Park yours when driving.www.OhioSadd.com #OhioSADD
  • Distracted Driving is a factor in 25% of police reported crashes. www.OhioSadd.com #OhioSADD
  • Using a cell phone reduces brain activity associated with driving by 37% www.OhioSadd.com #OhioSADD

Tips for Avoiding Single Car Crashes 

Feel free to use any of these safe driving tips from the Ohio Department of Transportation www.dot.state.oh.us/groups/everymove/Pages/default.aspx.

  1. Be alert.  If fatigued, pull over to a rest stop or drink a caffeinated beverage.
  2. Avoid distractions while driving like talking on the cell phone, texting, eating, grooming or adjusting the radio.
  3. Watch your speed, especially when conditions are wet or icy.
  4.  Always wear your seat belt.  It’s the law in Ohio.
  5. Be aware of horizontal curves in the road. Slow your speed.
  6. Be aware of shoulder drop offs at the edge of the road.
  7. Obey passing regulations.  A solid yellow line means no passing.
  8.  Don’t overreact if you run off the road. Firmly grip the steering wheel and gently steer your vehicle back to the road.  Abruptly braking or using the accelerator can make the problem worse.
  9.   Drive with your bright lights on at night when no traffic is approaching.
  10. Pay attention to speed limits – they are there for a reason and are an important warning of unusual conditions.

Texting While Driving is Illegal for Ohio Teens. You Could Lose You License, Or Even Your Life!

Use posts on social media sites to remind drivers that for anyone under age 18, it’s illegal to use any mobile communications device while driving in Ohio. This means, for anyone under age 18, it’s illegal to text, email, talk on your mobile phone, play video games, use your GPS or iPod while driving — even when sitting at a light or stuck in traffic.

It’s a Primary Offense — the only reason police need to pull you over.

  •        First violation:        $150 fine, driver’s license suspended for 60 days
  •        Second violation:   $300 fine, driver’s license suspended for one year
  •        Exceptions:   Pre-programmed GPS or emergency calls to police, ambulance, fire dept. etc.

For adult drivers, it’s a secondary offense, which means police can only ticket you if you’re pulled over for another traffic violation. Adult drivers face a $150 for texting or reading/sending email.

Read the entire law in this link

Texting While Driving:  How Dangerous is it?

  • Among driving distractions, texting is extremely dangerous because it takes your eyes, hands and attention off the road (Ohio Department of Transportation).
  •  40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. (Pew research)
  •  About 50 percent of teens surveyed admit to texting while driving (AT&T Poll, 2012).
  •   Texting while driving takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds – At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field – 100 yards – with your eyes closed (USDOT).
  •  You’re 23 times more likely to crash while texting and driving (VTTI).

SADD SPEAKs Kirtana Choragudi

Picture of me and Senator Stabenow from the SADD SPEAKs program

Picture of me and Senator Stabenow from the SADD SPEAKs program

I’m Kirtana Choragudi and I’m a current senior at Kingsford High School in Kingsford, MI. I have
been president of my high school SADD Chapter for three years and I am extremely passionate
about SADD! I was recently named SADD National SLC Member and Student of the Year
201617.

Last summer, I had the honor of participating in the SADD SPEAKs program with 14 other
inspiring students. We were able to advocate on behalf of issues that are important to teens,
and learned a plethora of information on advocating, public speaking, legislative processes
specifically with teen-related issues, and much more! Although the issues were already
important to us before the program, SADD SPEAKs truly empowered us and gave us the
information, resources, and tools needed to advocate on the behalf of our peers. We were able
to help plan and host a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C., and many of us were even
able to meet one of our home state senators. Along with all of these amazing opportunities, we
were also able to meet and become very close with a group of extremely qualified and diverse
students. Although we were only together for a few days, I know I will continue to keep many of
them as good friends for years to come! It’s so difficult to pick a favorite specific part of this
experience, because there was so much that I loved about the entire experience.

When I was first accepted to SADD SPEAKs, I was in shock! The SADD SPEAKs program was
one of my first experiences which introduced me to SADD at a national level. Since my state
does not have a state SADD chapter, my experience with SADD had been limited to my local
chapter up until the 2015 SADD National Conference and the SPEAKs program. Learning about
how to help advocate for important teen issues, and learning about those issues specifically was
definitely one of the highlights of my SPEAKs experience. The experience empowered me so
much that I knew I wanted to be involved even more with SADD nationally for years to come,
and inspired me to apply for the SADD National SLC and Student of the Year. SADD SPEAKs
opened up an entire world of opportunities, learning experiences, and information that I would
never have had if I had not applied last May. SADD students around the country would all
benefit from applying and participating in this amazing program, and I know it will change their
lives just as much or even more than it changed mine.

SADD SPEAKs Meah Ezykowsky

Hi, my name is Meah Ezykowsky.  I am a senior at Greater Latrobe Senior High in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and will be attending Seton Hall University to study social work in the fall.

M EzykowskyMy father was killed in a drunk driving crash when I was eight years old.  I joined SADD because I wanted to do whatever I could to prevent anyone else from losing their dad to a drunk driver.

I am the Pennsylvania SADD Student of the Year this year and the past President of my school’s SADD chapter.  I attended SPEAKs last summer and can’t say enough good things about it.  Having the opportunity to speak on Capitol Hill and meet with Senator’s staff was the opportunity of a lifetime.

SPEAKs was a great learning experience and being given the chance to work with other passionate students was amazing. Anyone who wants to advocate for teens and their safety should definitely apply for SPEAKs. So many wonderful opportunities have come from participating in SPEAKs!

Learn more or apply now

SPEAKs Kaylee Williams

SADD SPEAKs Introduced me to Politics

Hi, my name is Kaylee Williams and I am a senior at Murrieta Valley High School in Murrieta California.  I will be attending California State University San Marcos next fall.   I have has been involved with SADD for two years, and currently serve as the California SADD Student of the Year and I was recently selected for the 2016-17 SADD National Student Leadership Council.

K WilliamsI am also an intern and explorer sergeant with the Murrieta Police Department.  One of my goals is to become a law enforcement officer after college.

Last summer I was selected to attend SADD SPEAKs (Students for Policy Education Advocacy and Knowledge) in Washington D.C.  The SADD SPEAKs program has helped me overcome my fear of public speaking.  It taught me invaluable skills that I use in my daily life, police training, and at SADD events.

Speaking on Capitol Hill also made me realize how interesting politics are, so I will be studying politics in college. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in SADD SPEAKs and I encourage everyone to apply!

Apply now

SPEAKs Lexxy Meadows

SADD SPEAKs Helped Me Grow as a Person

My name is Lexxy Meadows and I am from Point Pleasant, WV.  I am currently a senior at Point Pleasant Jr/Sr High School. This upcoming fall I will be attending West Virginia University to pursue a career in exercise physiology.

L MeadowsIn 2011, I lost my best friend, since the third grade, to a drunk driver. It was such a tragic and traumatic event for our families, loved ones, and community.   I wanted to make sure that no one had to go through the pain that we did ever again. That year I was asked to be a keynote speaker at the West Virginia State SADD Conference.   I spoke about my story and how one person’s destructive decision ended my best friend’s life.

This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to not only share my story locally but nationally when I attended SADD SPEAKs. I was chosen to tell my story at a congressional briefing, on Capitol Hill.  SPEAKs not only helped me with my communication, media, and news skills but it also helped me meet people that were more like me than I ever thought possible.

I got to spend time with other students who strived for excellence and dedication to help teens all across the United States. It was so amazing seeing people from all over the county that have the same passion as me, to ultimately save lives. These people not only changed my perspective of SADD as a whole but also helped me grow as a person. I can honestly say that the friends that I’ve met at SADD SPEAKs are no longer just friends, in those few short day they became my family.

SPEAKs Lindsay Fries

Why Apply for SADD SPEAKs?

Hi, I am Lindsay Fries from New Carlisle, Ohio. I am currently a senior at Northwestern High School. I joined SADD because I thought it sounded like an organization that gave a positive message in my school, but I did not know exactly what it was all about.

LF photoI participated in activities, attended a conference, and received an officer position for the following school year. I became even more involved with SADD. That spring, I found out about SPEAKs, and applied. I was overjoyed to find out I was accepted, and dove right into a pre-training that taught me about legislative processes and driving safety topics. In Washington DC, I learned more about those areas, but most importantly, I learned more about SADD in general and the different perspectives of teens from across the nation.

I was able to see national monuments as well as plan and speak at a Congressional Briefing. I have made friends and memories that will last a lifetime. Now, I have expanded my role with the organization by serving on the 2016-17 SADD National Student Leadership Council. You should apply for SPEAKs because it is an awesome opportunity to meet new people, get out of your comfort zone, and learn about completely new ways to advocate for issues that support SADD’s mission. Good luck!

Find out how to apply for SPEAKs

SPEAKs Alyssa Royce

SADD SPEAKs Student Experiences

My name is Alyssa Royce. I am 18 years old and a senior at Edison High school in Edison, New Jersey. I will be a member of Stockton University’s Honors Program this fall as a Business major and Spanish minor. Most importantly though, I am on SADD National’s SLC for 2016-2017 and I am also a SADD SPEAKs alum!

Joining SADD was truly one of the best decisions I have ever made. When my dad deployed to Afghanistan, I knew that there were many different paths I could take as to how I could cope with the challenges that I was facing. I decided that bettering my community was the best approach because not only would it help me, it would help the people around me too! My involvement with SADD blossomed as time passed; first as being Vice President of my chapter, then Co-President, then on SADD SPEAKs, and now on the SLC!If there is anything that I could really stress about being on SPEAKs, it’s that you become a part of a family.

The fourteen of us who were on SPEAKs in 2015 became so incredibly close. Now, we all still keep in touch! During online training, we used a Facebook group where we answered questions and held discussions about traffic safety legislation. Before we knew it, the page transformed from highway traffic safety bill PDFs to videos of Rick Birt dancing in the airport! So, not only will you have an amazing experience and life-changing opportunity, you will also meet new people from across the country who will become your life-long friends.

One other thing that I noticed is that SPEAKs opens up so many doors. Out of the 10 new SLC members, six of us are 2015 SPEAKs alumni. Over half! So if you’re looking to be more involved with SADD on a national level or even looking to be on the SLC in the future, SPEAKs has proven to be a great gateway! All I can really say is that SPEAKs is one of the most amazing opportunities available and I definitely encourage all SADD members to apply!

Find out how…

A Royce
Alyssa Royce during SPEAKs Washington, DC Trip