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New Partnership Seeks to End Teen Roadway Fatalities

Media Contact: Kevin Crudo (


New Partnership Seeks to End Teen Roadway Fatalities

SADD and Teens in the Driver Seat Join Forces for National Teen Driver Safety Week

Denver, CO (October 18, 2021) – Today, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Teens in the Driver Seat announced a new partnership sharing resources and expertise to reduce teen crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Across Colorado, Car crashes are the leading cause of unintentional death for youth in the nation. In 2019, 1,602 young drivers (age 15-20) died in traffic crashes on our nation's roads—81 of those young drivers were from Colorado.

With funding from the Colorado Department of Transportation, SADD and Teens in the Driver Seat® (TDS) will use evidence-based programs, best practices in youth engagement, and community mobilization to save lives. Together, the organizations will increase youth participation in the roadway, build leadership skills in student members, and work to change the culture around roadway safety throughout the state.

Over the past 40 years, SADD has become the nation's premier youth health and safety organization with thousands of chapters across the country, with 50 chapters in Colorado. Using this vibrant network of young people, SADD will deploy the resources of Teens in the Driver Seat to drive home the message of roadway safety. Started in 2002, TDS is a nationally recognized peer-to-peer program that uses best practices to change behavior. TDS empowers teen leaders to positively influence unsafe driver and passenger peer behavior with an easy plug-and-play program. Colorado SADD chapters and other student groups will have access to a wide range of hands-on and virtual resources for peer-to-peer traffic safety education and outreach through the partnership. Chapters will have access to their incentives, such as the Driving the Message contest and All-Star rewards.

October 17-23 is designated as National Teen Driver Safety Week, a national mobilization of students, adult allies, and community members. SADD and Teens in the Driver Seat are using this week to launch this new effort and draw attention to each driver's role in keeping young people safe.

"SADD and Teens in the Driver Seat are powerful allies in reducing teen crashes," said Rick Birt, President & CEO of SADD. "Together, our organizations will empower the students of Colorado and engage parents and adult allies to ensure every young person arrives home safely."

"Research shows inexperience is the top contributing factor to young driver car crashes. Combined with other risk-taking such as speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving, young drivers increase their risk of being in a car crash," says TDS project manager Lisa Minjares-Kyle. "That's why our program focuses on the top five risk behaviors – distracted driving, nighttime/drowsy driving, speeding, low seat belt use, and impaired driving."

To learn more about the partnership and how you can get involved, visit

About SADD

For 40 years, SADD, the nation's premier youth health safety organization, has worked to empower teens, engage parents, mobilize communities, and change lives around the issues of traffic safety, substance abuse, and personal health and safety. Through a national network of peer-led chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges, SADD equips students with the resources they need to advocate for change in their communities. Join the movement by visiting and follow us on Facebook, Twitter YouTube, and Instagram.

About Teens in the Driver Seat®:

Started in 2002, Teens in the Driver Seat is a peer-to-peer safety program that educates teens about the top five dangers of teen driving to help teens develop safer driving habits and avoid crashes. TDS is a recognized peer-to-peer teen traffic safety program by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thanks to funding from multiple sponsors, including the Colorado Department of Transportation, program resources and technical support are available at no cost to schools. |

Source: NHTSA 2019 Traffic Safety Facts, Young Drivers Data (June 2021)


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