Making the Roads Safer
NJM Sponsoring Statewide Teen Driver Safety Program
Teens represent the most at-risk age drivers on our roads. In fact, statistics show that half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school. To address this alarming problem, NJM Insurance Group launched a Teen Driver Safety Program in 2013, which helps inform and educate teens about the dangers they will confront on the road as new drivers.
Now in its fourth year, the classroom-based program is an interactive educational presentation is facilitated by two retired police officers with more than 50 years of combined driver safety experience. Offered at no cost to high schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it has reached more than 85,000 students in nearly 200 schools.
Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark, NJ, was one of the first to incorporate the program into their driver education curriculum. Principal Richard Delmanaco believes the program is providing a valuable service to students. “This is an impactful program that helps students realize the tremendous risks and responsibilities of driving, but most importantly it is helping to save lives and keep our students safe. NJM’s commitment to safety and willingness to provide this type of public service is appreciated by the entire ALJ community,” said Delmanaco.
Recently, the program was awarded the National Safety Council’s highly esteemed Teen Driving Leadership Award in recognition of its successful work to improve teen driver safety. NJM was nominated for the award by Dan and Pat Fitzpatrick, parents of the late Ryan Fitzpatrick, a Lenape Regional School District student who died in a single vehicle accident on April 26, 2009. Ryan was one of six students from that district killed behind the wheel between 2007 and 2010. The Fitzpatrick’s researched tools that would help support the district’s driver education curriculum and provide a better learning experience for soon-to-be teen drivers in the area. NJM was the first company to join their effort.
Last school year, nearly 7,000 students were polled before and after the presentation. The pre-survey revealed 75% of students wore their seatbelts at all times. After participating in the program, 94% of those same students indicated they would always wear their seatbelt. When asked what they should do when the driver of the car is texting, only 49% of students reported they would tell the driver to put the phone down. In the post survey, 64% of students said they will ask the driver to put the phone down in the future. These responses reflect the program’s impact in persuading teens to make a positive change their attitudes and perceptions about driving.
To schedule presentation contact Violet Marrero, Safety Administrator at 609-883-1300 ext. 7451 or visit NJM’s Safety Center at www.NJM.com/Teen-Driver-Safety.