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Allstate Foundation grant bolsters teen-driver safety initiatives at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

Oct. 21, 2015, 10:31 AM

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Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt will expand its teen motor vehicle safety program, “Be in the Zone – Turn off Your Phone” with the help of a $60,000 award from the Allstate Foundation.

The program is spearheaded by the Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program to increase awareness among teens about the dangers of texting and driving.

“We are very excited to work with 15 high schools across Middle Tennessee this year to spread the word about the dangers of texting while driving,” said Purnima Unni, MPH, Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program manager at Children’s Hospital. “Through our ‘Be in the Zone – Turn off Your Phone’ program, we provide teens with the necessary tools and trust their creativity to motivate their peers to change their behavior.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), inexperienced drivers younger than 20 are most at risk of being involved in a fatal crash caused by distracted driving. The results of the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that nationwide, 41 percent of high school students who had driven a car or other vehicle during the past 30 days reported texting or emailing while driving.

“The Allstate Foundation is proud to support Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in the excellent work they are doing to spread the ‘No Texting While Driving’ message,” said Allison May, Allstate Corporate Relations Division manager. “Our partnership with Vanderbilt is a reflection of our joint commitment to empower teens to become champions for the cause.”

Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program has identified counties of concern based on pediatric trauma admission. This year the “Be in the Zone- Turn off Your Phone” program is partnering with 15 high schools across 14 counties covering more than 15,000 students. They will compete in a yearlong competition to get the “no texting while driving” message out in their schools and community. The winning school will receive $10,000 as a grand prize.

The 2015-2016 participating schools are: Greenbrier High School, Upperman High School, Columbia Central High School, Central Magnet High School, Beech High School, East Hickman County High School, Sycamore High School, Kenwood High School, Christ Presbyterian Academy, Westmoreland High School, Watertown High School, Smith County High School, Page High School, Tullahoma High School and Creek Wood High School.

To learn more about the “Be in the Zone- Turn off Your Phone” program, visit http://www.childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/teendrivers.

 

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