Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Club

2950 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60612

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Monday-Friday, 2:30-8:00 PM

Driving Change Against Distracted Driving among Teens

October 18, 2013 12:45 AM

As distracted driving remains the leading cause of death among 15- to 19- year olds in the United States, The UPS Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America continue to drive change across the country with UPS Road Code, a national program educating teens on safe driving techniques.  Aiming to reduce the number of teen driver crashes, UPS Road Code is currently available in 52 Boys & Girls Clubs throughout 36 U.S. cities and reaches 5,200 teenagers per year.  Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago is proud to provide this national program at our Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Club.

Through this highly successful program, The UPS Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are lending their support to National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), held during the week of October 20-26. As deaths of drivers ages 16 and 17 increased by 19 percent in the first six months of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011, according to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association, NTDSW strives to increase awareness for this nationwide issue.

This year’s theme – ‘It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving’ – encourages teens and parents to work together to help young drivers become safe, skilled drivers.  NTDSW serves as a time designated by Congress to shine a spotlight on teen driver safety and ramp up conversations about safe teen driver behavior.

Street Smarts

UPS Road Code is largely based on the same safety training used by UPS’s drivers, who are known for their safe driving techniques. In fact, UPS's 102,000 drivers worldwide log more than three billion miles per year with less than one accident per million miles driven. Taught by more than 150 UPS employees trained as volunteer instructors, UPS Road Code provides teens with four sessions of classroom-based instruction, as well as time "behind the wheel" of a virtual driving simulator.

The program focuses on different safety principles, from basic instruction to the consequences of risky behaviors such as talking on cell phones, texting or drinking while driving. Throughout the program, teens have a chance to practice what they’ve learned on the driving simulators, which feature a computer screen that serves as a windshield to the program’s interactive animation, a steering wheel and life-like gas and brake pedals.

Driving Change

In 2013, BGCA and The UPS Foundation will continue to drive awareness of UPS Road Code and educate teens by hosting free community events at local Boys & Girls Clubs in various cities throughout the country. Events will include fun activities and challenges, as well as the chance for attendees to interact with the program’s driving simulators. Participants will also have the opportunity to sign a petition, pledging to make the roads safer by not driving distracted.

In addition, teens nationwide have the opportunity to make a difference and drive change for themselves and their peers. Using social media channels, such as the UPS Road Code Facebook page, teens can share online tools and resources developed to spread the word about road safety. From tips and statistics to an interactive online quiz and the safe driving petition, teens are fully equipped to help share the dangers of distracted driving. 

"The UPS Road Code program is more than just a safe-driving program; it’s about empowering teens to be ambassadors for safety and encouraging them to act as catalysts for driving change," states Myron Gray, president, U.S. Operations. "UPS Road Code provides the information and the resources to help teens make our roads safer, starting with themselves and spreading to family, friends and beyond."

Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic that affects the entire nation. While the issue extends far beyond just teenagers, the majority of accidents are unfortunately caused by teen drivers.  Teens, parents and others interested in learning more about safe driving and the UPS Road Code program should visit www.ups.com/roadcode or www.bgca.org/roadcode. For regular updates about the program and the national and local events, as well as helpful tips, follow UPS Road Code on www.facebook.com/roadcode.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.

About The UPS Foundation

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs. Founded in 1951, The UPS Foundation, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2011, is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national, and global communities. In 2012, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $97.5 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at UPS.com/foundation. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.