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MONTGOMERY (Mar. 19, 2012) - Pediatricians are among America’s most-trusted allies for information on children’s health. Now they are lending their expertise to address a public health crisis affecting thousands of families—teen driving deaths. The Allstate Foundation and eight chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), , have joined forces to combat this epidemic and educate communities on the importance of stronger graduated driver licensing laws. The AAP recommends that states adopt, improve and enforce these laws for teen drivers.
Between 2000 and 2009, more than 81,000 people were killed in crashes involving drivers age 15 to 20. Each year nearly 4,000 teens are killed on America’s roadways. While the numbers are staggering, graduated driver licensing policies have been proven effective by more than 70 studies and shown to reduce crashes by up to 40 percent.
“The partnership between The Allstate Foundation and The American Academy of Pediatrics demonstrates a commitment to making sure that no American family has to deal with the loss of a loved one due to a teen driving crash,” said Vicky Dinges, vice president of public social responsibility at Allstate. “The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to lend a credible and respected voice to this effort to educate the public and will help to give communities the tools and education needed to protect our most valuable asset—our children.”
The Alabama Chapter of AAP has assembled a group of key partners including the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Safe Kids and Children’s of Alabama pediatric hospital to implement a statewide campaign, funded by the $25,000 Allstate Foundation grant, to educate pediatricians about the importance of discussing safe driving with their teen patients and to provide the tools to facilitate those discussions. Specific topics will address Alabama’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) law, drinking and drug use, seatbelt use, texting and other distractions.
“Although coalitions were successful in lobbying to pass the GDL law, there is much work to be done in educating teens, parents and the general public in order to enforce it. Alabama is second in the nation in the number of teen driving deaths and we want to change that,” said Kathy Monroe, MD, FAAP, Chapter Injury Prevention Committee Chair and emergency department physician at Children’s.
To learn more about The Allstate Foundation and its partnership with the AAP, visit www.allstatefoundation.org.
About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit www.allstatefoundation.org.
About the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.