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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) launched an innovative new program today designed to prevent one of the major causes of death and injury for teen drivers: inexperience. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Using sponsorship funds committed by West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, the award-winning Parent’s Supervised Driving Program will provide parents and guardians with the most advanced research and technological tools to supervise teens new to driving. Currently available in 13 states, the program’s step-by-step curriculum and complementary RoadReady™ mobile app offer parents and guardians a free tool to optimize the 30 hours (10 at night) of supervised driving now required for approximately 50,000 teens seeking instruction permits each year in Wisconsin.
With the help of sponsor funds, DMV is able to provide this valuable resource to the parents of teen drivers at no cost to families or taxpayers. This allows DMV to address a need and to provide parents with a resource geared toward skill development and a tool to expand the conditions and time that teens drive with their parents or guardians prior to driving independently. This public/private partnership greatly enhances efforts to keep Wisconsin’s roads safer. West Bend President and CEO Kevin Steiner stated, “The skills outlined in this guide are meant to help teens learn to be better drivers. It is one of the many ways West Bend works to help Wisconsin families.”
“Parents and guardians are in the best position to assure that their teens become safe drivers and their participation in this program will have a key influence on the reduction of teen crash rates,” explained Patrick Fernan, DMV administrator. “This program offers a resource that will help parents and guardians ensure that their permitted teen makes the right decisions behind the wheel so that they’re safe once they are licensed.”
Parents and teens are also invited to connect with the program online and through social media as well as the popular RoadReady™ app that helps parents and teens track their drive times. RoadReady’s™ functionality offers parents an easy, efficient way to guarantee their teen receives the most experience possible behind-the-wheel, prior to driving independently.
“This state–of–the art program was developed by the foremost experts and organizations in highway safety,” stated Jeff Larson, President of Safe Roads Alliance, who worked in partnership with DMV to develop the program for the state. “It will now be made available to Wisconsin parents and guardians of permitted teens through multiple platforms, including the distribution of the printed guide that will be handed out at all DMV licensing offices when teens first receive their learner’s permit.”
More information on the program can be found on the official Wisconsin DMV website: http://www.wisconsindmv.gov and on the program website: http://www.theparentssuperviseddrivingprogram.com/.