ATLANTA, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.
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.