Atlanta, GA – According to the most recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,678 drivers age 16 to 20 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2014, up 1.2 percent from 1,651 drivers in this age group in 2013. Further data indicates this increase in accidents stems from cellphone use while behind the wheel. Nearly 42 percent of high school students have texted or emailed when in the driver’s seat at least once in the past 30 days, according to a 2014 survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Digital distractions along with failure to learn safe driving techniques have both contributed to motor vehicle crashes becoming the leading cause of death among teens in the United States. To help keep teens safe on the road, The UPS Foundation teamed up with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to create UPS Road Code, a national program educating teens on safe driving techniques. Now in its ninth year, the highly successful UPS Road Code program enables teens to drive change for themselves and their peers through a combination of classroom-based instruction and practice “behind the wheel” of a virtual driving simulator. In addition to the hands-on support of the volunteer UPS instructors, the program now offers online resources for parents and teen drivers to prepare for the realities of the road. To date the program has reached more than 25,000 participants since its launch in 2009 and is available in 54 Boys & Girls Clubs throughout 44 U.S. cities as well as in five countries around the world.
Safety FirstUPS Road Code provides participants with unparalleled training from UPS employees committed to safety within their communities. Taught by approximately 125 UPS employees trained as volunteer instructors, the program is largely based on the same methods used by UPS drivers, who are known for their safe driving techniques. In fact, UPS’s 102,000 drivers worldwide are among the safest on the roads, logging more than three billion miles per year and delivering more than four billion packages safely. UPS also has 8,703 members in its “Circle of Honor” program, recognizing drivers who can boast 25 years or more of safe driving. 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. Teens 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 Throughout 2016, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and The UPS Foundation 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 include fun activities and challenges, as well as the chance for attendees to interact with the program’s driving simulators. Participants 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, 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 online quiz and info on safe driving techniques, the program helps teens be aware of the potential dangers they may face on the road and enables them to share those insights with friends and family. Furthermore, the UPS Road Code Ambassador program, which debuted this year, rewards teens that demonstrate superb safe driving techniques and serves to educate their peers on the dangers of distracted driving. This year the program also announced that Liberty Mutual Insurance is offering up to 10 percent discount in all 50 states to UPS Road Code graduates.“The UPS Road Code program is designed to help teens develop a thorough understanding of safe driving practices and to act as catalysts for driving change,” said Myron Gray, president UPS U.S. operations. “By providing the best resources and learning tools, such as our state-of-the-art driving simulators, we are setting up teens for success and safety on the road, and through this program, we look forward to encouraging more and more teens to become ambassadors of safety in their communities.” “Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s partnership of nine years with The UPS Foundation has enabled us to provide thousands of teens across the country with access to a dynamic, interactive and effective safe driving program,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO for BCGA. “Through UPS Road Code, teens learn the real-life risks and consequences of distracted driving and our volunteer UPS instructors help them to understand how to eliminate distractions when they’re in the driver’s seat. Like all programs at Boys & Girls Clubs, UPS Road Code prepares teens to be responsible young adults beyond Club doors and to serve as positive role models for their peers.”
The UPS Road Code program is available to teens at Boys & Girls Clubs in the following cities:
Teens, parents and others interested in learning more about safe driving, the UPS Road Code program and access to new tools and tips should visit www.bgca.org/roadcode.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of AmericaFor more than 150 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 4,200 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, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at Facebook and Twitter.
About The UPS FoundationUPS (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 leads its global citizenship programs and is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national, and global communities. In 2015, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $110 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 or follow @UPS_News.
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