Delaware, along with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), is at the forefront of an initiative to increase safety and reduce accidents among the most dangerous drivers in the U.S.: teens.

With motor vehicle crashes the leading cause of death for teenagers, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety and Ford Driving Skills for Life are holding an interactive Global Youth Traffic Safety Month Summit today. Similar initiatives are being held by safety organizations across the country.

The goal: to inform teens about safe driving practices and empower them to take critical safety messages back to their peers.

More than 100 teens from Delaware high schools will participate in the one-day event, which involves Ford Driving Skills for Life providing teens with the opportunity to participate in an interactive in-vehicle defensive driving course.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to educate youth about the danger they will face on the roads and to change the culture of driving safety, which begins with our youth,” said NTSB Deputy Managing Director Sharon Bryson.

Jana Simpler, Director of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, said, “This is an ideal opportunity to reinforce traffic safety messages shared in the driver’s education classroom and allow these teens to experience some interactive tools to help reinforce these messages.  ‘Choices Matter’ is the mantra we repeat over and over to our young drivers and this event will encourage them to keep making choices that will keep them safe.”

Speakers at the event will include NTSB safety advocates, Delaware police officers, victims of families, and youth activists. Delaware law enforcement will also be on hand to offer perspectives on teen driving safety.  In addition, the Delaware Department of Education will be announcing scholarship award winners following a video contest this spring designed to share information with teens on how to react during a traffic stop.