textingThe National Safety Council has announced Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and ADEPT Driver as the winners of its 4th annual Teen Driving Safety Leadership Awards, supported by the General Motors Foundation. This announcement comes in conjunction with National Teen Driver Safety Week, which took place Oct. 14-20.

The Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award recognizes exceptional contributions that prevent car crashes, injuries and deaths involving teen drivers.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, killing more teens each year than the next two leading causes of death for that age group combined.

Said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of NSC: "The efforts put forth by these organizations are saving lives and preventing injuries on our nation's roadways."

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, health and safety groups as well as insurance companies and agents working together to make America's roads safer. The organization encourages the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that save lives and reduce injuries. It played a critical role in the June passage of a federal surface transportation authorization bill called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (P.L. 112-141).

The Act includes incentives for states that meet minimum federal standards for Graduated Driver Licensing. All safety provisions were originally included in the Senate-passed version of the bill, but Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety helped ensure many of the provisions were retained in the final version.

ADEPT Driver developed the program teenSMART to help educate teens on the importance of safe driving. The teenSMART program brings parents and teens together in a structured practice program of computer simulations and behind the wheel practice of the specific driving challenges that contribute to the most teen crashes. Teens need driving experience to become safe drivers and parents must understand how to best help their teens practice. The teenSMART program provides some of that necessary experience and understanding in a manner proven to reduce teen crashes.

Representatives from both organizations received their awards at the annual NSC Defensive Driving Awards Banquet, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20, during the annual NSC Congress & Expo in Orlando.