Thursday, May 18, 2017

Distracted Driving among Teens: What We Know about It and How to Prevent It

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
12:00 - 2:00 PM

Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and over 1,000 are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. (1) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015 "Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes." (2) According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distraction was a factor in 58 percent of 1,700 videos of teen drivers taken from in-vehicle event recorders. (3) Distracted driving includes activities such as using a cell phone, texting, and eating while driving. Using in-vehicle technologies like navigation systems or stereos, can also be a source of distraction. Engaging in any of these activities while driving poses a crash risk, endangering the driver, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists, as well as other drivers. (2)

In this webinar, Dr. Ian Reagan of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) will explain what IIHS knows about distracted driving as a contributing factor in traffic collisions, contrasting teenage and older drivers throughout to underscore teens' over-representation in these crashes. The topics he will address include the prevalence of distraction in police-reported crash data and the suspect quality of these data. His presentation will conclude with a summary of research about the prevalence and crash risk of specific distracted driving behaviors identified in observational studies. Dr. Dennis Thomas of Dunlap and Associates, Inc. will review recent research studies that explored higher order skill development in teen drivers to increase their safety on the roadway. These studies all involved training young drivers to either better manage their glances at the roadway or anticipate hazards. The results focus on behavioral changes observed on live roadways or through analyses of crashes after exposure to the training.

National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2017, March). Distracted Driving 2015. (Traffic Safety Facts Research Note. Report No. DOT HS 812 381). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Facts and Statistics. [cited 2016 Feb 23]; Available from:
Distraction and Teen Crashes: Even Worse than We Thought. (March 25, 2015). AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Ian Reagan, Ph.D. - Dr. Reagan is a senior research scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses - deaths, injuries and property damage - from motor vehicle crashes. As a human factors researcher, Dr. Reagan studies how drivers use and adapt to technology in their cars. Since joining IIHS in 2012, Dr. Reagan has conducted research on such topics as crash avoidance technologies and driver distraction. Previously, he worked for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a research psychologist. Dr. Reagan received a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in psychology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

Dennis Thomas, Ph.D. - Dr. Thomas's professional experience has encompassed a wide range of topics, but has been primarily focused on transportation safety. Dr. Thomas is the Vice President of Dunlap and Associates, Inc., a consulting firm which provides research and consulting services to government, industry and the legal profession, specializing in applying human factors, systems analysis and risk management techniques to assist clients in understanding and solving problems. Within the field of transportation safety, Dr. Thomas has worked on the development and evaluation of a number of safety programs for passenger vehicle drivers, commercial vehicle drivers, and pedestrians/bicyclists. He has conducted extensive nationwide reviews of traditional driver education programs, online driver education, and advanced driver education for teens. He has also evaluated state-of-the-art computer-based training programs aimed at teaching teens how to manage their glances or to anticipate potentially hazardous driving situations.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Youth Leader Spotlight: Jocelyn Hernandez

Each month we will be recognizing a youth leader in the field of motor vehicle and community safety. We're proud to begin this series with our very own Youth Adviser, Jocelyn Hernandez. 

IN HER OWN WORDSI'm currently in my third year at Johnson & Wales working on my Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice. I want to be a law enforcement officer once I graduate. Currently I am the Youth Advisor for the Sexual Violence Prevention unit at the Colorado Department of Public Health and for the Tony Grampsas Youth Services program at the Colorado Department of Human Services. In my position I have over 90 grantees total that I visit to provide a youth perspective. I go though their quarterly reports and give back feedback on what they're doing great, and what they can improve on. In this position I have also been able to create a Positive Youth Development (PYD) tool, give PYD trainings, participate in grants, and be a part of forums to better the relationship between young people and police officers in the Denver Metro area. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Safe Kids Denver Metro is Hiring a Youth Intern!

Safe Kids Denver Metro (led by Children's Hospital Colorado) is hiring a youth intern to support the Denver Metro Teen Drivers (DMTD) program. This position will conduct outreach to Denver-metro area high schools, provide general support to the program manager, engage target schools and organizations, assist with the coordination of community-based events, work to establish and coordinate a DMTD Youth Advisory Board, participate in social media, and contribute to program reports. This position is currently grant-funded through 9/30/18.

Position Details:
  • Part-time with flexible hours (can work around class schedules) with some evenings and weekends, up to 20 hours per week.
  • Pay will be between $10-15/hour based on qualifications.
  • Minimum 1 year commitment.
  • Ideal candidate is a current or incoming college student (minimum of 18 years), with coursework and/or interest in public health, community health, marketing, or other related field.
  • Experience in community organizing and public speaking a plus.
To apply, please visit: and search for job ID 56444. Interested candidates are welcome to reach out with questions directly to:

Susan Goldenstein, Prevention Education & Outreach Manager
Safe Kids Denver Metro / Child Health Advocacy Institute / Strategy & External Affairs
Phone: (720) 777-4807 

Friday, April 14, 2017

CDOT Releases Their 2017 Problem ID

The Colorado Department of Transportation has released their 2017 Problem Identification Report, providing data on Colorado's motor vehicle crash characteristics at the state, regional, and county level. The Problem ID is used by CDOT, law enforcement, nonprofit organizations, public health agencies, and prevention professionals to identify traffic safety problems and target areas for education, prevention, and enforcement programming. Since 2011 Colorado’s fatalities from motor vehicle crashes have continually increased, reaching 546 fatalities in 2015. The following were primary factors in the majority of motor vehicle fatalities in 2015:

  • Speeding fatalities (39.6% of all fatalities)
  • Unrestrained fatalities  (34.4 % of all fatalities)
  • Alcohol-impaired driver fatalities (27.7 % of all fatalities)
  • Motorcyclist fatalities (19.4 % of all fatalities)

The full report can be accessed on CDOT's website at: CDOT 2017 Problem ID Report

For more information and motor vehicle crash and injury data requests, contact:
Christine Demont, Injury Epidemiologist
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Phone: 303-692-3057

Monday, April 10, 2017

Aetna Releases 2017 Cultivating Healthy Communities RFP

Are you interested in increasing safety through built environment strategies that encourage biking, walking, reduced speeds, and inviting public spaces? You may be eligible for the Aetna Foundation's 2017 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program. 

As the Foundation's only open RFP this year, they are looking to award up to $2 million in grants to organizations that increase opportunities for low-income, minority communities to make healthy choices in the places they live, work, learn, and play. Grant requests can range between $50,000 and $100,000 for projects that span 18 to 24 months. They seek partners whose work addresses pressing issues in the following domains: Built Environment, Community Safety, Environmental Exposures, Healthy Behaviors, and Social/Economic Factors.

This will be a highly competitive funding opportunity structured in two stages. Stage 1 involves a short application. All eligible organizations are invited to submit an online Stage 1 application by April 14, 2017 at 3PM ET. Upon reviewing all Stage 1 applications, they will invite a smaller group of applicants to submit a full application for Stage 2.

Please visit their website and read the RFP, which includes a detailed FAQ section, for more information and other materials to assist you in applying.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Free Downtown Colorado Streets Workshops

Come to a free, half-day workshop this April to help communities learn how to strike a balance among the many demands facing their downtown streets. Workshop attendees will learn how to communicate and work with state and local agencies, identify problems, consider solutions, and get projects built to improve your downtown.
This workshop is designed for community residents, engineers, planners, advocates, and anyone else interested in making their downtowns better. Workshop attendance is limited so those that are interested are encouraged to sign up now. Workshop attendance is limited so sign up now! Registration deadline is April 14.
Workshop attendees will receive a free copy of Colorado Downtown Streets: A Tool for Communities, Planners, and Engineers.

WHEN: TuesdayApril 18 / 9:15am-2:00pm
WHERE: Cortez City Hall, 123 Roger Smith Avenue, Cortez, CO

For Additional Venue Information: Philip Johnson • • (970) 565-7320

WHEN: Wednesday, April 19 / 9:30am-2:00pm 
WHERE: Mountain Valley Bank - Meeting Room, 400 Main Street, Meeker, CO

For Additional Venue Information: Stephanie Kobald • (970) 878-5510

Monday, April 3, 2017

National Push to Tackle Distracted Driving Begins

CDOT Wants Real Stories About Distracted Driving Impacts

When you drive on any road or highway, there’s one thing you’re almost certain to see — distracted drivers. According to a recent survey of Colorado drivers, cell phone use behind the wheel is an ongoing threat in our state, with 22 percent admitting to reading a message while driving. Beyond messaging, 64 percent had selected entertainment on a mobile device and 33 percent had talked on a hand-held phone. To encourage all drivers to be aware of their digital addiction and drop the distraction, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado State Patrol are joining in a national effort to recognize April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, bringing attention to the threat distracted drivers pose.

“The recent CDOT survey results highlight that while the distracted driving behaviors vary by gender or age, the distracted driving issue is not region specific and is truly a problem statewide,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “Coloradans are not paying attention to how dangerous distracted driving really is. CDOT plans to address this disconnect and our collective addiction to our phones this summer through our Drop the Distraction campaign.”

In 2016, CDOT introduced the Killer Habit distracted driving PSA as part of the Drop The Distraction campaign. The video equates distracted driving and our dependency on our phones as a digital addiction, often with deadly consequences. View the Killer Habit video here: