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Press Release: Sudden Impact Louisiana and Chevy Dealerships Educate Teen Drivers

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(New Orleans, LA) – By the time teens hit age 16, they’re usually ready for some independence behind the wheel of a car. However, with the excitement of getting their first car, teens and parents can sometimes forget or overlook the restrictions for each stage of licensing for teen drivers.
Sudden Impact Louisiana, a program led by University Medical Center (University Medical Center) New Orleans’ Level 1 Trauma Center and funded by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, aims to provide some very visible reminders of the rules of the road for teen drivers by partnering with Louisiana Chevrolet dealerships. Forty-five Chevy dealerships throughout the state, owned by Agency 720 – an Omnicom company, now display banners with the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) guidelines, provided by Sudden Impact Louisiana, in their dealership lobbies.

“We know that the Graduated Driver’s License is responsible for reducing teen motor vehicle crashes up to 40 percent. Much of the problem include the lack of awareness by both the teen and parent on why the GDL and the restrictions exist,” said Bridget Gardner, University Medical Center New Orleans Injury Prevention Program Coordinator. “This partnership allows us to educate teens and parents on enforcing the restrictions to lessen the risk of the crash. Chevy accepted this offer to carry the message on behalf of the Sudden Impact Program.”

According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), GDL is a system to phase in young beginners to full driving privileges. Because of their inexperience behind the wheel, novice drivers may struggle with hazardous driving situations. GDL introduces young beginners to driving in a low-risk way, as they become more mature and develop their driving skills.

There are three stages to a graduated system: a supervised learner's period; an intermediate license, which is granted after a young driver passes a road test and which limits driving in high-risk situations (e.g., at nighttime or with teen passengers) except under supervision; and a license with full privileges.

"We want to keep our kids safe, and partnering with Sudden Impact Louisiana was a great way to help teens become safe drivers. With Teen Driver Technology in the All-New Chevrolet Malibu, it couldn’t have been a better fit,” said Lisa Rebowe of Leson Chevrolet.

n addition to the GDL banners, the Sudden Impact Louisiana program is finding new ways to reach teens, including a smartphone app. The Sudden Impact app can be found through Apple’s App Store and soon on Android devices.

App users will have the opportunity to access information about the program and resources such as teen state laws and guidelines, best practices for teen driving, and testimonials from surviving families. The app also includes activities such as a driving log to track practiced driving hours and a game format to get educational information in a fun way.