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ADEPT Driver’s teenSMART Program Receives Safety Achievement Award from Governors Highway Safety Association

Nashville, TN, September 1, 2015The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) today gave an award for special achievement in highway safety award to the teenSMART program produced by ADEPT Driver


At an award ceremony at GHSA’s annual meeting, ADEPT’s CEO, Dr. Richard Harkness, was presented with the Peter K. O’Rourke Special Achievement Award in recognition of ADEPT’s teenSMART program, which was re-engineered and re-released in 2014. The new version of teenSMART includes several improvements, including enhancements that reflect the latest research on distracted driving. It also now includes a risk calculator teen drivers can use to better understand how certain behaviors compound risk while driving, and can measure observed improvement in crash reduction skills after teen drivers complete teenSMART.  Click here to see photos from the award ceremony.

“Receiving this award from the leading safety experts in our country is a tremendous honor,” said Dr. Harkness. “We deeply respect GHSA members’ commitment to make our roads and highways safer. GHSA has long been a leader in sharing proven approaches to reduce crashes. We know that car crashes are a treatable behavioral disorder. teenSMART addresses the top causes of teen driver crashes, and has been proven to significantly improve driving behaviors and crash avoidance skills, resulting in fewer crashes with less severe outcomes.”

GHSA is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Its members are appointed by Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. GHSA provides leadership and representation to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management, and promote best practices.

“The California Office of Traffic Safety is proud to partner with ADEPT Driver on improving highway safety through several California Strategic Highway Safety Plan challenge areas,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety, and California’s representative to GHSA. “We applaud GHSA for recognizing ADEPT Driver’s innovative approach to reducing crashes, and congratulate ADEPT on receiving this award from leaders in the national highway safety community.”

ADEPT Driver uses targeted neurocognitive training to develop and continually improve teenSMART. The program improves teen driver skills that directly relate to most teen-related auto crashes: visual awareness, speed and space management, safe gap analysis, hazard detection, risk assessment and lifestyle issues including distracted driving. Teens using teenSMART build their skills on a home computer with point-of-view driving simulations. Then they apply and further reinforce their crash reduction skills through in-car, behind-the-wheel training.

More than 30,000 teens in the U.S. used teenSMART in 2014, and more than 400,000 teens have used teenSMART training since 2000.  ADEPT continually evaluates the performance of their training.

A study of teen drivers that completed teenSMART in 2014 shows observed improvement in crash reduction skills after teenSMART training.  

  • Teen drivers showed 60.7% improvement in their ability to identify and remember objects in blind spots, mirrors, front and rear view zones;
  • Overall performance in correctly identifying hazards, not missing hazards or selecting non-hazards improved by 15.63%;
  • Users reduced their unsafe gap choices by 92.58%;
  • Overall performance in identifying clues that could require an immediate driver action improved by 57%; and
  • Overall performance in identifying changing risk in traffic improved by 32.12%.

ADEPT’s teenSMART is the only crash avoidance training program to demonstrate a 51% reduction in costs for bodily injury to others caused by teen drivers, a 29% reduction in costs for property damage to others caused by teen drivers, a 27% reduction in medical costs for occupants of cars driven by teens, a 27% reduction in damage cost to vehicles driven by teens, and an overall 30% reduction in crash frequency.

Because of teenSMART’s verified impact on reducing teen driver crash frequency, crash severity and improving profitability for insurers, many insurance companies partner with ADEPT and offer discounts for teen drivers that have completed teenSMART. These insurance partners enjoy a competitive advantage. Departments of Insurance in 49 states have approved insurance discounts for teens that complete the teenSMART program. Because of teenSMART’s verified impact on reducing crashes, it is the only program approved by the California Department of Insurance that qualifies for a 20% insurance rate reduction.