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Self-Guided Curriculum Helps Teens Ride into a Safer Future

August 11, 2020

Partnered with Waymo, SADD & MADD

Waymo car driving on freeway with cars behind it

Driving can be risky for anyone, but teens face a unique set of issues when they get behind the wheel.  Across the U.S., car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. Speed is a major factor in crashes involving young drivers, and many teens still aren’t buckling up. 

All these risks are the focus of a new self-guided curriculum co-created by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Waymo, and Let’s Talk Self-Driving. The virtual curriculum, Ride Into a Safer Future: A Self-Driving Curriculum, gives teenagers tools to identify road risks and learn how fully self-driving technology could present a safety solution.

The curriculum is designed to empower teens to educate others and make informed decisions to protect their own lives.

“SADD and Waymo are helping teens and young adults make safe choices for their future,” said SADD’s National President, Isabelle Boullier.

“We know that car crashes continue to be a leading cause of death and injury for young people, and autonomous vehicle technology is another tool to help change those stats. This curriculum will help our members embrace this technology and prepare them for a tomorrow where it is made available on an even bigger scale.”

- Isabelle Boullier, SADD National President

With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping many students at home through the start of the school year, Ride Into a Safer Future is a free online resource that teachers and students can integrate into their distance learning studies.

Designed to engage students and prompt safer driving behaviors, the self-guided curriculum takes about 45 minutes to complete and focuses on the top six facts teens need to know about road safety and actions they can take to reduce risk. It also explores how fully self-driving vehicle technology, like what Waymo is developing, has the potential to reduce the number of vehicle crashes and fatalities on our roads.

“Autonomous technology holds the promise of preventing the senseless tragedies caused by drunk and drugged driving, the leading killer on America’s roads,” said Arizona State Executive Director for MADD, Jason Frazier. “MADD looks forward to continuing our valuable partnership with Waymo to educate the public and work toward a future of No More Victims.”

While people under 18 must be accompanied by an adult to ride in a Waymo vehicle, the curriculum invites teens to take a “virtual journey” with Waymo to learn about self-driving and teen driver safety. Along the way, they can test their knowledge, take fun quizzes, and learn important road safety information to later share with friends and family.

Ride Into a Safer Future is designed to be used in an eLearning environment, but it’s also appropriate for in-person instruction.

Let’s Ride Into a Safer Future now.