Earlier this month, students from 65 high schools across the state of New Jersey participated in the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey’s 10th Annual U Got Brains Champions Schools Virtual Showcase.
The 2019-2020 school year marks 10 years of New Jersey high students working together on safe driving campaigns that make our roadways safer. The students developed peer-to-peer safe driving campaigns, even as schools moved to remote learning, and managed to complete their projects during these challenging times.
The showcase concluded with the announcement of three grand prize winners, including Lenape Regional High School. Each school received a $10,000 grand prize, donated by the program’s Founding Sponsor, NJM Insurance Group.
Car crashes are the number one cause of death and disability in teens in the United States. In New Jersey, a teen crashes every 11 minutes, one of those resulting in death per week. The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey’s U Got Brains Champion Schools Program is an opportunity for students and staff of New Jersey high schools to develop campaigns to address teen driving safety. The creative projects aim to raise awareness and make an impact on participant’s peers. Students utilize social media, videos, blogs and traditional media among other means.
“Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of traumatic brain injury in teens and young adults,” said Rita Steindlberger, President and CEO of the Alliance. “But we know that with help from our Champion Schools students and teacher advisors, we can continue to reduce these numbers.
The New Jersey State Police Fatal Accident Investigation Unit reports a significant decrease in teen passenger and driver fatalities since 2010. The program has been evaluated by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute and has shown to be effective in new drivers being more engaged in safer driver behaviors including driver and passenger seatbelt usage, driving focused, and following New Jersey Graduated Driver’s Licensing laws.
For more information and to see a full list of this year’s participants, visit jerseydrives.com/champion-schools-program.