National Safety Council and General Motors Foundation Recognize NJM for Program That Promotes Safe Driving in New Jersey Teens
October 14, 2016
WEST TRENTON, NJ — In recognition of its driver education programs and commitment to teen driver safety, NJM Insurance Company, one of New Jersey's leading automobile insurers, was awarded the National Safety Council's Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award at an October 15th recognition ceremony held as part of the 2016 National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo in Anaheim, California.
Each year since 2009, the NSC and General Motors Foundation present the coveted award to individuals or organizations that work to improve teen driver safety and save lives through dedicated community outreach and innovative educational programming. Winners are chosen based on evidence and outcomes that demonstrate a measurable shift in behaviors or attitudes which result in a reduction of teen crashes. The NSC acknowledges that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, but that many crashes are preventable.
"NJM has demonstrated a long term commitment to reducing teen driver crashes by creating, supporting and promoting safety programs that save lives and prevent injuries on our roads," said Kathy Bernstein, NSC's Senior Manager of Teen Driving Initiatives. "We are excited to recognize their contributions that are helping to keep our most vulnerable drivers safe."
"We are honored to have been selected by the National Safety Council for this award and recognized for our commitment to safety and service to our policyholders and the communities we are privileged to serve," said Bernie Flynn, President and CEO of NJM. "Our safety program has reached more than 65,000 students and with the national increase in distracted driving incidents, educating young drivers and providing them with tools that will help keep them safe is now more important than ever."
NJM was nominated for the award by Stone Harbor, NJ residents Dan and Pat Fitzpatrick, parents of the late Ryan Fitzpatrick, a Lenape Regional School District student who died in a single vehicle accident on April 26, 2009. Ryan was one of six students from that district killed behind the wheel between 2007 and 2010. In 2009, the Fitzpatricks researched tools that would help support the district’s driver education curriculum and provide a better learning experience for soon-to-be teen drivers in the area. This research led to a fundraising campaign to raise money for driving simulators. NJM became the first company to join that effort through the donation of a state-of-the- art virtual driving simulator.
U Got Brains Champion Schools Program
Building upon this, NJM became the founding sponsor of the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey’s annual U Got Brains Champion Schools Awards Program, which challenges New Jersey high schools to produce the most creative community-based driving safety programs. Three Grand Prize winning high schools each receive a state-of-the-art driving simulator from NJM, representing an annual investment of more than $40,000 in the safety of young drivers and drivers in training across New Jersey. Since the program’s inception in 2011, more than 125 high schools in all 21 New Jersey counties have participated, reaching more than 250,000 students. In 2013, in honor of NJM’s 100th anniversary, the Company donated 55 simulators, one to each of the schools that participated in the program that year. To date, 67 simulators have been installed in high schools throughout the Garden State.
NJM’s Teen Driver Safety Program
Expanding its efforts even further in the hope of reaching more students, NJM then launched its classroom-based Teen Driver Safety Program in 2013. This program, facilitated by two NJM Safety Officers, includes an interactive educational presentation on safe driving skills for new drivers and is offered at no cost to New Jersey high schools. NJM’s Officers cover topics that include distracted, impaired and fatigued driving and New Jersey’s Graduated Driver License laws as part of the program. Now in its fourth year, the program has been presented to almost 200 high schools across New Jersey. And the program has been successful in positively altering student attitudes and perceptions about safety behind-the-wheel.
For more information on NJM’s Teen Driver Safety Program, or to schedule a presentation at your local high school, please visit NJM.com/Teen-Driver-Safety.
About NJM Insurance Company
NJM Insurance Company is the Garden State’s second largest writer of personal auto insurance, covering more than 800,000 vehicles. Founded more than a century ago, the Company has earned a national reputation for outstanding customer service and the payment of dividends to policyholders, who have shared in more than $5.8 billion since they were first issued in 1918. NJM is also the state’s largest workers’ compensation carrier and a leading writer of homeowners and commercial auto insurance. The Company’s commitment to safety can be traced back to its earliest days, with a focus that has expanded from improving conditions in the manufacturing facilities that were once so prevalent in New Jersey, to keeping drivers safe on our roadways.