Our Drive Smart initiative was designed to increase awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and direct parents, providers and educators to resources and tools to communicate and set expectations about distracted driving. We aim to improve driver behavior with respect to dealing with distraction and provide tools to bridge communication between young drivers and their parents, providers, and educators on strategies for change.

Our goals are to help:

  • teens recognize and prevent the dangers of distracted driving
  • parents model safe driving behavior
  • passengers in the vehicle limit distractions so that all can arrive safely



C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program

Every year, hundreds of children are admitted to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital as a result of an injury. Another 6,500 are treated for an injury in our Pediatric Emergency Department. Injuries from trauma—ranging from schoolyard falls to high-speed automobile collisions—are the leading cause of death and disability in children. The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, an American College of Surgeons and State of Michigan verified Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, cares for the most seriously injured children. To reduce the incidence of preventable childhood injuries, an array of injury prevention outreach programs have been designed to educate children, parents and community members. Our work involves:

  • Educating children and their caregivers
  • Advocating for effective policies and laws
  • Providing resources and reduced cost safety products to low-income families
  • Conducting research
  • Creating safe environments

These efforts continually evolve to meet the changing trends of traumatic injuries and the needs of our community’s children. Every year, the Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program identifies trends in the types of pediatric traumas we treat to determine which initiatives would benefit from specific programming or increased priority.


Partnering with Research Organizations

Our program development team includes researchers from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and University of Michigan Injury Center. They bring expertise in young driver safety from years of research with teens and parents that includes information from surveys, focus groups, crash and driving records, and driving data from simulators and in-vehicle recorders.

Young Driver Behavior and Injury Prevention Group (YDBIP)

UMTRI is dedicated to achieving safe and sustainable transportation for a global society. With a multimillion-dollar research program, broad faculty expertise, and multiple collaborators, the Institute is committed to interdisciplinary research that will ultimately increase driving safety and further transportation systems knowledge. UMTRI’s YDBIP researchers combine expertise in psychology, public health, and injury prevention to learn more about young driver crash risk and to develop programs to improve the safety of young drivers. They also work closely with parents to create and test resources and programs to help parents improve the safety of their young drivers. The YDBIP group collaborates with many academic partners as well as state and federal agencies and actively promotes injury prevention research and teaching at the University of Michigan and beyond.


The University of Michigan Injury Center is one of nine CDC-funded Injury Control Research Centers focused on preventing injury through research, education, and outreach.  With more than 200 members from 20+ institutions and faculty leadership from more than 14 departments at three academic institutions, the Center brings together many disciplines to focus on injury prevention.  The Center presents educational activities throughout the year, in addition to funding and pursuing research on high-priority injury topics including transportation safety (especially teen drivers), violence interventions, prescription drug misuse, concussion and suicide.


Community Partnerships and Outreach

Through the Drive Smart Program, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital partners with community law enforcement and other local organizations to help teen drivers and their families understand and recognize the dangers of distracted driving. Community volunteers support our program through involvement at a variety of local events at community fairs, schools, driver’s education classes, and other venues. We are excited about incorporating these volunteers into our Drive Smart program outreach. For more information about the program or to connect with us about partnering with your organization for an event, please contact Mott-drivesmart@med.umich.edu.