Teens Can Now Prepare To Drive With CHOP’s New Virtual Program

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is launching a new young driver program this summer to better prepare teens to drive safely.

Studies show that over 95% of novice driver crashes are due to driving error. In 2018, 2,121 people were killed in crashes involving a teenage driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This summer, the Virtual Driving Assessment System will be available at select CHOP primary care facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey with $ 4 million in funding from the NJM Insurance Group. The plan is for the program to be fully implemented at most of the CHOP Care Network sites over the next four years.

“This program is the first of its kind in the world and will be an exciting opportunity for novice drivers to participate in interactive and engaging virtual driving and assessment for safe driving,” said Dr. Flaura Winston, Founder and Scientist Director of the Center for Research and Injury Prevention at CHOP.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading killer of teenagers in the United States. With NJM’s support in this vital project, we can advance the safety of novice adolescent drivers and help reshape pediatric care for our adolescent patients. “

The Virtual Driving Assessment Program is a collaboration between the CHOP Care Network, the Center for Injury Research and Prevention and the Possibilities Project, which is reinventing the way CHOP delivers primary care.

“This new collaboration takes medicine beyond its traditional walls to improve adolescent health with a focus on driving,” said Dr. Lisa Biggs, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of CHOP. “Our adolescent patients and their families look to us for all other areas of health and wellness. With the virtual driving assessment, we can help them navigate safely and successfully through early driving. “

“In a risk-free virtual driving environment, teen drivers will be able to learn how well they can handle the common dangers associated with accidents and receive personalized feedback in real time to improve the essential proactive and reactive skills that drive them. will help build confidence and drive more safely once they’re actually on the road, ”said Dr Alex Fiks, director of the Center for Clinical Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness at CHOP.

NJM Insurance Group is also a strong advocate for safe teen driving. The auto insurer has its own safe driving program for teens, which includes Share the Keys, an initiative to increase parent involvement. Share the Keys was designed based on research conducted by the CHOP Injury Research Center.

“Providing teenage drivers and their parents with the tools to make better choices while driving is extremely important,” said NJM’s director of consumer safety. Violet Marrero.

“This project will help transform the way young adults are prepared to drive and is a strong complement to the Share the Keys program and our efforts to help teenage drivers develop safe driving habits during their formative years,” said she added.

The virtual driving assessment system uses Ready-Assess software developed by Diagnostic Driving, Inc., a Philadelphia-based technology company, a spin-off of CHOP. The software has been validated with more than 40,000 driving license applicants in partnership with the Ohio Department of Public Safety and is now integrated into the state‘s driver education and training program.

The Virtual Driving Assessment Program is now available for teens at five CHOP Primary Care Centers in Pennsylvania: Flourtown, CHOP Philadelphia Campus, Chadds Ford, West Grove and Cobbs Creek. Also a site in Somers Point, NJ, too.

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