U in the Driver Seat: A peer-to-peer education program for college students dedicated to reducing their number one killer – car crashes.
Here are some stats you may not know:
- There is a higher total number of fatalities for 20-24-year-olds (college) than 10-19-year-old (jr. high/high school) group: 4,283 vs. 3,259 (NHTSA FARS, 2021)
Motor Vehicle Occupant deaths are most significant for persons 20-24.
Source: NHTSA FARS 2021
Who We Are
U in the Driver Seat (UDS) was created by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) in an effort to reduce the number of impaired driving injuries and deaths of college-aged students. This peer-to-peer initiative was inspired by the highly successful Teens in the Driver Seat© which began over 10 years ago, aimed at reducing the large number of teen deaths due to car crashes.
The UDS program seeks to give college students the tools and information in order to promote peer-to-peer education regarding the dangers of driving which often includes driving under the influence. Each program is different as each campus is unique regarding students, cultures, environments, etc.
Additionally, UDS does not follow any set curriculum in order to enable students to personalize the program to their own distinct collegiate cultures and environments.
Despite the diversity of our program, our ultimate goal is the same – reduce the number of college students involved in car crashes.
With the support of the Texas Department of Transportation and the Houston-Galveston Area Council, TTI expanded the program statewide. Recently, with support from Union Pacific and Target Zero, TTI has started expanding the program outside of Texas.
How the program works
The U in the Driver Seat program is provided to selected colleges and universities at no extra cost to the campus. U in the Driver Seat can be utilized alongside an existing college group/program or stand as its own student organization. Regardless, each campus must have a designated UDS non-student sponsor to assist with the deployment of the program on the campus.
Each campus is provided with educational resources to assist in activities and educate fellow students on the dangers of driving impaired. These resources are meant to provide beginning, consistent messaging so students can grow the program within their campus. Students help shape the program and are responsible for implementing it. TTI provides science, guidance, and base project resources.
If your campus is interested in starting a U in the Driver Seat program at your college, please contact us for more information. Program resources are limited.
Lisa Minjares-Kyle, M.S., MCHES
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
(210) 321-1214 | [email protected]
Updated October 2023