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Paris High School Teens Take Home Honors

Teens in the Driver Seat Rewards Students for Safe Driving Messaging

Teen safe driving advocates across the country are artistically using their voices to craft safe driving messages in hopes of changing the narrative on the number of teen-driver crashes. Unfortunately, car crashes continue to be a leading cause of death for teens 15 to 18 years old in the United States, accounting for nearly one-third of all teen deaths each year. State Farm® and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) sponsor the 15th Annual Driving the Message contest. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI’s) Teens in the Driver Seat® (TDS) program coordinates and challenges teens to get creative to convey the importance of practicing safe driving habits. Each year, students across the nation submit posters and videos to compete for cash prizes for their schools ranging from $250 to $1,000.

A team of students from Paris High School received Third-Place honors in this year’s video category, earning them $250. Team members included Brenna Mills, Reid England, Brisa Azcue, Daisy Rodriguez, Warren Green, Preston Clark, Brayden Sheppard, Joseph Lassetter, Kerrius Williams, Christian Leon, Jaidyn Fuller, Miguel Rivera, and Hunter Grimes.

“Year after year, the passion of these students only helps magnify the enthusiasm we have for better-educated communities and safer road users,” says local State Farm agent Britney Thrash. “Now in its 15th year, we couldn’t be prouder of our continued sponsorship of the annual Driving the Message Contest, which continues to be an impactful way for teens across the nation to be creative and communicate safe driving behaviors to their peers.”

Besides recognition in the contest, they use the entries throughout the TDS program for outreach and education to influence teens to improve unsafe behaviors that contribute to car crashes in their communities. “Promoting and championing a safety culture is one of TxDOT’s agency-wide goals and objectives,” notes Director Michael Chacon of TxDOT’s Traffic Safety Division. “This contest is a great example of how empowering others to communicate with their peers can help us work towards that vision.” “This year’s contest included teen entries representing nine states across the United States,” says Russell Henk, TDS founder, and manager of TTI’s Youth Transportation Safety Program. “With entries as far west as California to as east as New York, the Driving the Message Contest is as far-reaching as we’ve ever seen it. It’s teens like the winners we’re celebrating today who’ve expanded our program’s reach and will help carry the program’s success forward.”

To see all winners and designs, visit

About Teens in the Driver Seat®

Started in 2002, Teens in the Driver Seat is a peer-to-peer safety program that educates teens about the top five dangers of teen driving to help teens develop safer driving habits and avoid crashes. TDS is a recognized peer-to-peer teen traffic safety program by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thanks to funding from multiple sponsors, including TxDOT and State Farm, program

resources and technical support are available at no cost to schools. |

About the Texas A&M Transportation Institute:

They recognize it as one of the premier higher education-affiliated transportation research agencies globally. TTI’s research and development program has made significant breakthroughs across all facets of the transportation system. TTI research is widely known as an excellent value with a proven impact on saving lives, time, and resources. TTI researchers help prepare students for transportation careers in the laboratory and the classroom. |

About the Texas Department of Transportation:

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and supporting aviation, maritime, rail, and public transportation across the state. Connecting you with Texas. |

About State Farm® :

For 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been and continues to be to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the enormous autos and home insurance providers in the United States. Its more than 19,400 agents and approximately 53,400 employees serve over 87 million policies and accounts, including auto, fire, life, health, commercial policies, and financial services accounts. In addition, commercial auto insurance and coverage for renters, business owners, boats, and motorcycles are available.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked 39 on the 2021 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit​