Battle of the Belts

A program aimed at increasing seat belt use among teens, by getting them directly involved through a friendly peer-to-peer communication and competition.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. In fact, teens have the highest fatality rate in motor vehicle crashes of any age group.

Teens also have the lowest seat belt use rates of all drivers. This rate is even lower when there are multiple teens in the vehicle. Further, often times additional safety issues arise when it comes to teens in cars, such as distracted driving. Our program offers flexibility to address these issues through creative programming and campaigns.

The Battle of the Belts program was started in an effort to change those statistics — to increase seat belt use and decrease driving distractions among teenagers. The program’s goal is to get teens directly involved in encouraging their peers to always wear seat belts. This goal is measured by pre and post surveys by independent surveyors at each school. Every year we see an increase of seat belt use at each participating school.

Student organizations like Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.) or student government associations create unique campaigns to encourage fellow students to wear their seat belts during every ride in a motor vehicle. The campaigns also focus on limiting driving distractions, which can include visual (eyes off the road), manual (hands off the wheel) or cognitive (mind off of driving) distractions. 

Annual awards in each participating county include:

  • Highest seat belt use
  • Most improved seat belt use
  • Best school campaign 
  • Best public service announcement
  • Best poster
  • Best essay

Participating High Schools

Pasco County: Anclote, Cypress Creek, Fivay, Gulf, Hudson, J.W. Mitchell, Land O'Lakes, Pasco, River Ridge, Sunlake, Wendall Krinn, Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass Ranch and Zephyrhills high schools

Student Resources

Safe Kids Worldwide has a number of online resources and information for teen drivers that students can use to create their projects.

Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition offers many Florida specific resources focused on teen drivers and their parents. 

Get Involved

Schools interested in participating in Battle of the Belts can email Renisa Martinez at [email protected].

When your school signs up to participate in Battle of the Belts, you’ll also be provided with additional information and resources. 

Battle of the Belts is a program of Safe Kids Florida Suncoast — led by Johns Hopkins All Children’s — a coalition of community organizations and partners committed to preventing injuries in children and adolescents.

Learn more about Safe Kids Florida Suncoast or find out how your organization can become a member of the coalition.

Contact Us

For more information about Battle of the Belts, please contact us.

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