Be In The Zone


 A two-phase program addressing distracted driving among teenagers.


Driver inattention is a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes. The younger, inexperienced drivers (under 20 years-old) have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.

The Monroe Carell. Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is addressing distracted driving among teenagers through an innovative program that builds on a unique hospital -school partnership. The goal of the program is to offer a select group of teens an up-close look at what can happen as a result of unsafe driving practices and then encourage them to take the lessons learned in the hospital to their school and community by running a year-long distracted driving campaign. The campaign is a competition between various schools and prize money is awarded to the winning clubs. Program funding is courtesy of Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services and the Allstate Foundation


Through a unique hospital and school based collaboration, the "Be In The Zone" Program aims to prevent injury and save lives by increasing knowledge about the dangers of distracted driving, especially cell phone use and texting while driving.


"Be In The Zone" has two phases that are designed to work hand-in-hand. Schools do not have the option of participating in one phase, or the other.


Phase 1: Be In The Zone - Be Smart, Drive Smart

The hospital-based, interactive portion of the program allows teenagers to experience an up-close look at what would happen as a result of unsafe driving practices. During a mock simulation, students are given an up close view of what happens in the trauma room when a patient is rushed in from a motor vehicle crash.


High school student club leaders from local counties are chosen to participate in the Phase 1 program. During a day-long intensive program, students experience:

  • A trauma presentation on risky driving behavior.
  • "Injury" assignments from the rehabilitation team to manage throughout the day as if they had been in a motor vehicle crash.
  • A mock trauma simulation in the emergency department.
  • Hear from a "Champions of Change" speaker who has personally been affected by the consequences of distracted driving.

An interactive environment is used to:

  • Increase awareness among teens of motor vehicle safety and the consequences of unsafe driving habits.
  • Teach teens about the dangers of distracted driving, especially cell phone use and texting while driving.


Phase 2: Be In The Zone - Turn Off Your Phone

The school-based portion of the program encourages teenagers to take lessons they learned in the hospital and translate them in to a year-long, multi-faceted distracted driving campaign in their own school.


Groups of students from surrounding counties participate in the Phase 1, hospital-based interactive teen motor vehicle safety program (above). These students are then charged with developing and executing a multi-faceted distracted driving campaign at their schools and in their communities. They are provided with a detailed instruction guide and other resources from Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. The campaign is in the form of a competition consisting of Best Campaign, Best PSA, and Best T-shirt Design. Through the support of our funders, each competition is awarded with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.


For more information about Vanderbilt's Teen Motor Vehicle Safety Program, please visit the following link: Be In The Zone. If your school is interested in participating, please contact representatives at Vanderbilt by March 20th, 2017. Currently, only one high school per year is recruited from each of the following counties: Sumner, Wilson, Rutherford, Cheatham, Williamson, Robertson, Maury, Davidson, and Montgomery.


**This program requires the completion of both phases in proper succession in order for 800 Silver Award points to be granted.**