Gail Schenbaum Lawton
Co-Founder and President
In One Instant
Car crashes continue to be the No. 1 killer of American teens, but the Los Angeles-based In One Instant Teen Safe Driving Program continues to give more and more students the motivation and skills to save lives by preventing distracted and impaired driving.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and the nonprofit In One Instant are joining together to offer this award-winning program free of charge this year to public high schools in her Third District, which stretches from the ocean to Los Feliz and from Venice to San Fernando.
The waiver of the $495 licensing fee for each school has been made possible through a special grant by Supervisor Kuehl, matched by In One Instant private donor funds.
“The school program is powerful, research-based, and peer-driven, and there is no doubt it is saving lives,” Supervisor Kuehl said. “That’s why District 3, with nearly 2 million people, is partnering with In One Instant to bring this impactful program to our high schools.”
Prior to Supervisor Kuehl’s grant, numerous high school students in the Los Angeles area participated in the program. “To this day, the emotional impact of In One Instant has prevented me from making stupid choices, not only behind the wheel, but in every aspect of my life,” said one teen.
Merle Price, L.A. Unified’s former deputy superintendent for instruction, serves on the In One Instant Advisory Board. He authored a letter urging school leaders to bring the program to their campuses.
In One Instant makes distracted, reckless, and impaired driving personal and relevant to teens. By engaging them on an emotional level, this peer-driven program teaches high school students how to stay safe behind the wheel and influence their friends and family to do the same. The peer-driven video assembly can be implemented in less than an hour, with follow-up tools that can be expanded to an entire unit.
Through In One Instant, teens learn how to:
- Stand up to peer pressure.
- Refrain from driving when impaired or driving with impaired drivers.
- Utilize a designated driver.
- Refrain from cell phone use/texting while driving.
- Serve as ambassadors to their peers.
One school that has already benefited greatly from In One Instant is Palisades Charter High School, which has put the program on twice over the past few years.
“This program is highly impactful, easy to implement and extremely effective,” said Principal Pam Magee. “In One Instant saves lives. I hope this program finds its way to other high schools, knowing that distracted driving is the #1 killer of American teens,” she added.
In One Instant was founded by myself and other Los Angeles mother after our teenage children lost friends to alcohol and distracted driving collisions. We conducted extensive research and testing to create a two-pronged approach, which resonates with teens on an emotional level and fosters change from within.
The 35-minute video assembly is the first prong. The winner of three international Telly Awards, it provides a visceral experience where teens empathize with the stories and characters. In a safe environment, teens learn about the big impact that little choices can make. This acts as a springboard for behavioral change. In One Instant also provides a guide with simple steps so school administrators can coordinate the video assembly.
The flexible and comprehensive follow-up activities make up the second prong, through which teens come to value their community, as they realize how their choices affect others.
These activities are found in In One Instant’s other three written guides for teens, educators and parents, encouraging them to tackle the problem together. The Educator’s Curriculum contains activities that are all Common Core ready, and the Teen Guide includes a multitude of opportunities to gain Community Service credits.
In One Instant has conducted anonymous pre- and post-program surveys among its many participants. The surveys show that 65 percent more teens state they won’t text and drive after experiencing In One Instant, and 80% more students commit to not driving while intoxicated.
In One Instant is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that is part of the Community Partners umbrella organization. It has been recognized by U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, as well as the California Senate and Assembly and the Los Angeles City Council. It is supported by the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Police and Fire departments, Los Angeles County Medical Association, UCLA School of Public Health, USC Center for Trauma, Violence & Injury Prevention, and the National Organization for Youth Safety.
For more information or to implement In One Instant in your high school, call 310-804-0181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.