The Gecko and the Girl Scouts

By on April 29, 2010 at 7:43 AM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

Guest Blogger: Nicki A., public affairs project coordinator, Maryland

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading killer of teenagers in the United States, accounting for 35 percent of all teenage deaths. Statistics like this are repeatedly discussed during the GEICO Girl Scout DASHboard patch program. The DASHboard program resulted from a collaboration between GEICO and the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital; it’s designed to teach teenage girls basic auto care and maintenance, the importance of minimizing distractions while driving, pedestrian safety tips, and much more to help them as young drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. It also includes an honor pledge to put what they’ve learned into practice.

We recently introduced the program in Atlanta, Ga., and will bring it to other cities, including San Diego, Calif., on May 22. The kick-offs include 100-150 Girl Scouts from that area and their troop leaders and parents. We love the enthusiasm in the girls’ eyes when our auto damage adjusters walk them through a tire change or show them how to check and replenish fluids, and the disbelief on their faces while listening to the startling statistics of teen driving injuries and fatalities that solidify the importance of this program.

Despite the weight of the topic, this is a very enjoyable day for the girls and adults. Local media often cover the events, which is exciting for the girls. At the end of the program, the girls are rewarded with a roadside safety kit from GEICO that includes flares, safety gloves, a flashlight and other car safety equipment. We look forward to many more years of partnering with Girl Scouts of America and educating young women on the importance of safety in and around cars.