Drive Smart Virginia is the only statewide nonprofit dedicated to improving the safety of the roadways of Virginia. In 2011, 764 people were killed and 63,382 were injured in car crashes in Virginia. While many still feel that injuries and fatalities due to car crashes are random accidents, they are preventable in most cases. In fact, 94% of all crashes are caused by driver behavior, which means that if we raise awareness about the dangers of various driving behaviors, such as texting and driving, and are effective in changing behavior, we will likewise reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roadways. The American Academy of Science reported that “Injury is probably the most under recognized major public health problem facing the Nation today.”
Our goal at Drive Smart is to reach the driving public through campaigns focused on Distracted Driving, Texting and Driving, Occupant Protection, and on the importance of Sharing the Road with Bicyclists and Pedestrians or Tractor Trailers, among others. We deliver this messaging in a cost effective manner through building relationships with high schools, businesses, government and associations. We enlist the support of hundreds of partners to help us “get the word out.”
Over time, we have cultivated a talented creative team who work together to insure that our messaging will be impactful. Our campaign materials are free of charge and can be viewed at www.drivesmartva.org. Our website is a valuable resource for those – whether it be teens, parents, drivers or teachers – who are seeking educational information. We also provide presentations and vend at safety and health fairs free of charge.
What makes us unique? We recognize that the injuries and deaths due to car crashes are a health issue – and, with the onset of cellular phones, we are fast approaching a health epidemic.We have developed programming to address these and other driving related issues. And we deliver that messaging through established networks. For example, we developed a curriculum that the Virginia Department of Education has adopted as mandatory. More than 100,000 students each year are taught our curriculum and therefore learn the very special considerations that must be taken when operating in and around large trucks.
As with any nonprofit, we require funding to maintain the important services that we provide. We appreciate the time that you have taken to view this profile and hope that you will consider making a donation and helping us save lives EVERY DAY on the roadways of Virginia.
Considered the leader on Virginia highway safety issues, DSV’s focus areas include: promoting greater awareness of the dangers of driving while distracted and urging the public not to text while driving; assisting pedestrians, bicyclists and automobile drivers to “share the road;” helping our youngest teen drivers to drive more safely, and working with the commercial trucking industry to promote the safer driving oflarge tractor trailers. State leaders, including the Office of the Governor,have recognized DSV for its safety efforts and this year, the Governor awarded us the prestigious “Governor’s Motor Carrier Safety Award” for our work on sharing the road with teens and large commercial vehicles. Because of our stellar reputation and strong leadership in the state on highway safety, DSV receives many unsolicited grants – private and public – for projects to improve safety on Virginia’s highways.
As a small, non-profit organization with a large public safety mission, DSVmust strategically harness its limited resources– financial and staff – to consistently deliver high-quality public safety programming. To sharpen its focus and gear up for an even higher level of performance, DSV recently completed a three-year strategic planning process resulting in an exciting new strategic plan to guide our future direction. Part of the strategic plan calls for broadening the organization’s reach by expanding its leadership in the highway safety arena through multiple public-private partnerships. The intent is to leverage the expertise of like-minded organizations such as police departments, universities, cell phone companies, and others to achieve greater overall success in our joint safety goals. To that end, DRIVE SMART Virginia will soon launch a 20-plus partner coalition on distracted driving and convene a statewide forum to explore issues and recommend solutions related to reducing driver distractions.
Having lived in Virginia my entire life, I have watched the traffic volume explode and I cannot think of a nobler cause than to volunteer for an organization that is working to protect people’s lives like DRIVE SMART Virginia. Nearly every family I know has been affected by a car crash and almost everyone knows a person who has been injured or killed in a car crash. And the sad fact is: nearly every car crash is preventable.We’ve had great success improving the safety of our cars, our roads and our driving technologies but now we face the hardest task of all: getting drivers to change bad driving behaviors so everyone can benefit. While changing dangerous driving behaviors isn’t easy, DSV strongly believes that saving lives and reducing car crash injuries is worth every minute of the struggle.
Janet Brooking has served as the Executive Director of DRIVE SMART Virginia since May 2005. Prior to her involvement with DRIVE SMART Virginia, Janet spent ten years as State Campaign Director for the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign, through which she raised more than $28,000,000 for charity.
Janet received her Bachelor of Science degree from Mary Baldwin College and her Certificate in Philanthropy from the University of Richmond. She is also a graduate of the Virginia Collaborative Leaders Program through the Institute for Educational Leadership. She’s won several awards including a Medallion Award from the Public Relations Society of America for a video and an award from her peers at the Department of Human Resource Management for being most "Results Driven" in the agency. Janet's non-profit work has included being a docent at the Maymont Nature Center and serving on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Read Center. Janet currently serves as Vice-President of the Colonial Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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