Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and The Allstate Foundation Unite to End Teen Distracted Driving

August 16, 2016

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has received a $35,000 grant from The Allstate Foundation to support its “FOCUS – Action Against Distraction” Driver Simulator Program. This is the eighth year in a row that both organizations have united to end distracted driving by teenagers in the Pittsburgh area.

The FOCUS program was launched in 2008 to educate teenage drivers on the consequences of distracted and impaired driving. The simulator travels to local high schools, using cutting-edge gaming technology to showcase real life scenarios.

“The FOCUS program reaches 40 schools annually and allows young people to see first-hand the effect of distracted or impaired driving in a safe setting,” said Christine Vitale, RN, MSN, manager, Injury Prevention at Children’s Hospital. “Teens are often shocked by the results of the simulation and many vow to make significant positive changes in their driving behavior.”

Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. The most current statistics show 2,163 teens were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2013 and over 240,000 were treated in emergency rooms.

“The Allstate Foundation has been leading the conversation around teen safe driving since 1952,” said Alyssa Ryan, spokesperson for Allstate. “We are committed to supporting community initiatives like Children’s FOCUS program in order to end distracted driving – a preventable cause of collisions – and ultimately reduce roadway fatalities.”

In order to accomplish this, The Allstate Foundation supports a number of teen safe driving initiatives in Allegheny County. In addition to supporting Children’s FOCUS program, foundation funds also provide area schools with the resources to develop their own teen driver programs, supports the county’s annual safe teen driver summit, and sponsors numerous teen driver competitions.

“The Allstate Foundation’s continued support allows us to move forward with our teen driving initiatives in Allegheny and surrounding counties, reaching thousands of young people and empowering them to educate their peers and partner with community leaders to prevent motor vehicle crashes and deaths,” added Vitale.

Over the last eight years, The Allstate Foundation has donated $280,000 in support of the FOCUS program at Children’s. Schools interested in partnering in this program should contact Chris Vitale at 412-692-8229.

For more information about teen driver safety and simulator program at Children’s Hospital, please visit

About Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Regionally, nationally, and globally, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is a leader in the treatment of childhood conditions and diseases, a pioneer in the development of new and improved therapies, and a top educator of the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists. Children’s Hospital has fulfilled this mission since its founding in 1890. Children’s is named consistently to several elite lists of pediatric hospitals, including ranking 10th among children’s hospitals and schools of medicine (FY 2015) in funding for pediatric research provided by the National Institutes of Health, and is one of 11 pediatric hospitals in the United States named to U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of America’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” for 2016-2017.

About The Allstate Foundation

Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, empowering youth and celebrating the charitable community involvement of Allstate agency owners and employees, The Allstate Foundation works to bring out the good in people’s lives. For more information, visit