A slide from the SmartDrive assembly highlights the staggering number of teens who die in car crashes.

Brynna B. '20

SADD Students Promote Safe Driving with SmartDrive Assembly

March 11, 2019

Several days ago, a classmate burst into class, complaining how wrecked her car was—she’d just gotten into an accident because a car had cut in front of her without using their signal. Another classmate piped up. “That’s called an aggressive driver,” she said. She always thinks about that when she drives now, thanks to the SmartDrive assembly the entire student body attended on Feb. 27.

The SmartDrive assembly was sponsored by the Students Against Destructive Driving club, more commonly known as SADD. SADD’s members share a common goal: decrease (or even eliminate) unsafe driving among Padua students. While your mind may jump to drunk driving, their focus extends far beyond that.

Fallon Grace, a junior who has been a member of SADD all through her time at Padua, explains that it was something as small as a seatbelt that got her to join the club freshman year.

“I remember I was driving somewhere with a friend, and she decided not to wear her seatbelt,” she said. “And I sort of freaked out, it hit me that she could so easily die doing that. I started thinking about the lack of awareness a lot of kids have for their safety.”

I sort of freaked out, it hit me that she could so easily die doing that. I started thinking about the lack of awareness a lot of kids have for their safety.”

— Fallon Grace, '20

Grace was one of the SADD members involved in organizing the SmartDrive assembly, and introduced the speaker onstage.

“I think it’s important because… the speaker will always share some scary statistics, which can wake people up a lot more than if a teacher or someone just tells them to drive safely,” Grace said. “It’s very common for teens to get overconfident and drive unsafely.”

In order to fund this “key step” of safe driving education, SADD sells candy grams during the Christmas and Valentine’s Day seasons.

“It’s kind of fun, actually,” said Grace. “Plus, we raise so much money that we can fund more than just the SmartDrive assembly.”

Molly Grant, a freshman, also helped introduce the SmartDrive speaker, and participated in the selling of candy grams.

“I joined SADD to help be a part of promoting safe driving in a fun way,” she said. “Selling candy grams and stuff is great, but what’s important is what we’re funding… with one wrong move, they [students] could potentially change their lives or the lives of someone else forever.” 

More personally, she hopes that the lessons students learn from SADD and the SmartDrive assembly could help keep people like her little sister safe.

“When my younger sister gets into the car with an older student, I want to make sure she’s in no harm,” Grant said. “I want her to always come home safe.”

She hopes the assembly she was involved in organizing will help achieve her goal. Although students will not remember all that was said during that assembly, perhaps enough will retain the information that will keep them safe on the road. Just like the student who always notices aggressive drivers, junior Madalyn Lambe now thinks more about the possible consequences of her driving.

“I learned that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, which seems kind of crazy considering that they do so much to prevent drunk driving,” she said. “And even crazier when I think about how often I drive to school tired, or come home late from an event when I should probably already be in bed.”

Grace is encouraged by this feedback. “By teaching these tips, I think we really can decrease the amount of unsafe driving in Delaware,” she said. “Who knows? Maybe we’ve saved some lives!”

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