Monday, October 18, 2010

This Week is Teen Driver Safety Week

This week, Oct. 17-23, is Teen Driver Safety Week.

According to a Consumer Reports article, "car crashes are the number one killer of teens, but these accidents are avoidable and preventable. In 2009, over 8,800 teenagers ages 15-19 died as a result of motor vehicle crashes, based on data from the Fatality Analysis Report System (FARS). That figure is down from over 9,900 teen vehicular deaths in 2008, but there is still more work to be done."
"While there has been an increased focus this year on distractions for all drivers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) strategy for preventing teen deaths on the road includes other areas of concern. Access to alcohol, graduated driver licensing, seat belt use, and parental responsibility are the four core areas NHTSA feels improvements can be made in both legislation and education.
"Teens are at a higher risk of death in an alcohol-related crash. In 2008, 28 percent of 16-20 year-old drivers fatally injured in crashes had blood-alcohol content over the legal limit. Reducing access to alcohol through stricter enforcement is one way to help combat the problem.

"Seat belt use is lowest among teens and young adults, and the majority of teens involved in fatal crashes are unbuckled. Higher enforcement of seat belt laws is needed to get the message out.

"Young, novice drivers are more likely to die in crashes due to their inexperience and immaturity behind the wheel. Graduated licensing programs have helped to ease teens into driving through a step-by-step process to full licensure. These programs have been proven successful in reducing crashes among young drivers, but some state programs are stronger than others.

"Lastly, it is the parent’s responsibility to teach their teen good driving habits, monitor their behavior, and set rules on alcohol, cell phone use, and passengers."

Pay attention parents! Read that last paragraph real well. Let's set a good example on Loudoun County's roadways!

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