This is National Teen Driver Safety Week. Established by Congress, the observation seeks to focus attention on the number one killer of teenagers in the United States – car accidents. New York State has added its own component with a program called “Speak Early, Speak Often about Teen Driving Safety,” sponsored by the New York Partnership for Teen Driving Safety, the state Department of Health and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
New York has seen a reduction in the number of car crash deaths and injuries among 16 and 17-year-old drivers. However, the consequences of accidents caused by young drivers are not limited to the teens themselves. According to state statistics, more than two-thirds of fatal accidents involving teen drivers killed someone other than the driver.
The primary cause of car crashes is driver inexperience. And the risk of an accident is greatest during the first few months after obtaining the coveted license. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 1,963 teen drivers died and an addition 187,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2010. Ten percent of fatal crashes involved drivers between the ages of 15 and 20.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,963 drivers between the ages of 15 to 20 died and an additional 187,000 young drivers were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2010. One out of 10 drivers involved in a fatal crash was someone between the ages of 15 and 20.
The state program provides talking points for parents and urges them to model correct driving actions – no texting, phoning, drinking or other distracting or illegal behavior. The program also encourages parents to develop a reward system – awarding their teen drivers privileges in return for safe driving in the year after receiving their licenses.
Source: silive.com, “Parent involvement encouraged as New York Teen Driver Safety Week starts Sunday,” by Anthony Nasti, Oct. 13, 2012.