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Seagoville Police Department Fights No. 1 Cause of Teen Deaths: Car CrashesEnforcing traffic laws for teen drivers and passengers during National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 17 – 23
Seagoville, Texas – Want to know the greatest threat to today’s youth? Look no further than your driveway. Car crashes are the number one cause of death among teens, killing 4,054 teenagers ages 13 to 19 in 2008. Tons of metal — combined with inexperience and distractions — can be deadly. Now, studies have confirmed a connection between teen drivers transporting peer passengers and an increased risk of fatal crashes. In fact, adding just one passenger doubles the fatal crash risk for a teen driver. And although the risk of a crash increases with each additional passenger, recent research shows that few teens recognize the impact passengers have on driver safety.
To combat this trend, Seagoville PD is promoting safe teen driver and passenger behaviors during National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 17 to 23. Throughout the campaign, Seagoville PD will continue to enforce traffic laws for everyone, especially teens.
“Teens can help friends who are driving by keeping distractions to a minimum, helping with directions when asked and wearing seatbelts,” said Officer Kenny Dickerson. “We encourage teens to use positive peer pressure to persuade each other to buckle up, given that teens have the lowest seat belt use of any age group. In Texas from 2003 to 2008, 52% percent of teens killed in car crashes were not buckled up,” he said.
Other research has shown that simple “rookie” mistakes or driver error attributed to inexperience are a major cause of teen crashes.This year’s National Teen Driver Safety Week is addressing the risk of teens driving teens. The “Ride Like A Friend” campaign is being rolled out in schools nationwide to encourage passenger behaviors that can reduce the crash risk for teens. More information for parents is available at www.raisingsafedrivers.com. Teens can find tips on how to “Ride Like A Friend” at www.ridelikeafriend.com
About National Teen Driver Safety WeekNational Teen Driver Safety Week was established by Congress in 2007 in response to the more than 5,000 teens that died in teen-driver related crashes on U.S. roads in 2006. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Companies® played a key role in the designation and continue to support ongoing organizational efforts. Outreach efforts, such as National Teen Driver Safety Week campaigns, are needed so that families going through the learning-to-drive process are supported by their communities. It will take the will and initiative of teens, families, schools, law enforcement officers, and policymakers to successfully address the leading cause of death and acquired disability for US teens.