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Safety Fair Kicks Off National Teen Driver Safety Week

Safety_Teen Driver Safety WeekNTTA is helping AAA Texas kick off National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct. 18-24) by participating in a Teen Driver Safety Fair from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Lively Point Youth Center in Irving. NTTA will offer safe driving tips and give guests an opportunity to try out drunk driving simulation goggles, take the NTTA Red Thumb pledge to never text and drive, learn about NTTA safety initiatives and register to receive newsletters and alerts from NTTA. Attendees also will have a chance to win NTTA roadside emergency safety kits.

Learning to drive is an exciting time for teens, and a driver’s license is a giant step toward independence. But when a teen driver is getting ready to hit the road, a parent’s job isn’t done. In fact, talking to your kids about the dangers associated with driving is one of the best things you can do to keep them safe.

According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of death for teenagers ages 15-19. In fact, in 2013 there were 2,614 teenaged* passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes, and an estimated 130,000 were injured. Yet, a recent NHTSA survey shows that only 25 percent of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components of driving.

The NHTSA’s “5 to Drive” campaign encourages parents to keep the discussion going by addressing one safety topic each day during national teen driver safety week.

The “5 to Drive” campaign topics are:

No Alcohol: Teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes compared to drivers in all other age groups, even though they’re too young to legally buy, possess or consume alcohol. Nationally in 2013, almost one out of five (19 percent) of the teen drivers (15 to 19 years old) involved in fatal crashes had been drinking.

Always Buckle-up: Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways for teens to stay safe in a vehicle, and the numbers speak volumes. In 2013, 64 percent of all the young passengers^ of teen drivers† who died in motor vehicle crashes weren’t restrained. When the teen driver was also unrestrained, the number of all passengers unrestrained increased to almost 90 percent.

No Cell Phones: Texting or dialing while driving is more than just risky — it’s deadly. In 2013, among drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 6 percent were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use. In 2013, 156 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted teen driver.

No Speeding: In 2013, almost one-third (29 percent) of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding.

No Extra Passengers: Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in a car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers. In Texas, drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from having more than one passenger younger than 21 who is not a family member.

For more information about Teen Driver Safety Week and the “5 to Drive” campaign visit, www.safercar.gov/parents.

* defined as 15 to 19 years old
^ defined as 13 to 19 years old
† defined as 15 to 19 years old