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Teen Driver Safety Fair to Kick Off National Teen Driver Safety Week

Learning to drive is a very 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 of driving is one of the best things you can do to keep them safe.

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According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of death for teenagers ages 14-18. In 2012 alone, more than 2,000 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes, and 859 died. The overwhelming majority (75 percent) of serious teen driver crashes are due to “critical errors,” with the three common errors accounting for nearly half of these crashes:

  • Failure to scan for and respond to hazards
  • Going too fast for road conditions (e.g., driving too fast to respond to others or to successfully navigate a curve)
  • Being distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle

In an effort to bring awareness to teen driver safety, NTTA is helping AAA Texas kick off National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct. 19-25) by participating in their Teen Driver Safety Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, 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, pledge never to text and drive, learn about NTTA safety initiatives and register to receive newsletters and alerts from the NTTA. Attendees also will have a chance to win an NTTA roadside emergency safety kit.

A recent NHTSA survey shows that only 25 percent of parents have talked to their teens about safe driving. Experts add, even if you think your teen doesn’t listen to you talk about being a safe driver, they do. The NHTSA “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:

1. No Drinking and Driving. Compared with other age groups, teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes, even though they’re too young to legally buy or possess alcohol.

2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back.  In 2012, of all the young (15- to 20-year-old) passenger vehicle drivers killed in crashes, more than half (55 percent) were not wearing seat belts.

3. Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. In 2012, among drivers 15 to 19 years old who were distracted in fatal crashes, nearly one in five were distracted by their phones. This age group had the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use.

4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. In 2012, speeding was a factor in almost half (48 percent) of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers. By comparison, 30 percent of all fatal crashes that year involved speeding.

5. No More Than One Passenger at a Time. 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.

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