Sec. Gene Conti announced today that National Teen Driver Safety Week will take place next week, beginning Oct. 18 and ending Oct. 24.
In 2007, Congress passed a joint resolution making the third week in October National Teen Driver Safety Week. Its mission is to bring teens, community leaders, educators, and parents together to take action and increase awareness to help prevent teen crashes, the leading cause of death for American teens.
“We are losing far too many young drivers in North Carolina to traffic-related crashes,” said Conti. “I urge teachers, parents and communities to seek out ways to educate teens on the importance of safe driving, such as the ‘R U BUCKLED’ program, which is administered by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.”
In 2008, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there were:
• 46,492 traffic crashes involving 15-to-19 year olds;
• 81 fatalities;
• More than 8,000 injuries;
• 54 percent of the drivers were not wearing seat belts;
• And drinking was involved in more than 1,200 of these crashes.
The majority of teen crashes occur between the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The three most common contributing factors of teen crashes include, failure to yield, failure to reduce speed and driving too fast for conditions. In 68 percent of teen crashes, the teen driver was named at fault for the crash.