This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week. For the 13th consecutive year, the National Highway Traffic Administration is organizing a one week campaign to raise awareness and seek solutions to prevent and reduce teen drivers fatalities and injuries.
Car accidents are the leading cause of fatality for teenagers in New York and in the US
In New York State, every day, 10 people are injured or killed in an accident caused by a teen driver. Unsafe speed accounts for 21% of these accidents, driver inexperience for 8%, failure to yield right of way for 6%, driver distraction for 4% and alcohol for 1%. Male teen drivers have a higher risk of causing an accident than female teen drivers. Drivers with only a few months of experience driving alone are also at high risk of causing a crash as well as teen driver driving with other teens on board. In New York State, teen drivers are at fault in almost 80% of the car crashes resulting in incapacitating and fatal injuries.
In order to reduce these injuries and fatalities, in 2003, New York State implemented the Graduate Drivers Licensing (GDL) Laws which grant privileges to new drivers in stages. Over the next 10 following years, the number of hospitalizations related to teen drivers crashes declined by 73%. Changes were made to the law in 2010 to restrict the number of passengers in a vehicle operated by a junior license holder. Additionally the number of supervised driving hours needed and the length of time a junior permit must be held were increased. However despite all these measures, teen driving remains a main cause of fatalities.
Studies have also demonstrated that parents involvement can help prevent teen car accidents
Parents can help in reducing teen crashes by
- Being aware of the GDL restrictions and make sure that their chidden are respecting them
- Engaging in conversations about the danger of driving under alcohol and drug influence
- Being a role model by always driving safely
- Taking time to take their teens on practice sessions
More information about the campaign can be found here