The Bellmore-Merrick Community Parent Center in cooperation with the Nassau County Traffic Safety Board, Nassau Pediatric Society and the Long Island Chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics will join thousands of youth safety organization across the U.S. during the sixth annual month of focus on youth traffic safety, Global Youth Traffic Safety Month.
This campaign addresses the number one cause of death for youth in our country – motor vehicle crashes. Here are some statistics on teen motor vehicle crashes:
- Per year, approximately 5,000 teens are killed and 300,000 are injured in crashes.
- Teens ages 16 to 19 are at the highest risk.
- More than 12 percent of fatal crashes are alcohol-related; 40 percent of these involve teenage drivers.
- Driving with even one teen passenger doubles the risk of a crash.
- Inexperience, speeding and distracted driving are the leading causes of crashes among teenagers.
The 100 deadliest days for these teen crashes are from Memorial Day to Labor Day, when driving-related fatalities and injuries increase dramatically. Twice as many teens die on roads during summer months as compared to other times of year.
Global Youth Traffic Safety Month empowers youth to promote traffic safety. Here are some simple steps teenagers can take to protect themselves both as drivers and as passengers.
- Always wear a seatbelt.
- Obey the speed limit.
- Don’t drive with teen friends or younger siblings in the car.
- Eliminate all distractions, like texting, phone calls, eating, etc.
- Never ride with a driver that is impaired in any way, be it alcohol, other drugs, or otherwise.
Parents are the most important influence in keeping teenagers safe. Parents who set rules and monitor their teens’ driving can lower their teens’ crash risk by half. Allowing teens to drive is a privilege, not a right. Parents can take simple steps to protect their teens on the road:
- Set limits for high-risk situations: Driving at night, during weekends and in bad weather.
- Restrict the number of passengers in the car.
- Remind them that distractions are not allowed.
- Sign a parent-teen driving contract to work together for safety.
- Lead by example and drive safely and responsibly: Hang up, buckle up and obey all traffic laws.