In 2015, 2,333 teens (ages 16 to 19) were killed in motor vehicle crashes; that is six teens dying from motor vehicle injuries every day.1 Per mile driven, teen drivers are almost three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.1 Among teen drivers, those most at risk for crashes are males, teens driving with teen passengers, and newly licensed teens.1
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) encourages local health departments (LHDs) to engage their communities in prevention activities during Teen Driver Safety Week (October 15–21). Placing a focus on parents and schools is a great way to engage families of teens.
Graduated Driver Licensing Programs
Local health departments play an important role in working with law enforcement agencies, the medical community, schools, parents/legal guardians, and other stakeholders to ensure teens are safe on the road. LHDs monitor teen motor vehicle safety data, educate the public about Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws, and support the enforcement of GDL in the community. NACCHO encourages LHDs to support more comprehensive GDL laws in their community and state. Comprehensive GDL programs provide longer practice periods, limit driving under high risk conditions, and requires greater participation of parents/legal guardians in their teens’ learning to drive. Research has shown that comprehensive GDL programs can lead to reductions in overall and fatal crashes among 16-year-old drivers. Educating parents and the community about GDL rules can empower parents to enforce the rules and help keep their teen driver safe.
This teen driver safety week promote key messages in your community throughout the week. Educate parents and teens on the GDL laws in the area. Share Parents are the Key and 5 to Drive to encourage parents and guardians to set clear rules for teen drivers. Messages to share and resources are below:
- Crashes are the leading cause of death for teens 15 to 18 years old. Talk to your #TeenDriver: @NHTSAgov can help. nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving
- It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week! Start the conversation about safe driving now, but keep it going year round! #TeenDriver
- Teen drivers are twice as likely as adult drivers to be in a fatal crash. Set them up for success. Review the rules of safe driving. Learn more: http://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving
- NACCHO’s Graduated Driver Licensing Policy Statement
- Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers
- National Teen Driver Safety Week Promotional Materials
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (May 2017) Teen Drivers: Get the Facts. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html Accessed on September 22, 2017.