This week National Teen Driver Safety Week

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

RALEIGH ó Gene Conti, North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary, announced National Teen Driver Safety Week began Sunday and will end Saturday.
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,” Conti said. “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 drivers not wearing seat belts;
– more than 1,200 crashes involving drinking.
Most teen crashes occur between 5 and 7 p.m. The three most common contributing factors of teen crashes are 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.