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Itasca, IL – With deaths among teen drivers rising for the third straight year, and in the midst of prom and graduation season, the National Safety Council is calling on parents to pay close attention to their teens’ driving habits and arrange transportation alternatives for teens who are attending prom or graduation parties.
Limousine services, taxis, ride-share programs and public transportation may seem inconvenient or cost-prohibitive, but all are much safer than allowing a teen to drive or ride with peers. A single young passenger increases a teen driver’s fatal crash risk by 44%, according to research from Johns Hopkins University. Two young passengers doubles fatal crash risk, and three or more quadruples it.
Historically, the month of May marks the start of a six-month period during which motor vehicle deaths hit above-average monthly levels.
“Teens should attend their graduations and proms – not funerals,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Be the ‘cool’ parent and spring for the black car or limo – make sure it has seat belts – call the Uber or Lyft, or play chauffer yourself. Prioritizing safety can ensure these next few weeks are exciting rather than tragic.”
In 2016, motor vehicle crashes killed 2,820 teens ages 13 to 19 – the equivalent to more than seven deaths per day. Yet, NSC surveys have shown that more than 75% of parents do not know that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. Other facts many parents may not know include:
The National Safety Council encourages parents with new teen drivers to use resources from DriveitHOME.org to help them effectively coach their teen drivers. DriveitHOME.org includes tips, driving lessons and a New Driver Deal, which parents and teens can use to outline household driving rules.
Motor vehicle safety data and research can be found at injuryfacts.nsc.org.