National Teen Driver Safety Week will be celebrated this week, through Oct. 20. The event encourages young drivers to buckle up when they get behind the wheel.
Fall is an extremely busy time for teenagers. With homework, exams, sports and extracurricular activities, more teens are getting back on the road. Unfortunately, many teens hurriedly drive from place to place, often forgetting to wear seat belts both when they are driving, and when they are riding with other motorists.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of fatalities for adolescents ages 16 to 20 years old in the United States. In Missouri alone, throughout 2011 there were 81 teen vehicle occupants killed in vehicle crashes, and 79 percent of them were not buckled up. Teen impaired drivers made up 18 percent of the adolescents killed in the crashes.
"So many of those tragedies could have been prevented if only teens would take the time to buckle up," said Leanna Depue, Missouri Coalition for Road Safety executive committee chair.
Using seat belts reduces the risk of fatal injury in a car crash by 45 percent.
According to Missouri law, drivers under the age of 21 are banned from texting while driving, and can be fined up to $200 for the offense. Under Missouri's No Tolerance Law, drivers under 21 with any trace of alcohol in their system will have their license suspended.
When driving, keep distractions to a minimum, obey road laws, never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and always buckle up.
For more information about teen driver safety visit www.savemolives.com