Joint effort helps promote teen safety behind the wheel

Car crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers.

Suzanne Monaghan
May 13, 2018 - 4:00 am
Teen Driving

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Car crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers. So for the past 11 years several organizations have joined forces to make May Global Youth Traffic Safety Month.  

It's a sobering statistic.

"Half of all young people who are driving are going to experience a crash before they graduate high school," said April Rai, CEO of the National Organization for Youth Safety.  

But Rai says teens don't relate to statistics, they respond to real-life stories and scenarios. She adds peer acceptance is one of the most important predictors of teen behavior.

"By empowering teens to speak up when someone is driving in a way that makes them feel unsafe," Rai said. "Because if that becomes the normal thing, that you're going to get trolled if you're driving stupid, than that behavior not going to be cool anymore."

Technology isn't the only distraction to teen driving. Being tired, eating, putting on makeup, and having too many passengers are all hazards behind the wheel. 

And parents need to be the role models for driving safety.   

More resources for parents are available on the National Organization for Youth Safety website.