Researcher Says Motor Vehicle Crashes Are Leading Cause of Teen Deaths

A teenager in a car

In observation of National Teen Driver Safety Week, Michelin is teaming up with NFL great Emmitt Smith to encourage much-needed dialogue between parents and their teen drivers.

Auto crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, ahead of all other types of injury, disease, or violence. "Studies show we can achieve that through a collaborative approach that includes teen-led programs, effective and affordable driver education, strong GDL laws, parental involvement, and advances in safety technology". "Parents and caregivers are urged to talk about safe driving behaviors with their teens to address the most risky and deadly teen driving behaviors: alcohol, lack of seat belt use, distracted and drowsy driving, speeding and driving with passengers". He says those two create a recipe for a traffic accident. "However, everyday behaviors become lethal when a new inexperienced driver chooses to engage in them behind the wheel-talking to friends, putting on makeup, texting, selfies, or social media posts are just some of the activities that are perfectly safe and legal to do, until you choose to do them behind the wheel", said Dr. Kelly Browning, Executive Director of Impact Teen Drivers. Having recently taught my son EJ how to drive, I know how nerve-wracking it can be for us - and them!

Getting a driver's license is one of the first, and most lasting, rites of passage for teens.

"Just because they do get a full-fledged drivers license and make it through driver's ed, it doesn't mean that they shouldn't continue to practice with an adult or someone supervising them to help continue that education", he said. "Keeping a cool head on the road starts with a strategy and a plan - that's where Michelin's resources for coaching your teen driver can help", said Emmitt Smith.




A nationwide study conducted by the NHTSA showed nearly 2,000 teens were in involved in fatal traffic crashes in 2015. Teen fatalities have dropped 27% in Texas with 622 in 2005 to 421 in 2015.

In addition to warning about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving through Ford's drugged and drunk driving suits, the hands-on driving clinics will feature new virtual reality training tools to help new drivers navigate traffic circles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. In 2016 alone, more than 3,500 teens lost their lives in fatal auto crashes.

The program increases the amount of time teens are required to spend in gaining experience behind the wheel under the supervision of a parent or guardian.

"As parents, we play a critical role in coaching our teens to be safe drivers".

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