National Teen Driver Safety Week starts next week, running October 17-24. Teen drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than an adult driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, roadway accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, causing two out of five teen deaths.
In 2004, 33.9% of 16-year-old Massachusetts drivers were involved in car crashes. That percent was slightly lower but still significant for 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds. Over two dozen teen drivers died that year in fatal car crashes. With thousands of teens being issued a driver’s license each year (over 44,000 16-year-olds received Massachusetts driver’s licenses in 2005), it’s important that junior operators understand the seriousness of operating a motor vehicle.
Massachusetts’ new Distracted Driving Law, which went into effect on October 1, prohibits 16 and 17-year-old drivers from using a cell phone while driving, even if they have a hands-free set. Massachusetts teens who violate the law are subject to a $100 fine and could lose their license for 60 days for a first offense.
Sources: Simple steps can keep kids safer on the road, Superior Telegram, September 24, 2010
Some Statistics that You Should Know about Teen Drivers, Mass.gov
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