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Keeping teen drivers safe

Nationwide, teenagers are dying and being severely injured in automobile accidents each and every day.

The cause of those crashes is often from distracted drivers who are focusing on using a handheld phone instead of remaining focused on the road and on their driving.

As we enter into a very busy time on our roads in the lakes area, we would like for you to think about these facts and things we could all do in an effort to remain safe:

• Motor Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among U. S. teens.  

Mile for mile teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. 

• In 2009, nearly 5,500 people were killed and almost 500,000 were injured in crashes related to distracted driving. That’s 16 percent of all fatal crashes and 20 percent of all injury crashes for that year. Almost one in five of those deaths involved reports of using a cell phone at the time of the crash.  

• A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study revealed that physically dialing a phone while driving increases the risk of a crash as much as six times. Texting is far more risky, increasing the collision risk by 23 times.  

• Reaction time of a driver is far less when the driver is doing multiple things rather than simply focusing on the road and driving the vehicle. 

Education regarding distracted driving helps spread the word that it is not only illegal but it also can result in tragedy. Help prevent the loss of more lives and set an example when you get behind the wheel of a vehicle. If all of us do our part and remain diligent in focusing on our driving, we will not only keep ourselves safe on our area roads, but keep others safe as well.