Attorney General Long Announces His Support of National Teen Driver Safety Week
PIERRE, S.D.-Attorney General Larry Long announced today his support for the goals and ideals of National Teen Driver Safety Week. The week is observed the third week of October each year, and will be held October 19 to 25, 2008. It is a time in which intensive programming is used to educate teens on the risks associated with driving and encourage them to drive more safely. “Passengers” is this year’s theme. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), teen drivers represent less than 7 percent of the driving public, but account for more than 13 percent of drivers involved in all deadly crashes. In 2007, 7,360 youth under the age of 21 were involved in fatal vehicle crashes.
“We know that there are several important facts regarding the incidence of teens involved in vehicle crashes,” stated Attorney General Larry Long. “Driver error or speeding is the leading cause of teen driver crashes. We can better inform students of the severity of a vehicle crash and the very real consequences to themselves, their passengers, and the general public of operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner.”
Statistics provided by the NTSB show that sixteen-year-old drivers are more than twice as likely to be involved in fatal crashes as older drivers. “We know that the younger the driver the more likely they are to be involved in a fatal crash. Two-thirds of the passengers who were killed in teen driver crashes were teenagers themselves. We can also limit distractions such as cell phones, food/beverage consumption, and loud music, which can make it increasingly difficult for the driver to focus their attention on operating their vehicle safely,” said Attorney General Long.
The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office is proud to be a supporter of this initiative. Keeping South Dakota roadways safe and free of tragedy is vital and effectively educating teens is a necessary step.