YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The National Safety Council is calling on parents to arrange transportation alternatives for teens who are attending prom or graduation parties.
Limousine services, taxis, ride-share programs and public transportation may seem inconvenient or cost-prohibitive, but all are much better than allowing a teen to drive or ride with peers.
A single younger passenger increases a teen driver’s fatal crash risk by 44 percent. Two young passengers doubles fatal crash risk, and three quadruples it, according to the council.
“Teens should attend their graduations and proms – not funerals,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Be the ‘cool’ parent and spring for the black car or limo – make sure it has seat belts – call the Uber or Lyft, or play chauffer yourself. Prioritizing safety can ensure these next few weeks are exciting rather than tragic.”
Historically, the month of May marks the start of a six-month period during which motor vehicle deaths hit above-average monthly levels.
In 2016, motor vehicle crashes killed 2,820 teens ages 13 to 19 – the equivalent to more than seven deaths per day. Yet, NSC surveys have shown that more than 75 percent of parents do not know that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.
Other facts many parents may not know include:
- Half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school
- Teens crash most often because they are inexperienced – not because they take more risks behind the wheel
- Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen between 9 p.m. and midnight
- More than half of teens killed in car crashes are not restrained by a seatbelt