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Summer 2007 | Vol. 10 | No. 2
National Teen Driver Safety Week Proposed in Congress
Joined by over 50 cosponsors, Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) recently introduced resolutions in Congress to designate the third week in October as National Teen Driver Safety Week.
The introduction of the resolution comes in response to several tragic crashes involving Pennsylvania high school students, including 221 teen driver fatalities in 2005. Through their proposed National Teen Driver Safety Week, Rep. Dent and Sen. Casey hope to raise awareness about these tragedies and educate the public on the importance of teaching teens the safe driving skills they need to detect and react to hazards appropriately.
Rep. Dent says "the time has come for us to recognize this terrible problem by encouraging the development and communication of effective interventions that will help reduce accidents involving teen drivers and enable these beloved children to continue on to their destinations safely."
Senator Casey explained that "this resolution designates a week where intensive programming will be used to encourage teens to drive more safely."
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Companies®, which have an ongoing teen driver research alliance and outreach initiative, are supporting the legislators' efforts. The alliance works to help reduce the risk of crash injuries for teen drivers and all motorists who share the road with them. Earlier this year, the alliance published the results of its National Teen Driver Survey of more than 5,500 teens nationwide, which concluded that teens routinely drive while fatigued, emotional and distracted, often with little training and minimal behind-the-wheel experience.
CHOP's co-scientific director and founder of the Center for Injury and Research Prevention Flaura K. Winston, M.D., Ph.D. notes that "the key to starting to solve these problems is to effectively educate teens and their families about the risks young drivers face, and give them the tools they need to manage those risks."