Is the leading cause of teen deaths enough to scare our children straight? Maybe its time for us to help.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Nov. 7, 2009
Daniel’s story: Daniel Vocelle was named Student of the Year by SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions). He’s urging teens to speak up when they think friends are driving recklessly. He speaks from experience:
“My cousin was involved in a motorcycle accident where he was driving at excessive speeds while doing a wheelie in a high traffic area. Sure enough, he ran right into the back of a minivan and did not survive.”
As Daniel says: “It’s your responsibility the moment that you enter that car. Your life is in the hands of the person driving. A lot of people underplay that fact, and that’s what SADD is all about. It’s your responsibility to reach your friends, it’s up to the students to make the difference.”This campaign is helping kids to stand up. It’s not a hard thing to say to your friend: Slow down. We always say, [when it comes to drugs], Just Say No. It’s not a big deal; no one is going to hate you for saying no.
“It’s the same thing. Your friends are not going to hate you for [asking them] to slow down. They’re not going to kick you out of the car, not be your friend anymore. It’s just simply asking somebody to be a little bit more considerate for your life when they’re driving.
Speak Up Pledge
Teen Driver Facts
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. (Source: NHTSA)
Why You Should Speak Up
- Each year, more than 5,000 teens (ages 16-20) are killed in passenger vehicle crashes. (Source: NHTSA)
Teens Will Listen
- Eight in 10 teens say that if a friend told them their driving behavior made their friend feel uncomfortable, they would listen. (Source: Ad Council)
Influence on Friends
- Nearly 70% of teens say they have a lot or some influence to stop their friends from driving recklessly when they are a passenger. (Source: Ad Council)
Risky Driving Behavior
- Three in 10 teens say that in the past six months they have been in a situation when their own driving behavior put them at risk. (Source: Ad Council)
- In 2006, 39% of male drivers 15 to 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were speeding. (Source: NHTSA)
- Sixty-two percent of high school drivers say they talk on a cell phone while driving and 24% say that talking on a cell phone is safe. (Source: SADD/Liberty Mutual study)
- In 2006, 65% of teens involved in fatal crashes were unrestrained. (Source: AAA)
Passengers and Crashes
- Crash rates increase drastically for 16- and 17-year-old drivers with every additional passenger in the car. (Source: AAA)
Don’t Become a Statistic
- One out of every five licensed 16-year-old drivers will be in a vehicle crash. (Source: IIHS)
- In 2003, about 44% of all teen deaths were attributed to vehicle crashes - more than triple the number of teen suicides and more than double the number of teen homicide victims. (Source: NHTSA)
- 16 to 24 year olds are 63% more likely to be involved in a SUV rollover than other drivers. (Source: NHTSA)
Please speak up, buckle up, slow down, turn off the cell and turn down the radio. The life you save may be your son or daughter or maybe even your own.