Teen Driving Fatalities Continue to Decrease in Alabama - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

Teen Driving Fatalities Continue to Decrease in Alabama

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MONTGOMERY – State agencies continue to work toward increased teen driver safety in Alabama, where 54 teens died in motor vehicle crashes caused by teen drivers in 2011.


To boost awareness of teen driver safety issues, Gov. Robert Bentley has proclaimed Oct. 14-20 as  National Teen Driver Safety Week in Alabama.


Alabama in 2011 saw 42 fewer teen deaths in motor vehicle crashes involving at-fault teen drivers, down from 96 in 2010. Officials say the decrease in fatalities can be attributed to Alabama's graduated driver license law, public awareness, driver education courses, seat belt usage and tough law enforcement patrols
as well as other safety initiatives.


A total of 19,022 teens statewide were involved in motor vehicle crashes in 2011, when teen drivers ages 16-19 were determined to cause the crash, an increase of 1,181 from 2010. However, injuries decreased in 2011 to 2,749 compared to 5,940 in 2010.


Additionally from 2010 to 2011, there was a decrease in the total of motor vehicle crashes, fatalities and injuries involving teen drivers in Alabama.


Gov. Bentley along with the Alabama Departments of Transportation, Education, Economic Development and Community Affairs, Public Health, and Public Safety continue to urge teens and their parents to focus on safe driving behavior when driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle.


Most teen-related motor vehicle crashes are caused by inexperience and immaturity, speed, distracted driving (cell phone use, texting, loud music, other teen passengers, etc.), drowsy driving, nighttime driving, and alcohol/drug impaired driving. The lack of seat belt usage is also a major contributor to injuries and deaths.


"We must lead by example by being good drivers and provide our children with the resources they need to become safe drivers," said Transportation Director John Cooper. "Encourage them to take a Driver's Education course, limit the number of teenaged passengers in their vehicle and always remind them to buckle up, obey speed limits and traffic laws, and never drink or text while driving. It could save their lives."


Congress established national Teen Driver Safety Week in 2007 in response to the more than 5,000 teens that died in teen driver-related crashes on U.S. roads in 2006.                                                                                                                                                                         

For information on National Teen Driver Safety Week, visit ALDOT's Web site at www.dot.state.al.us.


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