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Teen Driver Safety Week
10/14/2010
Sally Ridenour
ODOT Public Affairs
(503) 576-9577

Get involved in community efforts to prevent crashes
 
Governor Ted Kulongoski is showing his support for teen driver safety in Oregon by proclaiming October 17 - 23, 2010 at "Teen Driver Safety Week."  The commemoration is designed to spotlight local, state and national efforts to encourage safe driving habits among teenagers and to reduce the number of crashes involving teen drivers.
 
In 2009, Oregon experienced its lowest overall fatality level on state roads siince the 1940s, but safety advocates know that's no reason to be complacent, especially when it comes to teen drivers.  Oregon's Graduated Driver License laws, driver education programs and efforts of law enforcement and safety advocates are having an effect on reducing serious crashes involving teen drivers.  Since the program's inception in 1999, the number of 16 and 17 year old drivers involved in fatal and injury crashes has decreased more than 46 percent.
 
However, we still have a long way to go.  Oregon drivers age 20 and under are involved in fatal and injury crashes at twice the rate of the population as a whole.  From 2006 through 2009, an average of 13 young passengers (15 to 20 years old) who were not wearing safety belts were killed in crashes each year.  In addition, alcohol was a factor on average in 23 percent of fatal crashes involving young drivers (15 to 20 years old) each year from 1006 to 2009.
 
How can you help
Whether or not you know a teen driver, you can still promote safe driving and prevent crashes.  Here are a few ideas -
  • Support the community driver safety and education efforts of your schools, driver education providers, law enforcement and safety groups.
  • Talk to teens about the importance of riding with safe and sober drivers and buckling up.
  • Model safe driving behavior by buckling up, slowing down, staying off the phone, and driving sober.
  • If you are a parent, enroll your child in an approved driver education course, obey GDL restrictions, and know who your children are riding with.
 
Resources for more information