Thursday, May 6, 2010

May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month

Traffic crashes continue to be the #1 cause of death and injuries for teens in the United States. National Youth Safety Month is held each May by the National Organization for Youth Safety to help spread traffic safety awareness in an effort to change this startling statistic.

In Missouri, one in four Missouri traffic crashes involves a young driver. Between 2007 and 2009, 304 teens (15-19) were killed in traffic crashes. And although there are many reasons for crashes, our biggest concerns for teen motorists are texting and driving, and their failure to wear seat belts.

Last year, Missouri passed a law prohibiting drivers 21 and under from texting, along with a $200 fine if caught. Distracted driving is the leading cause of traffic crashes in Missouri and nationwide and 28 percent of all crashes a year on U.S. highways are caused by drivers using cell phones.

Under Missouri’s Graduated Drivers License Law, seat belt use is required for young drivers. Yet 40 percent of Missouri teens don’t buckle up. You can remind a teen to buckle up by sharing these top 10 reasons for buckling up:
1. I just don’t like the taste of glass.
2. I don’t have a license to fly, yet!
3. I can see the road fine from inside my car.
4. It takes less time to buckle than text message.
5. Road rash isn’t attractive.
6. My head won’t fit in the CD player.
7. It’s not cool to be stone cold dead.
8. My friends won’t look good without me.
9. Wrinkled clothes are better than blood stains!
10. Would a casket be more comfortable?

The Missouri Coalition continues to sponsor various teen programs to help promote highway safety, but we need everyone’s help. You can get more information and send an electronic postcard reminding a teen to buckle up at And please if you know a teen – encourage them to buckle up and put their phone down. Let’s work together to ensure all Missouri teens Arrive Alive.