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Driver Safety: Lives depend on what you do behind wheel

Driving safely and without distractions is something for which we ALL should strive, but this week is National Teen Driver Safety Week. It is a good reminder that our youngest drivers still have a lot of learning to do behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration set aside this week as a way to remind parents to have conversations with their teens about remembering the rules of the road and staying safe as they drive OR RIDE in a car.

Something that should go without saying can, in fact, not be said enough. Making the right choices includes not driving while impaired with alcohol or drugs as well as not riding with someone who is under the influence. Drivers should also always wear their safety belt, obey the speed limit, and avoid distracted driving. What we sometimes forget is that distractions can come from other passengers in the vehicle, a drive-through meal or a cell phone.

The NHTSA says motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teens 15-18 years old in the U.S. In 2019, there were 2,042 people killed in crashes that involved a teen driver, and 628 of those deaths were the teen driver.

These are sobering facts, and a reminder of what is at stake. Everyone should be thinking about vehicle safety every time they are behind the wheel.

Don’t speed. Don’t be distracted. Don’t use any substances and drive. Wear the seat belt.

Everyone’s safety depends on it.

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