May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month (Guest Blog)

Global Youth Traffic Safety Month logo The leading cause of death for teens in the United States is traffic crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers2. Summer months are especially dangerous for teens on the road. Fortunately, most teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers on the road. National Organizations for Youth Safety® (NOYS) is fighting back against this epidemic by engaging young people in the solution.

Now is the time to do more, not less, to tackle this public health epidemic that results in more than 3,500 teen lives lost each year. Over 1,000 youth ages 15-20 died in traffic crashes during the summer season in 2011 as compared to an average of 800 teen deaths during the non-summer seasons. A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association showed that more 16 and 17 year-olds died on our nation’s roadways in the first six months of 2012 than the first six months of 2011. NOYS is asking we all renew our commitment to youth traffic safety and help keep our young people safe on our roadways. NOYS is joining forces with federal agencies, business and industry leaders and national nonprofit organizations including AAMVA to work to reduce teen traffic crashes through the annual campaign held each May that supports youth leadership on this issue, Global Youth Traffic Safety Month™.  

NOYS group photoThe goals of Global Youth Traffic Safety Month is to empower and engage youth to promote traffic safety awareness to their peers at the beginning of the deadliest season for teens on the roads, summer. This year’s U.S. Global Youth Traffic Safety Month launch will take place in Washington, D.C. on May 8th and will include a focus on bike safety, teen drivers, and pedestrian safety. The event is open to the public and the media. For more information on Global Youth Traffic Safety Month or to become a partner, click here or fill out a partner form. We encourage all AAMVA members to:

  • Post the Global Youth Traffic Safety Month logo in your office
  • Make a concentrated effort to remind customers and employees of the high risk time of summer and ways youth can be safe on the roads
  • Use social media and your contacts to remind parents of your states current Graduated Driver Licensing Laws

The largest Global Youth Traffic Safety  Month program Act Out Loud® is a youth-led contest that engages and empowers youth during and leading up to Global Youth Traffic Safety Month. Conducted by The Allstate Foundation and National Organizations for Youth Safety, the 2013 Act Out Loud contest has over 340 high schools across the country hosting a youth-led Act Out Loud rally to promote Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in their schools and communities.

This year’s Act Out Loud contest gives youth the opportunity to plan a safe teen driving event in their school and community to help kick-off Global Youth Traffic Safety Month. Teams earn a cash stipend to support their event as well as a free toolkit of promotional items. The teams will then submit a video of their event to enter for a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize or four runner-up awards totaling $10,000. To find a rally near you or host one visit http://www.actoutloud.org.

Help youth make this Summer the safest one yet by reminding them of these key tips!

  1. JST DRV - avoid all distractions - they can wait!
  2. ALWAYS buckle up!
  3. NEVER drive impaired or ride with anyone who is!
  4. PLAN your route and your ride - take the safest way and ride with safe drivers!
  5. STAND up for your own safety - Speak up and get out if you need to!

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration           

 By Sandy Spavone, Executive Director, National Organizations for Youth Safety
NOYS logo 

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