For Immediate Release
October 17, 2008
Assistant Attorney General Diana E. Fenton
New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte announces that next week, October 19 -25 is National Teen Driver Safety Week. Nationwide, programs will be offered to educate teens on the risks associated with driving and encourage them to drive more safely. This year's theme is "Passengers."
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), teen drivers represent less than 7 percent of the driving public, but account for more than 13 percent of drivers involved in all deadly crashes. In 2007, 7,360 youth under the age of 21 were involved in fatal vehicle crashes. Statistics provided by the NTSB also show that sixteen-year-old drivers are more than twice as likely to be involved in fatal crashes as older drivers. Two-thirds of the passengers who were killed in teen driver crashes were teenagers themselves.
In New Hampshire, in 2007, according to the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency, there were 25 crashes involving people between the ages of 16 and 21. Of those 25 crashes, 18 people between the ages of 16 and 21 were killed. 11 of those killed were the operator of the vehicle, 6 were the passenger, and 1 pedestrian.
Attorney General Ayotte urges parents to limit the many distractions – cell phone, food/beverage consumption, loud music, etc. – that make it increasingly difficult for teenage drivers to focus their attention on operating their vehicle in a safe manner. It is important to reinforce the idea that once a vehicle is in motion, the driver must devote his or her full attention to the task at hand – operating that vehicle safely.
Roadway safety is in everyone's interest, we all – federal, state, and local governments, as well as the general public – need to support efforts to effectively educate teens to drive responsibly. Now is the time to act to prevent future tragedies.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301