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Police department fights no. 1 cause of teen deaths; National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 17 – 23

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FERRIS – Car crashes are the number one cause of death among teens, killing 4,054 teenagers ages 13 to 19 in 2008.

Tons of metal, combined with inexperience and distractions , can be deadly. Now, studies have confirmed a connection between teen drivers transporting peer passengers and an increased risk of fatal crashes.

In fact, adding just one passenger doubles the fatal crash risk for a teen driver.

Although the risk of a crash increases with each additional passenger, recent research shows that few teens recognize the impact passengers have on driver safety according to research conducted by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Companies.

To combat this trend, the Ferris Police Department is promoting safe teen driver and passenger behaviors during National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 17 - 23.

Throughout the campaign FPD will continue to enforce traffic laws for everyone, especially teens.

"Teens can help friends who are driving by keeping distractions to a minimum, helping with directions when asked and wearing seatbelts," said Chief Sam Love.

"We encourage teens to use positive peer pressure to persuade each other to buckle up, given that teens have the lowest seat belt use of any age group. In Texas from 2003 to 2008, 52 percent of teens killed in car crashes were not buckled up," said Love.

Other research has shown simple "rookie" mistakes or ,driver error attributed to inexperience, are a major cause of teen crashes.

This year’s National Teen Driver Safety Week, established by congress in 2007, is addressing the risk of teens driving teens.

The "Ride Like A Friend" campaign is being rolled out in communities nationwide to encourage passenger behaviors that can reduce the crash risk for teens.

More information for parents is available at www.raisingsafe drivers.com.

Teens can find tips on how to "Ride Like A Friend" at www.ridelikeafriend.com.


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