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Traffic-Safe Teens

April 2007 article

Global Road Safety Week was April 23–29, 2007, preceding National Youth Traffic Safety Month in May. These awareness weeks provide you with the opportunity to remind teens about the costs and consequences of reckless or impaired driving, as well as the responsibility that comes with being behind the wheel. In 2005, U.S. drivers ages 16–20 were involved in roughly 1.5 million car accidents (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA], 2006). Moreover, car accidents are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds (NHTSA, 2005).

The goals of Global Road Safety Week are to "raise awareness about the societal impact of road traffic injuries, highlighting the risks for young road users; and [to] promote action around key factors that have a major impact on preventing road traffic injuries [such as] use of helmets and safety belts, [and] prevention of impaired driving and speeding” (National Organizations for Youth Safety, 2007). National Youth Traffic Safety Month follows the same tenets as Global Road Safety Week, but will build a youth-led campaign focused on peer education.

Community Works instructors can integrate the goals of both traffic safety events by teaching students about street smarts and road safety. You can use the brochures Road Rules (PDF) and Streetwise: The Way To Be (PDF) with your CW students. You can also visit the National Youth Traffic Safety Month website, which includes project ideas, safety messages, resources, and statistics.

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