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Florida Aims To White Out Teen Crashes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     

~ Traffic crashes are the #1 killer of teens ~

OCT. 18, 2011, TALLAHASSEE – Traffic crashes are the #1 killer of teens in Florida and in the United States. To keep more teens safe in the driver and passenger seats, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles joined five high schools in areas throughout the state today to host White Out events. The Department asked teens, parents, school employees and other safety partners around the state to participate by wearing a white shirt today to help white out teen crashes.  National Teen Driver Safety Week is Oct. 16 – 22, and DHSMV is using the opportunity to educate teens and their parents about staying safe behind the wheel.

“Today’s white out is a good reminder that driving is a big responsibility and that parents and guardians play a key role in teaching their children safe driving behaviors that impact how they drive for their entire lives,” said DHSMV Executive Director Julie Jones. “With increased education and parental support, we can work together to save lives by reducing the number of crashes that involve teens.”  

Teens (ages 15 – 19) have the highest crash rate of any age group in Florida. Below are statistics from the Florida Traffic Crash Statistics Report 2010 that provide some additional insight.

  • 737,645 teens are licensed to drive in the Sunshine State.
  • 26,848 crashes involved teens last year.
    • 144 teens died (includes drivers and passengers).
    • 18,543 teens were injured (includes drivers and passengers).
  • Florida’s teen drivers are twice as likely to crash as their parents and three times as likely to crash as their grandparents.

The Department has launched http://www.TakeTheWheel.net, an interactive website by teens for teens, as well as Drive with CARE (Courtesy, Attention, Responsibility, Experience) to educate teens and their parents about Florida’s Graduated Driver Licensing law and the importance of parental involvement in teaching teens to drive. Drive with CARE provides a drivers guide available online and in state and tax collector operated driver license offices throughout the state. The Florida Sheriffs Association, numerous state and local law enforcement agencies, and safety advocates throughout Florida are joining the Department in this important campaign.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement.  The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol.  To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit http://www.flhsmv.gov.

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