Secretary of State Jesse White has been an advocate for safe teen driving for quite some time now. Back in 2008, he continued to voice his opposition to raising the driving age in our state after the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced its support for raising the driving age nationwide to at least 17-years-old. He opposed this move because he believes it’s not the age of the driver that affects their road safety, but the experience and knowledge that they possess.He continues to argue that safe teen driving won’t come with an increase driving age, but rather by working to better prepare young, novice drivers, regardless of their age, and with increasing parental involvement. Once teens are properly taught effective driving habits, we will then begin to see reduced risks of car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere throughout the state.
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys would like to reiterate that car accidents are the number one cause for teen deaths in the United States. In a car accident that involves a teen driver, anyone and everyone is at risk. In an attempt to raise awareness about the importance of educating our teen drivers, the National Safety Council recently announced that it is currently accepting nominations for the 2011 Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award. This award, sponsored by General Motors and the Illinois-based safety organization, aims to recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant advances in protecting our young drivers.
“My office initiated a new teen driver safety law, effective January 1, 2008, that gives Illinois one of the strongest graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs in the nation,” said White. “The new law better prepares teen drivers by tripling the length of the permit phase, increasing parental involvement, limiting in-car distractions, and strengthening penalties.”
White’s office has also initiated another key law that allows parents of teens that are under age 18 to view their teen’s driving record free online.
“By giving parents access to these driving records, we are helping them stay even more involved in their teenagers’ driving patterns as they proceed through the GDL program,” said White. “Parental involvement is a key component to any successful GDL program.”
The Council is looking for individuals or organizations that have participated in some of the following safe teen driving efforts:
-Enacting legislation based on proven safety methods.
-Demonstrating a consistent commitment to teen driving safety leadership.
-Leadership or coordination of an effort to adopt best practices.
-Enhancing public understanding of teen driving safety issues and prevention methods.
“General Motors has a longstanding affiliation with NSC and the Teen Driving Program,” said Mike Robinson, vice president, GM Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. “Driver behavior plays a critical role in safety, particularly for new, inexperienced drivers. We are pleased to support this recognition program and the awareness it gives to developing and maintaining safe driver habits.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 2,500 15- to 20-year-old drivers lost their lives in traffic accidents in the United States in 2009. Another 196,000 of these young drivers suffered injuries from these incidents. During that year, Illinois lost more than 50 young drivers because of motor-vehicle accidents on our roadways.
“Recent studies have shown that the most comprehensive GDL programs can reduce traffic fatalities for 16-year-old drivers by as much as 21 percent. While Illinois’ GDL law already contains many of the components that are believed to reduce traffic fatalities for these young drivers, we want to make sure that we take every reasonable step possible to save more lives,” White said. “These young people are our future leaders and we want to protect them so they have the opportunity to grow up and fulfill their aspirations.”
You can access our Illinois Graduated Driver License Program’s Parent-Teen Driving Guide to help educate all parties of the learning process to help reduce the risks of traffic accidents on our roadways.
You are encouraged to submit your nomination for the 2011 Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award through August 5, 2011. Keep in mind Secretary of State Jesse White and all he’s done to help ensure the safety of our young drivers when filling out those nomination forms.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.
More Blog Entries:
Website Dedicated to Teen Driver Education and Reducing Teen Car Accidents in Illinois , Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 26, 2011
Hill hopping accident in Illinois claims the lives of two teens , Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 22, 2011
Chicago Teen Car Accidents in Focus During Safety Week June 12-18 , Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 13, 2011