Program targets young teens in effort to prevent Chicago car accidents

When it comes to talking to your teens about the dangers of being involved in a Chicago car accident, advice cannot come too early or too often.

Our Chicago accident attorneys note the new program being launched by Safe Kids USA, which is aimed at teenagers ages 13 and 14. The Countdown2Drive program aims to arm young teens with safe driving and passenger knowledge so they can protect themselves as they become more independent.”Our goal is to educate young teens, as they begin to transition from passengers to drivers,” said said Safe Kids CEO John Formisano. “Our research shows teen pre-drivers are eager to learn, and they are focused on the freedom a driver’s license and access to a car can provide.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers, both those ages 15 to 20 who are old enough to drive, and those 13 and 14 who are anxiously awaiting the day they can get behind the wheel. Nationwide, nearly 6,000 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes in 2008. A total of 516 motorists lost their lives in Illinois car accidents involving young drivers that year.

“By preparing them to be good passengers, Countdown2Drive can help decrease the number of crashes and injuries that occur during their first and most dangerous year of driving,” said Formisano. “Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens, with driver inexperience and distractions among the main causes of teen crashes.”

Teens are four times more likely to be involved in a crash than other drivers. Those ages 13 and 14 have twice the risk of dying in a car accident than younger children and that risk continues to grow as a teenager gets older. Teens are at risk for all types of poor driving habits — among the most serious is distracted driving and the high number of teenagers who use cell phones or text message while behind the wheel.

“Texting and talking on cell phones may feel like second nature to a tech-savvy generation, but the truth is, no one can talk or text while driving safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Driving distracted is a dangerous and deadly practice, which is why we need to reach teens early on – before they get a permit and a license to drive.”

If you are dealing with an accident in the Chicago area, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free consultations to discuss your rights. Call 312-924-7575 to speak directly to a lawyer now.

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