Teen driving coalition aims to reduce risk of Chicago car accidents involving young drivers

The National Safety Council is partnering with the Allstate Foundation to form a safe teen driving coalition in Illinois and nine other states in an effort to reduce the risk of car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere.

Our Chicago accident lawyers frequently report on the high risks faced by teen drivers on the road and we urge you to speak to your teenager about the importance of safe driving habits as we enter the start of the winter driving season and the holiday travel season.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers ages 15 to 20. In 2008, a total of 5,864 teens in that age group were involved in fatal crashes. In Illinois, 164 people were killed in accidents involving teenagers, including 80 young drivers. Teens are at high risk for virtually every poor driving habit, including cell phone use and text messaging, distracted driving, speeding, failure to wear their seat belts, drunk driving and riding with too many young passengers in the vehicle.

“While our roads have never been safer, car crashes remain the No. 1 killer of all people from 1 to 34 years old, with teens crashing four times more often than any other age group. We must act now to create new social norms behind the wheel starting first with our youngest drivers,” said Joan H. Walker, senior vice president, Allstate Insurance Co. “With its long legacy of building safety coalitions, NSC is the ideal organization to lead new state efforts to change the teen driving culture.”

Coalitions are also being established in California, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. Participants will include law enforcement, public health officials, members of the media, teen and parent leaders and the family and friends of crash victims. The goal will be to identify and implement ways to change teen driving behaviors and attitudes.

Formation of the coalitions comes in the wake of the NSC’s first Forum to Keep Teen Driver’s Alive, which was held last month in Chicago.

“Funding from The Allstate Foundation allows NSC to develop a coordinated strategy for building effective state coalitions,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO. “The coalitions will mobilize state leaders to find unique solutions to the teen driving issue and save young lives for generations to come.”

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the Chicago injury lawyers at Abels and Annes offer free consultations to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS to speak to an attorney.

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