Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens, and spring and summer prove especially dangerous for these young drivers. In an effort to keep local teens safe behind the wheel, Buckeye Valley High School has invited AAA to check students’ cars and discuss safe driving practices.
This is part of AAA Ohio Auto Club’s annual series of teen car checks, which helps ensure local teens are driving safe vehicles and following safe driving practices. Last year, AAA checked nearly 1,400 vehicles at 24 events.
Teen Driver Safety Statistics:
Teens are more likely to crash than any other age group, largely due to their inexperience. In 2015, nearly 47,000 teens, ages 15-19, experienced crashes in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety. These resulted in more than 13,000 injuries and 111 teen deaths.
Driving older, less-reliable vehicles makes teens even more susceptible to being killed in a crash, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Proper car maintenance can help reduce the risk of crashes and help prevent roadside breakdowns.
Teen Car Checks:
Teen car checks are aimed at keeping students safe and on-the-go. During each inspection, AAA automotive technicians will identify potential problems with students’ vehicle belts, hoses, tires, lights, fluid levels and batteries. Technicians will then discuss any detected problems with the student and provide an inspection sheet to take home to parents.
In 2015, more than 78 percent of the cars AAA checked throughout the state had at least one fault. The most common faults included problems with vehicle lubricants, tires and lights, which are all potential safety issues for the already at-risk young drivers.
Teen Driver Safety:
A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found distraction is a factor in nearly 60 percent of teen crashes. Cell phones are among the most common form of crash-causing distractions among teen drivers.
In an effort to help curb the incidence of teen cell phone distractions, AAA has teamed up with Ohio Singer-Songwriter, Gary Campbell and his friend Kenny McCoy to send a message that teens can ‘Save a Life Today simply by putting down their phone while driving.
Campbell’s song “Save a Life Today” will be playing as teens sign in for the vehicle inspection.
In addition, all vehicle inspection participants will receive a pocket card with the song lyrics and instructions for downloading the song on iTunes.
All participants will also be encouraged to sign a banner pledging to not text and drive. AAA will award the banner to the school at the end of the event, to hang as a reminder.
State-specific teen driver safety information can be found on the Keys2Drive website, which offers evidence-based tools to guide families through the learning-to-drive process.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited online at AAA.com.