Junior High Facts and Risks – Learn to Survive Before You Drive

Know Your RisksFA-JrH_logo

Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in America – and it’s not just the teens who are driving. You are also at a very high risk each time you get into a vehicle, but there are things you should know and things you can do to protect yourself. But, don’t stop with knowing the facts and keeping yourself safe – tell your friends too! That is what Teens in the Driver Seat Junior High is all about. We help you learn the facts, and you help spread the message in your family, your school, and your community, because the more we know and act, the safer we will all be!

The Facts:

  • Every day in the U.S. there is at least one passenger from the ages of 8 to 12 that dies in a car crash.
  • In 2011, over 650 young teens died in car crashes.
  • One in three young passengers who died in crashes were not buckled up.
  • Of the almost 400 junior high teen fatalities in 2009 29% were not wearing seat belts and 22% were riding in the front seat.
  • Studies show that junior high teens are almost 2X more likely to wear seat belts when adults in the car are also wearing them.
  • Safety experts recommend that teens under the age of 13 always ride in the back seat.
  • Research show that children involved in car crashes are 28% more likely to be injured in a front seat than if they had been sitting in the back.
  • The front seat presents two dangers to junior high teens:
    • They can be badly hurt or killed if they are too close when the airbag deploys.
    • They are more likely to be hurt in a crash, because most wrecks involve the front end of the vehicle.
  • Teen drivers significantly impact young passengers:
    • Teen drivers are 2X more likely to have children in the front seat than adult drivers.
    • Novice teen drivers are 3X more likely to have unrestrained child passengers than adult drivers.
  • Kids riding with drivers ages 16 to 19 are 2X more likely to die in a crash than if riding with a driver age 25 and older.

Help Keep the Driver Awake    night

  • If the driver is having a hard time staying awake:
    • Talk to him or her.
    • Turn on the radio and maybe even sing along with the music together.
    • Recommend that the driver stop and walk around or get something to eat or drink.
  • As it gets dark outside and gets harder to see:
    • Ask the driver if the headlights are on.
    • Keep your eyes open and help the driver watch the road.

Speak Up For Your Safetyspeeding

  • The faster the vehicle is going, the harder it is to stop.
  • Remember that speeding can be dangerous and cost money.
  • Watch for speed limit signs and let the driver know when the number changes.
  • Help the driver look for dangers in the road.
  • Ask questions about driving and how it’s done. This lets the driver know they are setting the example.
  • Know the law – Reckless driving is against the law, and is defined as driving in a way that shows you really don’t care about the safety of people or property.

Don’t Distract the Driverdistraction2 sm

  • For every extra teen you add in the car, the possibility of a car crash increases. Remember that passengers in the car can be a distraction, including you. You can help reduce distractions for the driver by:
    • Talking at a normal level inside the car.
    • Lowering the volume on all portable game players, DVD players and music players.
    • Serving as the designated texter for the driver.

Always Buckle Up and Ride in the Back Seatseatbelt

  • One in three young passengers who died in car crashes were not buckled up.
  • Make sure you sit in the back seat and wear your seat belt properly.
  • Remind everyone to buckle up.
  • Stay in your seat and stay buckled up.

Don’t Ride With Someone Who is Drinking or Using Drugsdrinking

  • If the driver of your vehicle has been drinking or has used drugs:
    • Refuse to ride with them.
    • Call someone you trust to help.
    • Walk, bike, or find a different way if your trip is short.
  • If you see a driver that should not drive:
    • Let a responsible adult know.
    • Tell him or her to call a cab or find a ride.
    • Ask him or her to wait until they are able to drive.

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