Summer is coming, and even if you haven't given it much thought, America's youngest drivers have.
Across the nation, teens are counting the days until summer break; they're ready for beach trips, more free time, and summer jobs. We just want to make sure they're also ready for safe summer driving.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, summer is the deadliest time of year for teen drivers and their passengers. Seven of the top 10 deadliest days of the year occur between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays. An average of 422 teens die in traffic crashes each month during the summer compared to a monthly average of 363 teen deaths during the non-summer months.
That's why, every year, the National Organizations for Youth Safety recognize May as Global Youth Traffic Safety Month.
And last Tuesday, they kicked off their month of safety activities with a rally on Capitol Hill featuring youth organizations, federal and state leaders, and business and industry partners.
Just as I was about to thank the NOYS teens who have been working hard to make a difference among their peers, the young advocates of NOYS turned around and thanked a number of safety leaders including Senators Rockefeller, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Kirsten Gillebrand, and John Thune; the Allstate Foundation and AT&T; Students Against Distracted Driving; and your Secretary of Transportation.
The impressive young men and women from NOYS are demonstrating leadership and maturity beyond their years, and they are doing everything they can to get their peers to enjoy a safe, fun summer.
Let's do what we can to support those efforts by making sure we model safe, distraction-free driving--during the summer months and all through the year.