Metro areas in the southern US scored lowest in an Allstate study that
identifies “hotspots” where fatal teen driving crash rates are highest.
The study’s release kicks off Allstate’s “Action Against Distraction”
safe teen driving program.
The study found that the 10 deadliest places among the nation’s 50 largest metro areas are in the southern US. The deadliest metro areas were:
* Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Fla.
* Orlando/Kissimmee, Fla.
* Jacksonville, Fla.
* Nashville, Tenn.
* Birmingham, Ala.
* Phoenix, Ariz.
* Kansas City, Mo. (and Kan.)
* Atlanta, Ga.
* Charlotte, N.C.
* Louisville, Ky.
study examines recent federal crash stats, Allstate claim data on
teens, and US Census Bureau stats to score the metro areas.
“The study shouldn’t just concern parents and leaders in the nation’s deadliest hotspots – car crashes claim the lives of more American teens than anything else coast-to-coast,” said George Ruebenson, president, Allstate Protection. “We feel that state and federal leaders should enact uniform national standards for graduated drivers licensing laws.”
Allstate’s “Action Against Distraction” program calls
for a national federal standard for graduated driver licensing (GDL)
laws and urges Congress to enact the Safe Teen and Novice Driver
Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act. Additionally, throughout June — a
month leading up to some of the deadliest driving days for teens —
Allstate will conduct teen distracted driving courses aimed at reducing
the impact of distracted driving practices such as texting and talking
on the phone while driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of more than 17 teens a day die on American roads during June, July and August – the three months with the highest teen crash rates. Nearly 6,000 teens die in car crashes every year, a statistic that hasn’t changed in more than a decade. While research shows that both parents and teens believe alcohol is the cause of most crashes involving teen drivers, the primary causes of most teen crashes – between 2003 and 2005 – was driver error (87 percent).
To help teens stay safe through prom, graduation, the summer and beyond, parents should initiate a conversation about smart driving. This conversation can include completion of a Parent-Teen Driving Contract, which helps set guidelines for smart driving and consequences for not living up to those expectations. Parents and teens can fill out the interactive contract – setting their own expectations and consequences – online at www.allstate.com/teen.
* * *
Our teens have many more distractions to deal with than we did. They don’t have the skills to multi-task while driving. We must emphasize to them how dangerous driving really is and that it’s a serious responsibility to get behind the wheel.
Of course, the best way to teach teens is a combination of talking to them and setting a good example. Try to avoid talking on your cell phone while driving. If you must talk, use a hands-free device. Don’t smoke while driving. Don’t turn to look at your passengers while talking to them. Always wear a seat belt. Use your signal lights. Obey the posted speed limits. Our children learn by example, so let’s try to be the best, safest driver we can be.
Image: Thiru Murugan and SqueakyMarmot under creative commons licenses
By Becky Scott