Alabama DOT Gears up for National Teen Driver Safety Week to Reduce Risks of Teen Car Accidents in Montgomery and Elsewhere

The Alabama Department of Transportation will be teaming up with local law officials to help promote the “Ride Like A Friend. Drive Like You Care” (RLAF) safety campaign.

This campaign is to encourage both safe teen driver and safe teen passenger behavior. Law enforcement officials and members of the DOT will be working alongside teachers, student leaders and school administrators to help plan, organize and execute a number of campaign activities at local schools.

This campaign is all in effort to kick off National Teen Driver Safety Week, which takes place from October 16th to the 22nd. The safe driving week is held on the third week of October every year. Its main focus is to promote safe driving habits to teens and to prevent their risks of being involved in a car accident in Alabama.
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Our Montgomery teen car accident attorneys understand how beneficial these types of programs can be. Unfortunately, newly licensed teen drivers are oftentimes unable to understand the dangers, the risks and the consequences of irresponsible behavior while driving or riding in a vehicle. The Ride Like a Friend campaign aims to discuss the importance of well-mannered driver and passenger behavior through a number of school-related activities and campaign materials.

Ride Like a Friend is more than just a saying. It’s a concept for teens to learn, understand and practice. This campaign was created to target teens and takes into account a lot of input from local teens. Material for the campaign has been created and designed by safe teen driving experts alongside the advice of teens.

It is important to keep safe driving as a frequent topic of conversation with our teens. According to recently released teen-driving information in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 16-year-old drivers who participate in a Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) program experience 26 percent fewer car accidents that those who were licensed without a GDL program. The study took teen driving statistics collected from 1986 to 2007, according to CNN Health. The problem with this is that the study also found that there was a more than 10 percent increase in the number of fatal accidents experienced by 18-year-old drivers who had completed a GDL program compared to those who hadn’t.

“Right now, we’re not getting the net effect across all teens that we’re hoping for,” says Scott V. Masten, Ph.D., an author of the study.

This is such an interesting finding because while GDL programs are expected to reduce the risks of car accidents by newly-licensed drivers, these reduced risks are supposed to follow the driver long after they’ve completed the program. Researchers have found that may not be the case. It is important to understand that parents and role models need to continue on with the education and the discussion of safe driving habits all through high school and well into college. Parents should make safe driving habits a frequent topic of conversation in the home.

There is some sort of GDL program in every state and the District of Columbia. Each state’s program, including Alabama’s Graduated Licensing program, requires that teen drivers abide by a driving curfew and limit the number of passengers in the vehicle at a time, but after that first set of regulations each state varies.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were nearly 150 teens killed because of car accidents in Alabama in 2009.

Parents are urged to continue to push the importance of safe driving habits. Parents are some of the most influential people in the lives of teen drivers and can make a significant impact on a teen’s road safety.

If you or your teen driver has been injured in a car accident in Montgomery or the surrounding areas, contact the car accident attorneys at Allred & Allred P.C. for experienced advice about your rights. Call for a free consultation at 1-866-942-9315.

Additional Resources:

Teen restrictions fail to curb fatal crashes, by Amanda Gardner, CNN Health
More Blog Entries:

Flat Tire on I-85 Causes Five-Car Accident in Montgomery, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, August 13, 2011

April awareness month reduces risk of distracted driving car accidents in Alabama, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, April 26, 2011