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Teens encouraged to be good passengers during safety week

Posted On Tue, October 20, 2009

Along with getting teen auto insurance, young people should keep in mind that driving a car is one of the top ways they could lose their lives.

In order to combat the number of teen deaths associated with driving, October 19-25 is designated as National Teen Driver Safety Week. The week, which is celebrated every October, was established in 2007 through an act of Congress.

This year's campaign involves a new program called Ride Like a Friend. Through the program, teens are encouraged to be good passengers while their friends are behind the wheel. In order to do this, younger people are encouraged to minimize distractions, wear their seatbelts and provide help when needed.

Flaura K. Winston, scientific director at The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said that teens were interviewed in order to develop the program.

"They offered very practical ways to help their friends stay focused when driving," Winston said. "For them, it was about respecting their friends."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and involve one in three fatalities for the age group. In 2005, more than 4,500 teens died because of injuries sustained during motor vehicle crashes.

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