National Teen Driver Safety Week
Background of the Teen Driving Problem
Motor vehicle crashes remain the primary cause of death for adolescents. Teen drivers (ages 16 to 19) are involved in fatal crashes at four times the rate of adult drivers (ages 25 to 69). Each year, more than 5,000 teens are killed in motor vehicle crashes.
History of National Teen Driver Safety Week
After a series of tragic crashes involving Pennsylvania high school students, Representatives Charlie Dent (R- PA) and Senator Bob Casey (D- PA) sponsored over 50 co-sponsors to introduce the resolution creating National Teen Driver Safety Week. The initiative was supported by the traffic safety experts at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farm Insurance Companies.
A national survey conducted in 2007 by State Farm and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia provided some facts into the teen driving environment, including that while teens are aware of some driving dangers (such as drinking and driving), they may not realize the risks of other distractions and behaviors, such as fatigued driving, speeding, cell phone use, and driving with multiple teen passengers. The majority of crashes involving young drivers are caused by inexperience and driver error.
In Canada, Parachute (a national Canadian charity focused on Injury Prevention) conducts an annual campaign for National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) with the support of State Farm.
Support for National Teen Driver Safety Week has grown, and the media coverage for this initiative has been overwhelming. Celebrities, including singer/songwriter Jesse McCartney, racecar driver Zach Veach and television personality Oprah Winfrey, have formally endorsed the week, and U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood  acknowledged distracted driving as an epidemic, calling for Americans to turn off their phones while driving, prior to the week’s kickoff in 2010. State and local officials across the country have also implemented programs and campaigns as part of National Teen Driver Safety Week.
- NHTSA Teen Driver Resources. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
- NTHSA National Teen Driver Safety Week Resources.. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- “Pennsylvania Legislators Propose National Teen Driver Safety Week for October”. PRNewswire. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
- National Teen Driver Safety Week Parachute website. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
- “Jesse McCartney, Oprah and Mom Say, ‘Step Away From the Phone!’” .Tonic website. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- “Distracted driving epidemic: U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood calls issue a ‘personal crusade’”. Seacoast Online. Retrieved October 26, 2010.