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GM Hits on Teen Driving Statistics During Teen Driver Safety Week

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This week marks Teen Driver Safety Week, which we observe through Saturday, October 25th. In honor of Teen Driver Safety Week, General Motors is calling attention to an alarming safety study, funded in part by the General Motors Foundation, that we covered back in June. Among the troubling statistics from the Safe Kids Worldwide study are the following:

  • 25% of teens, ages 13 – 19, do not wear their seatbelts, out of discomfort, forgetfulness, or a feeling of safety due to the short distance.
  • Nearly 50% of teens killed in accidents in 2012 weren’t wearing their seatbelts.
  • A shocking 49% of teens have felt unsafe when riding with another teen driver, and 31% with a parent.
  • 39% of teens have ridden with a teen driver who was texting.
Teen Driver Safety Week


“These findings show why it’s so important to talk to kids about traffic safety early and often, before they reach driving age,” explained Jeff Boyer, the GM VP of Global Vehicle Safety, at a vehicle safety conference at the Milford, Michigan, Proving Ground earlier this week. “It also demonstrates why conversations should extend to the parents of kids’ peer groups because both are key to keeping kids safe.”

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And what better time to talk to your teen than during Teen Driver Safety Week? Trust us, it makes a difference. Almost 2,500 teens died in motor vehicle accidents back in 2012, making these crashes the leading killer of teens between 13 and 19. So many of these deaths could be avoided with a simple conversation address driving safety.

“If a single disease claimed so many of our children, we would be frantically searching for a cure,” said Boyer. “This issue has affected me personally, and the reality is that we as parents can make a huge impact on making sure our kids make the right decisions on the road.”

So what can you say to your teen? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has “Five to Drive” rules that are a good starting point: no cell phones, no extra passengers, no speeding, no alcohol, and always buckle up.

Your teen might think you are annoying or cheesy, but the next time your teen climbs in a car, that annoyingly cheesy voice will be playing in their head—and hopefully it’ll be loud and annoying (and oh, so cheesy) enough, that they’ll buckle up.

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And for you parents whose children aren’t quite teenagers yet, GM still has some child vehicle safety tips for you to review.