October will bring with it a number of safety initiatives as well as National Teen Driver Safety Week. Teen drivers suffer from elevated car crash rates. Car accidents are a leading killer of teenagers and the third week in October is dedicated to increasing awareness of the challenges facing new drivers. In addition to increased law enforcement surrounding unsafe driving practices, the week will feature programs dedicated to helping teens gain the skills they need to drive safely
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have joined a number of other groups in sponsoring a program called Operation Safe Driver. The program will run during National Teen Driver Safety Week, from October 14-20, and will see law enforcement targeting unsafe drivers in an effort to curb aggressive driving and other dangerous practices. An updated curriculum for the program, "Teens & Trucks: Curbing Distracted Driving" will be released. The program is intended to teach teen drivers some of the tricks and techniques used by professional truck drivers to avoid or eliminate distracted driving behaviors.
Drivers of large trucks are forbidden by federal law from using hand held cell phones while operating a truck. Teens in many states are likewise forbidden from using cell phones while driving, though it is not clear if those laws have worked to curb this behavior in many young drivers. The program includes a pledge form for teens and parents to commit to a policy of no texting and no distracted driving of any kind. The hope is that teens will learn about the risks of distracted driving and will help change the attitude among many that texting and driving can be combined safely.
Thousands of people die every year in motor vehicle accidents. Distracted driving is often the cause, or a contributing factor to these accidents. Teens are particularly prone to accidents of all types, as they do not have the experience or judgment of older drivers. A cell phone can be a particularly deadly distraction for inexperienced drivers.
Source: Truckinginfo, "Operation Safe Driver to Target Unsafe Driving Oct. 14-20," 25 September 2012