Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

May 24, 2013

Help keep teen drivers safe during the summer months

CUMBERLAND — Memorial Day marks the beginning of the 100 deadliest days of the year on our nation’s roads for teen drivers.

Traditionally during the summer months, hundreds of teens are killed in car crashes and their families devastated.

These deaths are unacceptable, especially because these crashes are preventable.

I implore parents to remain vigilant as they play a big role in the fight to end these tragic crashes. 

School might be out, but teens still need to be off the roads by 10 p.m., when teen crash risks sharply increase.

Although teens may spend more time with friends during the summer months, teens should not ride with or carry other teen passengers.

Just one teen passenger increases a teen driver’s crash risk by as much as 48 percent.

Parents, please don’t ever sacrifice safety for convenience. If your teen is out late or with friends, make other travel arrangements. The risk is not worth the potential consequence.

 I lead the Maryland Teen Safe Driving Coalition, established by The Allstate Foundation and the National Safety Council to raise awareness about why teen crashes occur and what we can do to prevent them.

Sixty-seven people died in 2011 in teen-related crashes on Maryland roadways, and their deaths were preventable.

I encourage parents to get involved and become advocates for their teens’ safety on our roadways.

By doing so, I’m confident this summer can be the safest yet for our teen drivers.

 Cathy Gillen, leader

Md. Teen Safe Driving Coalition

Hanover

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