Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Monday, October 15, 2012 amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

NATIONAL TEEN DRIVER SAFETY WEEK
October 14-21, 2012

Des Moines, IOWA --- Today’s youth are busier and more engaged than ever. Unfortunately, this also means they have more things to distract them, especially while driving. Iowa’s young drivers travel many miles over local, state, interstate, and rural roads. Many of these miles are before and after school as well as late at night after work or sporting events-in all kinds of weather.

October 14-21, 2012, is dedicated to raising awareness and seeking solutions to unnecessary teen deaths on the road. National Teen Driver Safety Week was established by Congress in 2007 and is held annually on the third week of each October, its goal is to focus the country’s attention on this serious issue. In Iowa, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau is asking law enforcement, parents, educators and other influencers to be vigilant in the awareness, experience and education of teen drivers.

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths, as research shows that teen drivers are at a greater risk of injury and death than all other age groups. In Iowa, driver’s ages 14-19 make up 7.4% of Iowa licensed drivers. According to a report published in 2011 by the University of Iowa’s Public Policy Center, Iowa ranked 49th out of 50 states with regards to teen driving safety statistics and conditions.

This year’s public safety officials are focused on reducing distractions, specifically texting while driving, as well as an emerging topic of rural road safety. Factors such as safety belts, speed, time of day, number of passengers, and the use of electronic devices continue to be primary causes of crashes involving teens.

Parents, teachers, mentors and adult influencers are encouraged to keep our teen drivers safe by setting a positive example while driving. Drive responsibly by buckling up, driving the speed limit, not drinking and driving, and not driving distracted.

Please contact your county sheriff’s office or local police department for local crash statistics. To view a young driver fact sheet go to:  http://www.iowagtsb.org or visit us on Facebook at Iowa Governors Traffic Safety Bureau. For more statistics and information involving Iowa’s youth, contact:

Mick Mulhern, Youth Coordinator
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau
215 E. 7th Street
Des Moines, IA  50319
Phone: (515)725-0148
E-mail: Mulhern@dps.state.ia.us

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