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AAA and Carolinas SADD Students Prepare for National Teen Driver Safety Week

Charlotte, NC., (October 16, 2023) – National Teen Driver Safety Week takes place this week, October 15 – 21, 2023 and SADD students in the Carolinas are raising awareness around teen driver fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2608 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver (15-18 years old) in 2021.

A 2022 AAA teen surveyfound that 48% of teens are concerned about impaired driving when on the roadways, and one in five (21%) indicated that they have ridden in a vehicle with a friend who drove impaired.

“Unfortunately, impaired driving continues to be a major traffic safety concern when it comes to teens,” said Tiffany Wright, Director of Public Affairs, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas.  “In addition, they are more susceptible to dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving and not wearing a seat belt because of inexperience.”

With motor vehicle crashes consistently being a leading cause of teen death in the United States, AAA recognizes Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) for working with students in the Carolinas to address traffic safety.

North Carolina State Coordinator, Eliza Fitzpatrick, emphasizes mobilizing communities with traffic safety education.

“Preventing destructive decisions is our goal, and we want to equip our students with the necessary tools to avoid those behaviors,” Fitzpatrick said. “Our students are crucial in leading the conversation on safe driving. Teens are far more likely to resonate with a safety message from their peers than educators or parents.”

North Carolina SADD student Lena Pearson, shared insight on safe driving habits: “I recently took a defensive driving class with B.R.A.K.E.S. Driving School (AAA Approved Driving School Network member), and I was taught so many helpful things about how to respond to real-life scenarios in the car. Being alert and defensive goes hand in hand with driving, you can’t have road safety without it,” said Lena.

For National Teen Driver Safety Week this year, SADD has created a video diary titled "What I Wish I Would Have Known.” This diary is a compilation of experienced drivers from across the nation describing what they wish they had known as young drivers. Visit SADD.org to view.

AAA Safety Tips for Teen Drivers

·      Buckle up. And make sure every passenger wears a seat belt

·      Avoid distractions - Put your phone away and never text and drive

·      Limit the number of passengers to avoid risk and distraction

·      Obey the speed limit and drive according to the conditions of the roadway

·      Get plenty of sleep to avoid being drowsy behind the wheel

·      Never drive impaired

AAA conducted 1,000 surveys among teens ages 16 - 19 in The Auto Club Group territory, Fielded January 13 – 18, 2022. ACG total is weighted by gender and teen population within state.

About AAA - The Auto Club Group

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 13 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 64 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.