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Curb Teen Fatalities



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A timely new push is underway to reduce the number teenagers killed in tragic accidents on Utah's highways. The effort deserves all of the attention it can get.

Vehicle crashes is the leading cause of death among teens ages 15-19. Last year, for example, the number in Utah was 40. In most instances, the tragedies could have been prevented had those involved made safe driving decisions.

A Utah Teen Traffic Safety Task Force is recommending five relatively simple things teenage drivers and their parents can do to encourage safer driving:

1. Establish safe driving rules with consequences.
2. Always wear a seat belt and be firm in making sure passengers do the same.
3. Always wear a helmet when driving or riding a motorcycle.
4. Limit the number of passengers allowed in a vehicle with a teenage driver.
5. Avoid driving between 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m.

These suggestions are included in a new pamphlet available through the Utah Department of Health. For poignant emphasis, the pamphlet also includes the heartrending personal stories of 16 teens who died in motor vehicle accidents last year.

In KSL's view, every family with teenage drivers would benefit from reading the pamphlet together. A few minutes of attentive discussion could prevent a future tragedy.

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