Rockefeller Statement on Youth Traffic Safety Month

April 27, 2012

JDR Head ShotWASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today released the following statement of support for the designation of May 2012 as National Youth Traffic Safety Month.

“Preventing risky behavior that can result in tragic crashes is something that everyone should take seriously,” Rockefeller said.  “Too many young lives are cut short due to drunk driving, distracted driving, and the failure to use seat belts.  More and more people realize that a text or phone call is never worth risking a deadly crash. In recognition of National Youth Traffic Safety Month, I encourage all young drivers and passengers to focus on safety.  With advances in vehicle safety and greater awareness of safe driving behaviors, driver fatalities have been steadily decreasing.  We can prevent the loss of young lives in traffic crashes by working in our communities to prevent dangerous driving practices.”

More than 3,000 youth drivers died in car crashes in 2010 and traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America.  Teenagers are four times more likely than all other drivers to have a car crash. Young drivers are most likely to talk or text on a cell phone while driving and, as passengers, are least likely to stop another driver from using a cell phone. West Virginia has recognized these risks, and is now the 10th state to ban both texting and hand-held cell phone use while driving.