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New Research Shows Car Crash Deaths Increase Starting At Age 12
Date:3/3/2008

years old, not wearing seat belts, and riding on higher speed roads are the three biggest factors contributing to an older child being killed in a crash," says Dr. Winston. "Knowing the risks can help parents and teens make smart decisions about which rides are safe, and which ones are off limits."

"We should not accept teen crash deaths as random accidents," says Laurette Stiles, vice president of Strategic Resources of State Farm. "These deaths are preventable. Our hope is that teens, parents and policymakers will work together to develop a culture of safe, smart passengers by providing guidance, and reinforcing safe behaviors throughout the teen years."

CHOP researchers recommend these tips to help parents protect their children from an unsafe driving situation:

1. Insist on seat belts. All occupants should buckle up on every trip, every time.

2. Set a good example. Don't drink and drive. Avoid distractions like cell phones. Obey the speed limit.

3. Set rules about safe passenger behaviors. Discuss what's helpful or distracting to a driver.

4. Monitor your child's travel. Know where he or she is going, with whom, how they are getting there, and when they will be home.

5. Know and trust the driver. It's not safe for your child to ride with a teen who has less than one year of driving experience.

In addition, Dr. Winston says that changes in policy, coupled with enforcement, can help to protect teen drivers and their passengers. Optimal graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws that emphasize a lengthened learner's phase beginning at 16, as well as nighttime driving and passenger restrictions during the intermediate phase can help reduce the risk for teens. Primary seat belt laws for all occupants to at least age 18 are also recommended.

For more information on this study and to find additional tips, parents can visit http://www.chop.edu/yo
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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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