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National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 21-27

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~ We Arrive Alive campaign focuses on safe driving education to prevent teen crashes ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in recognizing National Teen Driver Safety Week from October 21 to 27. DHSMV’s 2018 We Arrive Alive campaign for Teen Driver Safety Week uses the tagline Saved by the Belt, reminding teens and those around them why buckling up is so important to ensuring all teens Arrive Alive.

“Teen drivers are just beginning to learn the enormous responsibility of being behind the wheel and the consequences of unsafe driving behaviors,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Safe driving is a lifelong effort and parents play a critical role developing safe driving techniques that will last a lifetime. Remind your teens to always buckle up and never text and drive.”

On October 23, DHSMV’s Division of the Florida Highway Patrol will be highlighting Teen Arrive Alive Day with events throughout the state to educate parents and teens on safe driving behaviors to ultimately prevent deaths from teen crashes. Florida teens make up approximately five percent of Florida’s licensed drivers; however, in 2017, teen crashes made up almost 12 percent of all crashes.

“FHP strongly encourages teen drivers to keep their phone out of reach while driving and always follow the speed limit,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Remember, your number one priority is to safely operate your vehicle and Arrive Alive.”

Parents play an important role in teaching teen drivers smart steps to stay safe on the road by working with these younger drivers to practice safe driving and making sure they always buckle up. Modeling good safety habits at the beginning helps ensure teens buckle up even when their parents are not in the vehicle.

“There is nothing more important than educating our teen drivers on safe driving habits, specifically relating to distracted driving,” said Florida State University Police Chief David Perry, President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “All too often preventable distractions can result in deadly consequences changing families and lives forever. No parent ever wants to receive a telephone call with news their child has been involved in an accident, so the Florida Police Chiefs Association strongly supports the National Teen Driver Safety Week. This proactive initiative helps to educate teens and parents on how to protect themselves and those around them while driving. The FPCA is proud to once again be a part of National Teen Driver Safety Week in an effort to help Floridians Arrive Alive.”

“One of the primary goals of the Florida Sheriffs Association is protecting our youth and promoting initiatives that foster a sense of responsibility such as our Teen Driver Challenge Program. On behalf of our Florida sheriffs, I fully endorse the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s Teen Driver Safety Week October 21st – 27th,” said Sheriff Mark Hunter, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association.

“We have found that distracted driving causes most crashes involving teen drivers and surprisingly, that teen passengers are the top distraction,” said Matt Nasworthy, Florida Public Affairs Director for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “We must use opportunities like Teen Driver Safety Week to reinforce the message to ALL teens that traffic safety is a shared responsibility that extends beyond the driver seat.”

DHSMV encourages parents and adults to take the time to talk with teenagers about the importance of buckling up and share that message with their friends. For tips on how to talk to teens about driving safety, shareable graphics to download and more, visit the DHSMV’s website https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/teen-drivers/ and encourage teens to use the hashtag #WeArriveAlive throughout the week to add and share important teen driving safety information.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook.