Challenging teens to buckle upWoodbury High School members of “Students Against Destructive Decisions” (SADD) are participating in the Seat Belt Challenge sponsored by Safe Communities Coalition of Washington County (SCCWC).
Woodbury High School members of “Students Against Destructive Decisions” (SADD) are participating in the Seat Belt Challenge sponsored by Safe Communities Coalition of Washington County (SCCWC). Led by advisor Holly Radanke, the students are involved in efforts to increase seatbelt usage among their peers.
SADD members have been spot-checking seatbelt compliance in senior student drivers and front passengers as they leave the parking area. The students are competing for the Golden Seat Belt Award for the highest rate and most improved rate of seat belt use by students for the period April 14 through May 9. Although the survey results have not been released, Radanke reports that approximately 75 percents of Woodbury Senior High senior students are wearing their seatbelts, but a large number of students are driving unbelted, without the protection from death or injuries that a seatbelt can provide.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. Although teens comprise only 3 percent of the states licensed drivers, teen drivers account for almost 9 percent of the crashes. A 2002 state study using data of per miles driven, showed that even though teens drive less than adults, teenage drivers are over-represented in motor vehicle crashes.
Based on miles driven: teens have a fatal crash involvement rate that is 4.5 times higher than adult drivers; teens have a crash involvement rate that is 3 times higher than adult drivers; teens have a nighttime crash rate that is 4 times that of adult drivers; drivers ages 16-17 with two or more passengers were twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash, and 1.5 times more likely to be involved in an injury crash than adult drivers with two or more passengers.
Data provided by the Safe Communities Coalition of Washington County is based on statistics from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.