decidetodriveSummer — for teens and young adults, the school break means more time for fun, friends, driving and unfortunately driving distractions like texting, eating, and applying makeup.

In fact, the summer months rank the highest for crashes and related injuries/fatalities among teen drivers and passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 387,000 Americans were injured in distracted driving-related crashes in 2011, and there were an estimated 3,331 fatalities. Ten percent of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as “distraction-related” and 11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in a fatal crash were reportedly distracted at the time of the crash.

And according to AAA, summer is the most dangerous time of year for teen drivers with seven of the top 10 deadliest days occurring between Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers are urging young drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road this summer with the “Decide to Drive” campaign. The campaign offers a Wreck-less Checklist for all drivers, including:


  • Consciously make a decision each time you get behind the wheel to make all other activities, passengers and priorities secondary to driving.
  • Before staring the car fasten your seatbelt and take care of any adjustments that need to be made.
  • Stop your vehicle in a safe area any time there is a distraction that needs your attention.
  • Don’t eat or drink while driving.
  • Keep your eyes on the road.
  • Driving if not the time to apply makeup or change your clothes.

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