With more teens dying in motor vehicle crashes than from any other cause, a new Safe Kids Worldwide report, funded by the GM Foundation, identifies strategies to drive down this statistic and emphasize the importance of buckling up every ride, every time.

According to AAA, eighty-eight percent of travelers (31.8M) will travel by automobile between Memorial Day and Labor Day. And with motor vehicle crashes being the leading cause of death in teens, so marks the beginning of the 100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers, when more are on the road for summer break. In half of the fatal crashes, the teen was not wearing a seat belt.

Safe Kids Worldwide, with the help of the General Motors Foundation, recently conducted a survey of 1,000 teen passengers and drivers to learn more about their behaviors in vehicles.

“It can be uncomfortable for anyone to speak up when they feel unsafe riding in a vehicle, and perhaps even more so for teens riding with their peers,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs who serves on the boards of both Safe Kids Worldwide and the GM Foundation. “The results of this research further underscore the importance of reaching teens with the life-saving messages to buckle up during every ride and to speak up when they don’t feel secure.”

Here are some results:

·  While the number of teen driver deaths has decreased since its peak in 2002 (5,491 deaths), there is now a greater proportion of teen passengers unrestrained in crashes (46.8% drivers vs. 54.2% passengers).

·  What’s more surprising is that many teens feel unsafe riding in the car with a teen driver, yet still do so without wearing a seat belt.

·  50% of teens felt unsafe with a teen driver and 31% have felt unsafe with a parent driving

·  Almost six in 10 have ridden with a parent who was talking on the phone

·  28 percent have been with a parent who was texting while driving

·  Speaking up to an unsafe driver is a challenge for many in the survey; 40 percent of teens say they ask the driver to stop what they’re doing, but another 39 percent say they do nothing

The study also found that having a passenger who wasn’t using a seat belt sitting behind a restrained driver increased the risk of death to the driver by 137 percent, compared to having a passenger who was using a seat belt.

The full study can be found here:;

About Safe Kids Worldwide

Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations dedicated to providing parents and caregivers with practical and proven resources to protect kids from unintentional injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and almost all of these tragedies are preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 600 coalitions in the United States and in 23 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 55 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at

About the GM Foundation

Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, the Environment and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit

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