Most Wanted List

Our guest blogger today is Deborah Hersman, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Did you know that every single day, more than 90 lives are lost on our highways?  That means that someone in America dies in a traffic accident every 13 minutes.

I want to share with you solutions that can prevent some of these tragedies.  You’ve probably heard of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” which lets everyone know the criminals they most want to catch.  Well, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has a Most Wanted List, too.  Our list lets everyone know which safety solutions we most want to see implemented.  These are the measures that will save lives and prevent injuries.

Eliminating distractions for young drivers is a good example.  Did you know that car crashes are the leading cause of death for 15-20 year olds?  A driver who is 16 years old is more than twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash than an older driver.  And, because teens like to travel together, when a teen driver is in an accident, the passengers that are killed are usually other teens.

Why is driving such a hazard for teen drivers?  Because teens often engage in risky behaviors, like speeding, drinking and driving, talking or texting on cell phones, or being distracted by interactions with other teens in the car.  Add to this, that teens are engaging in these behaviors while they’re still learning to drive.  Teens may have passed their driving test but that doesn’t mean they are ready for every scenario they’ll encounter on the road.  They’ll face new traffic situations as they gain experience controlling a several thousand pound machine.

So what can you do?  Buckle your seat belt, turn off your cell phone, keep your eyes focused on the road, and, if you’ve been drinking, give your keys to a friend who hasn’t..  You need to be alert and ready for whatever you might face – your life and other lives depend on it.

If you would like to learn more about the NTSB’s Most Wanted List, please join our press conference by logging on to our website at 10:30 a.m. on November 16, 2010.

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