Teen Safety Belt Survey shows small improvement in young drivers “buckling up”

The 2016 Missouri Teen Safety Belt Survey is complete.  The safety belt usage for all teenage driver and front seat passengers combined totaled 70.4 percent, representing a 1.4 percent increase from one year ago.  

Traffic crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for youth ages 15 to 20 in Missouri, accounting for nearly 11.8 percent of traffic fatalities over the past three years.

A campaign called It Only Takes One is a competition between Missouri high schools that gives student groups the opportunity to educate teens, parents, and their community about the dangers teens face while driving.  The competition includes educational campaigns, surprise safety belt surveys and the creation of a public service announcement.  The campaign’s goal is to remind teen drivers that it only takes one text, one drink, one call, one reach, one distraction to cause one fatal moment.  However, taking the time to just click a seat belt could be the difference between life and death in a car crash.

Team Spirit, available to all schools in Missouri, is a youth traffic safety leadership training program to empower youth to promote safe driving habits. Team Spirit youth create and implement action plans for their school and community in efforts to reduce deaths and serious injury resulting from traffic crashes.  Team Spirit is available to all schools in Missouri.

Many factors including inexperience, alcohol, speeding, cell phones, and other countless distractions all contribute to these crashes, with many resulting in death.

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