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Peer Advocate Urges Teens to Stay Safe Behind the Wheel

October 22, 2018
A teen learning to drive.

Award-winning video shows the importance of teen driver safety

Washington, D.C.– In recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 21-27, 2018), Safe Kids Worldwide and Chevrolet today released an award-winning video featuring teen driver safety advocate, Kaylyn Barbour. Now paralyzed after a tragic car crash, Kaylyn is speaking out about her experience and sending a powerful message to teens about the risks of unsafe driving behaviors.

Watch the Video of Kaylyn

Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for American teens and are most often the result of inexperienced teen drivers taking risks like not buckling up, texting, driving with teen passengers, speeding, driving under the influence or driving in the dark.

Kaylyn Barbour of Bethany, Oklahoma liked to run, dance and create art. Like so many teens, Kaylyn was active, busy and unconcerned about her own safety, but in May of 2017, her life changed forever. Kaylyn was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the chest down. Her friend lost control of her car, and Kaylyn, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown through the passenger side window. With no seat belt to protect her, Kaylyn suffered irreparable harm from the impact of the crash. After a long recovery, Kaylyn is now sharing her story in hopes of educating teens about the importance of making smart, life-saving decisions behind the wheel.

Kaylyn’s story was captured in a video that she submitted for the “Take It From a Teen” video challenge. Safe Kids Worldwide, and program sponsor Chevrolet, established the video contest in spring 2018, calling on middle- and high-school students to create a 60-second video answering the question, “How would you tell your friend to…” either buckle up, not drive while distracted, or not speed. Kaylyn’s video was selected by a panel of judges from Safe Kids Worldwide, and she was awarded $1000. The local Safe Kids coalition also received $500.

“Every year more than two thousand teen drivers are involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes,” said Torine Creppy, president of Safe Kids Worldwide. “Time and again we hear stories, like Kaylyn’s, about teens whose inexperience, when combined with unnecessary risk-taking, like not wearing a seat belt, results in tragedy. Teen Driver Safety Week serves as an opportune time for parents to talk to their teens about how to be a safe driver.”

Safe Kids Worldwide recommends the following top driving safety tips for teen drivers.

  1. Talk to your teens about how to be safe while driving. Remind teens to buckle up in every car, every time, follow traffic signals and laws and take extra time to scan for pedestrians when entering and exiting driveways and alleys.
  2. Make a formal agreement with your teen and enforce it. A 2016 research report by Safe Kids Worldwide showed that formal parent-teen agreements regarding driving restrictions help reduce risky driving, traffic violations and crashes.
  3. Let your actions speak as loud as your words. Kids are always watching, even when you think they’re not. So, set a good example when kids and teens are in the car. If you buckle up, they will buckle up; if you speed, they will likely speed.
  4. Ensure your new teen driver gets at least 50 hours of experience under a variety of driving conditions. Having more experience behind the wheel helps new drivers manage driving in the dark and driving with other teen passengers in the car, situations that can increase the likelihood of crashes for young drivers.
  5. Take action against distraction. Teach teen drivers to put cell phones and other distractions in the back seat or out of sight until their destination.
  6. Be alert around neighborhoods and schools. When driving, be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones and be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly.
  7. Watch out for pedestrians. Give pedestrians the right of way, make eye contact with them and look left, right and left again when making a turn to help spot any bikers, walkers or runners who may not be immediately visible.

To learn more safety tips, visit: https://www.safekids.org/safetytips

Download a sample family agreement.

The Safe Kids Buckle Up program is a national initiative established 19 years ago by Safe Kids Worldwide and General Motors™ to keep children, teens and families safe in and around cars. GM and Chevrolet’s long-term commitment to educating families has helped the child safety program evolve into one of the most comprehensive in the nation and covers children from birth to the time they become drivers.

5 Colorful Dots

About Safe Kids Worldwide

Safe Kids Worldwide is a global nonprofit dedicated to protecting kids from preventable injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States. Every year around the world, one million children die from an injury that could have been prevented. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 400 coalitions in the United States and with partners in more than 30 countries around the world to reduce serious injuries and deaths from traffic crashes, drowning, fires, falls, poisoning, and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from preventable injuries by nearly 60 percent. Together, we can help all kids grow up healthy and safe. Join our effort at safekids.org.

About CHEVROLET

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 100 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.


MEDIA CONTACT
Director of Content
Gary Karton
gkarton@safekids.org
(o) 202-662-0630