Large numbers of teen deaths in car crashes
show the importance of local traffic safety programs.

For the second year in a row, the American Automobile Association (“AAA”) recognized the Andover Police Department for its achievements in traffic safety. It won the Gold Traffic Safety Award in 2012, and the Silver Award in 2011. Only ten of the more than 300 law enforcement agencies in Kansas received this recognition for their traffic safety education and enforcement programs in 2012.

Andover earned its award for the low number of traffic accidents in city and, among other things, its: ● Specialized Policing thru Education Enforcement and Deterrence (SPEED) -- a community education program to deter speeding in residential neighborhoods and school zones, and ● Seat Belts Are For Everyone (SAFE), a program that encourages students to wear seat belts by raising awareness that seat belts can save lives.

The large number of teen deaths in car crashes (5500 teens each year) brings home the importance of traffic safety programs.

Take a look at these studies of car crashes involving teens, with state-by-state data, produced last year by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

   ► Characteristics of Fatal Crashes Involving 16- and 17-Year-Old Drivers with Teenage Passengers

   ► Teen Driver Risk in Relation to Age and Number of Passengers

Report highlights:

-Teens have the highest crash rates of any group in the United States.

-Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States.

-When there are young passengers in the car, a teen driver's fatal crash risk can quadruple.

More information about teen driver safety is available on the website of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

If you really care about traffic safety, how about taking this self-assessment of your safe driving skills:

       Driver Safety Quiz

Then be part of the solution by pledging to make safer driving choices in the future.