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Keeping teens safe behind the wheel

When a student at Fordham University in New York was killed by a distracted driver in 2009, her parents began an organization to honor her memory. Now her father says that National Teen Driver Safety Week that is held each October should be just one small part of a year-long effort to end distracted driving.

During National Teen Driver Safety Week, organizations sponsor events and provide information about distracted driving and other dangers to younger drivers. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics reveal that there was an overall 7.2 percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2015 as compared to the previous year. Distracted driving-related fatalities increased on a percentage basis more than for any other cause related to human choice.

The father of the Fordham student says that his organization, EndDD.org, in partnership with the American Association for Justice, is giving free presentations on the dangers of distracted driving to middle school, high school and college students. The organization's goal is to reach 100,000 students by June 2017. He advises parents to set an example for their children by not being distracted drivers themselves. He also tells parents to speak up when their teen or any other driver exhibits unsafe behavior behind the wheel.

Distracted driving is often associated with cellphone use, but auto accidents can result when a driver is fiddling with a radio dial or having conversations with other occupants of the vehicle. A person who is injured in a crash caused by such behavior may want to meet with an attorney to see how best to seek compensation for medical expenses and other losses.

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