U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) encourages everyone to observe National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 18-24, and help prevent teen car crashes. The week encourages parents, young drivers, lawmakers, and educators to work together to change risky driving behaviors and help save lives.

In 2007, Rep. Dent, along with U.S. Senator Robert Casey, secured passage of a resolution in Congress to designate the third week of October National Teen Driver Safety Week. Congressman Dent helped lead the effort because in the Lehigh Valley across the five year period from 2001 to 2005, there were 13,301 total vehicle crashes involving teens and novice drivers, resulting in 65 deaths and more than 5,000 injuries.

“Every year in this country, nearly 6,000 teens die in car crashes — the equivalent of 12 jumbo jets crashing,” Congressman Dent said “The difference, of course, is that when car crashes take the lives of teens, they happen one at a time, all over the country, on city highways and on country roads. Every time they happen, we mourn along with the families, friends and communities who suffer devastating loss of young life.

“So during this third week of October, we shine the spotlight on teen car crashes and the things that can be done and are being done to try to reduce them – such as laws governing distracted driving and education about its dangers. And of course the most important example begins at home, as parents establish guidelines for teen drivers.”

For more information on how to set guidelines for teen drivers, please visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.