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Global Youth Traffic Safety Month

Global Youth Traffic Safety Month (GYTSM) takes place throughout May each year. It encourages communities worldwide to keep young drivers safe. Created in 2007, this month encourages youth to participate in traffic safety projects that promote safe teen driving. 


As part of the month-long campaign, teens and parents can access promotional materials and toolkits through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. While we at SADD are all familiar with traffic safety, many people are not! This is why Global Youth Traffic Safety Month is an optimal time for SADD members to educate their friends and communities about the dangers on our roads. 


Here is some information that I plan to share with my peers, and you could too: 

  • Mortality Rates: In the United States, approximately 8 teens die every day, causing a disproportionately high mortality rate among young drivers. While only compromising 5% of total drivers, teens accounted for 8.4% of all drivers involved in fatal car crashes. 

  • Pedestrians: Over half of all road crash victims include vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists 

  • Speed Reduction: On average, a 0.6 mph decrease in speed leads to a 2 percent reduction in road crashes 

  • Seatbelts: Over 51% of teen drivers in a fatal car crash did not wear their seatbelts. 9 out of 10 passengers who died were also not wearing their seatbelts. 

  • Alcohol: Drinking any amount of alcohol before driving increases crash risk among teen drivers. Teen drivers have a much higher risk of being involved in a crash than older drivers at the same blood alcohol concentration. 


When obtaining my driver’s license, I spent the majority of my time practicing and meeting the hours requirement that I needed to take my driving exam. Though it is a tedious process, obtaining this practice beforehand really did help me during the test and when I was on the road afterward. Having driving practice also has been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of a teen being in a car accident (check out your State’s GDL laws to learn more about this!). Since teens are more likely than adults to underestimate dangerous situations, they make critical errors that result in serious crashes. 


With all the homework, extracurriculars, and responsibilities that high schoolers have to deal with, it is also important to always get enough sleep and prevent drowsy driving. A sleepy driver will have slower reaction time, reduced road attention, and an impaired ability to make good driving decisions. 


Even though May is the only month designated specifically as Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, as SADD members, we should always promote these concepts of traffic safety, no matter what time of year. The more we advocate for our own safety, the safer we can be on and off the roads, and maybe even be the safest generation of road users yet!


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For more information, activities, ideas and more on how you and your chapter can focus on mobility safety issues, check out SADD’s programs page.

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