ANCHOR LEAD: This past week has been a deadly one for teens behind the wheel. Three different states and three horrific accidents resulting in the loss of young lives. Brian Osuch has more on how we can help keep teen drivers safer, and increase their odds of living and learning how to become better drivers. (1:30)
SCRIPT: Zero-to-Sixty, I’m Brian Osuch. Getting a driver’s license is often viewed as a right of passage into adulthood. But, GM’s James Bell says many of these young drivers are at a severe disadvantage the moment they get behind the wheel.
CUT: (Bell) Teen drivers lack the experience required to recognize hazards that many adult drivers have learned over time.
SCRIPT: Forty-three percent of crashes involving teens happen because of these hazards. Teens are more likely to drive aggressively, not wear seat belts and underestimate distractions like loud music. And the results can be devastating.
CUT: (Bell) Motor-vehicle crashes remain a top cause of death for America’s youth between the ages of 15 to 20. And drivers 16 to 19 are three times more likely than older drivers to be involved in a fatal accident.
SCRIPT: But teen drivers don’t have to learn safe driving lessons the hard way. Because experts already know who is at the greatest risk.
CUT: (Bell) In 2010, the death rate for male teen drivers were twice that of females. And more than half of teen fatalities on the roadways happen between Friday and Sunday.
SCRIPT: Bell says there are ways we can help keep teen drivers safer while behind the wheel.
CUT: (Bell) Obey the speed limit. Speeding causes 40% of teen driver fatalities. All drivers need to put the cell phone down. And texting is deadly. Drivers can drive the entire length of a football field without even looking at the road while texting.
SCRIPT: And parents can do their part by putting their own safety laws into place.
CUT: (Bell) If your state doesn’t already have driving restrictions, perhaps parents should consider limiting the amount of teen passengers in a vehicle at any given time. Having fewer passengers is always safer. And parents should also consider nighttime driving restrictions to keep their teen drivers safe.
SCRIPT: For more log onto GM-dot-com. That’s Zero-to-Sixty from GM.
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