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Pennsylvania using social media to reach to young drivers

Chuck Biedka
| Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, 2:30 p.m.

State safety officials next will turn to social media to remind drivers about young driver challenges.

State police and the state Insurance Department, along with the state DUI Association, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and several school bus safety officials will join PennDOT in presenting information for and about teen drivers through Facebook posts and Facebook Live segments Monday through Friday.

Governor Tom Wolf proclaimed October 15-21 as Teen Driver Safety Week to coincide with the national observance.

Almost 600 fatal crashes in a recent four year period involved young drivers.

From 2012 to 2016, there were 87,433 crashes involving at least one 16- to 19-year old driver in the state. Those crashes resulted in 592 fatalities, according to PennDOT.

More than 71 percent of those crashes involved the teen driver driving too fast for conditions (32,466 crashes), driver inexperience (9,959), driver distraction (14,621) or improper/careless turning (13,255). There was a total of 62,413 crashes involving one or more of these teen driver factors.

“Social media offer us a platform to reach a wide range of audiences with this important safety message,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards.

According to the governor's office, the schedule features:

• Monday: Video message from Richards to remind all drivers to share the road and recognize that it is Teen Driver Safety Week. Teen driver safety advocate Maria Goldman of SADD later shares her motivation behind championing safe driving efforts at her school.

• Tuesday: Shawn McGlinchey of Krapf Bus Company and two of his award-winning drivers will focus on challenges teen drivers face relative to bus stop awareness at schools and school bus stops.

• Wednesday: State police Facebook live segment discussing the importance of driver training in providing a sound basis for good driving habits with a driver's education instructor, and how that training can help drivers avoid problems with law enforcement. Parents then join in the discussion.

•Thursday: Experienced drivers share advice they would give a teen who is learning to drive. Teens give information on how they would like to be treated on the road and challenges they face learning to drive.

• Friday: Insurance Department hosts a Facebook Live segment, outlining questions and concerns from young drivers and their parents on insurance requirements.

Like the Department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation and Instagram at www.instagram.com/PennsylvaniaDOT. Follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews.

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