Dallas auto accident lawyer Amy Witherite highlights the Texas Department of Transportation’s newest program aimed at encouraging teenagers to buckle up. Encouraging teenagers to buckle up may save lives: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, properly worn lap-shoulder seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injuries to front-seat occupants by 45 percent. Equally important, Texas law requires all vehicle drivers and passengers to be buckled in. Violators face fines and court costs up to $200.
Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. In 2014, almost three hundred teenage drivers and passengers (ages 15-20) died in Texas traffic crashes. Of those fatalities, 134 (46 percent) were individuals who were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
To curb this problem, the Texas Department of Transportation is partnering with more than 900 Texas high schools to remind teens to “Click It or Ticket.” TxDOT is asking families, teachers, and teenage peers to remind teenagers to buckle up every time they get in a vehicle. In addition, TxDOT is sending free “Teen Click It or Ticket” educational toolkits to high schools across the state. Each kit contains banners, posters, brochures, and parking lot signs reminding students to wear their seat belts or face costly tickets, injuries, or even death.
This spring, TxDOT will also promote “Teen Click It or Ticket” at University Interscholastic League competitions. An actual, mangled truck display and an audio recreation of what happened to the teenagers who survived the truck’s wreck, will be set up at boys’ and girls’ state high school sports tournaments in San Antonio, Georgetown, and Austin.