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Teens least likely to wear their seat belts

The Texas Department of Transportation is raising awareness this month about the importance of wearing a seat belt. In particular, the Texas DOT is targeting teenagers with their Teen Click It or Ticket campaign to discuss the dangers of not wearing a seat belt while driving.

Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for teenagers in Texas and throughout the nation. Teenagers are involved in many more fatal car accidents than all other drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

One reason teens are more likely to be killed in a car accident is because they are less likely to wear their seat belt. In Texas alone, roughly half of the 295 teenagers killed in car accidents were not wearing their seat belts in 2011. In addition, 1,074 car accidents in Texas resulted in a serious injury or fatality for teenagers who were not wearing a seat belt.

To address the lack of seat belt use among teenagers, the Texas DOT is raising awareness of the importance and safety benefits of wearing a seat belt. Traffic safety officials are also visiting schools and holding community events to make sure teenagers and their parents understand the risks of not wearing a seat belt.

As part of their campaign, Texas officials are encouraging parents to discuss the importance of wearing a seat belt. They also say that it's important for parents to display safe driving behaviors and wear their seat belt as well.

In addition to the safety benefits of wearing a seat belt, Texas law requires that all vehicle occupants wear a seat belt, regardless of if they are in the front or back seat.

Source: Lufkin Daily News, "Increasing teen safety on Texas highways," Kathi White, Feb. 14, 2013

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