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New Jersey tries to curb teen car accidents with safety week

New Jersey's Division of Highway Traffic Safety, along with the Attorney General's office, are taking measures to keep the state's teen drivers safe.

With car accidents having claimed the lives of over 700 youthful drivers over the last 10 years, both entities came together to launch an initiative known as Teen Driver Safety Week, which ran Oct. 16-22. Car accidents are the number one cause for teen deaths in the New Jersey and a teen driver is involved in an accident roughly every 10 minutes.

The week aims to point teen drivers to safe driving programs, like one dubbed "Share The Keys", organized by Kean University. The safe driving orientation brings teen drivers and their parents together in one forum to discuss the possible hazards of teen driving and measures teenagers can take to ensure safe driving. This program also encourages communication about safe driving within a family.

"Share The Keys" touches on measures organizers find to be pivotal to safe driving. These are as follows:

* Understanding the restrictions of a Graduated Driver License.

* Parents enforcing the guidelines of a Graduated Driver License.

* Parents displaying a positive example at the wheel so their teens can internalize the behavior.

* Parents making their kids request the keys rather than take them whenever they wish. Studies show that the verbal exchange between a parent and teen can induce safer driving.

* Teens getting more adult-supervised practice behind the wheel within the first two years of driving.

Kean University, in conjunction with the Division of Highway of Traffic Safety, also offers safe driving courses for kids of all ages.

Source: NJ Today, "Teen Driver Safety Week," October 17, 2011.

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