Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for youth (15-20) in Missouri, accounting for nearly 13.2 percent of traffic fatalities during the last three years. Many factors – including inexperience, alcohol, speeding, cell phones, and other countless distractions – all contribute to these crashes, with many resulting in death. Research indicates that driver distractions are the primary cause of fatal collisions. In addition, one of the greatest risk factors faced by teens is the number of passengers in the vehicle. Studies have confirmed that with the presence of just one passenger, teens are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash. It’s important that teen drivers realize it only takes ONE text, ONE drink, ONE call, ONE reach, ONE distraction to cause ONE fatal moment but that ONE clicked seat belt could be the difference between life or death in a car crash.
C2000 accepting their prize for First Place in the “It Only Takes One” 2014 Campaign
The initial “It Only Takes One” campaign was held in the 2013-2014 academic year, with three groups winning top honors. To take part in this campaign, schools had to register in the fall. Then, students from 34 participating schools were presented a free t-shirt after submitting a completed parent-teen driving contract to their advisors. The t-shirts proved to be an effective tool to get students talking about the dangers of distracted driving, but many of the schools did not stop there. Students and advisors carried this message out into the community – with posters, thumb bands, belt checks, and other materials that sparked conversation between teens and adults about safe driving practices. Almost 1700 students were impacted by the campaign across Missouri.