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TxDOT using annual 'Click it or Ticket' campaign to save teen lives

1 in 5 vehicle crashes in Texas involves a teenage driver, data says

SAN ANTONIO – According to the latest data available to the Texas Department of Transportation, one in five vehicle crashes in the Lone Star State involved a teen driver.

That's just one reason why TxDOT is targeting young drivers in its annual "Teen Click it or Ticket" campaign going on right now.

TxDOT said research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows new teen drivers are twice as likely to have a fatal crash than adults. Buckling up is one way to prevent it.

The latest numbers TxDOT says they have to work with are from 2016, and in that year, 42 percent of all teenagers killed in traffic crashes were not wearing a seat belt.

As a result, TxDOT is partnering with the Texas-based group "Teens in the Driver Seat." Besides using TV and radio ads featuring young drivers, teens head to Texas high schools sharing their stories about what can happen.

"(We're) very fortunate that San Antonio is not one of the top five cities that has the largest number of teen crashes. Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston and Beaumont are the ones that have had the highest number of teen crashes," Laura Lopez with TxDOT said.

Social Media is being used as a tool as well.

"Facebook, or some other social media outlet, to get this message, so working with teens, to get the message out to other teens is very important," Lopez said.

In 2016, there were 23 motor vehicle traffic crashes in and around San Antonio where unbuckled drivers and passengers between 15 and 20 years of age died or were seriously hurt. In those accidents four people died.