AAA, Detroit Tigers, Michigan State Police and Office of Highway Safety Planning Team up for "Teen Driving Safety Night" at Comerica Park

May 16, 2012, 09:45 ET from AAA Michigan

DETROIT, May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Car crashes end more teen lives every day than cancer, suicide and homicide combined.  That's why AAA Michigan,  the Detroit Tigers, Michigan State Police (MSP) and the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) joined together today (May 16) to encourage teens to be safe drivers this Memorial Day weekend, the start of the summer driving season.

The four organizations support a key traffic safety message aimed at all drivers  – but especially important for new teen drivers – pay attention while driving, buckle up and avoid alcohol this holiday weekend and throughout the summer.

AAA Michigan projects more than 1.1 million state residents will travel this holiday weekend, with 91 percent going by motor vehicle.  Many will be new teen drivers.   AAA teamed with the Detroit Tigers to bring the teen traffic safety message to Comerica Park.   "To help new teen drivers and their families learn more about safe driving, we will have a traffic safety booth at the ball park during Friday night's game," said AAA Traffic Safety Manager Jack Peet.  In addition, the first 6,000 teens and their families who enter the ball park will receive free rally towels.

"Teen driver crashes peak in summer months as many teens drive more often and with less supervision than they do during the school year," added Ron Colangelo, Vice President, Communications, Detroit Tigers. "During the summer months, we get many new teen drivers here.  We want them – and all of our Tigers fans – to be alert behind the wheel and avoid distractions while driving."

Michigan State Police First Lt. Derrick Hayes noted that last Memorial Day weekend in Michigan, nine people died in seven fatal crashes.  "We encourage all summer travelers to obey traffic laws to make this a safe holiday.  We encourage parents to play an important role to help keep new teen drivers safer.  Be a good example, and set limits for teen drivers."  Hayes cited limiting nighttime driving hours and restricting the number of passengers for new teen drivers as ways to help keep them safer behind the wheel.

And, to keep all motorists safer, ongoing law enforcement traffic safety campaigns will again draw attention to driving safety – MSP's "Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) which runs during the three summer holidays, and OHSP's two-week "Click It or Ticket" safety mobilization.

AAA Michigan has purchased traffic safety banners and is once again proudly partnering with MSP in supporting Operation C.A.R.E.  Volunteers during the three summer holiday periods will provide coffee and traffic safety literature at many of the state's rest stops.     

All of the organizations encourage parents to play a leading role in developing their teen driver through regular dialogue, selecting a quality driving school, using a parent-teen driving contract, extensive practice driving and choosing a safe vehicle for their new teen driver.