Between 2006 and 2008, 10 percent of all teen traffic deaths on North Carolina highways occurred in Johnston County. Johnston was ranked number one in the state for teen highway deaths in 2007 with 11 deaths.
In 2008, a committee was formed to address the troubling situation. That committee formed what is now JoCo Teen Drivers in response to the frightening statistics.
The peer-to-peer level platform has proven to be more effective than the traditional means of conveying messages about safe driving, avoiding distractions, and combating teen fatalities.
New statistics released this month shows Johnston County now ranks 6th in the state for teen highway deaths between 2012-2016 with 12 fatalities. Johnston ranked 12th for teens injured in crashes with 1,234 during the same 5 year period.
Wake County now leads the state in deaths and Mecklenburg County leads the state with injury accidents.
According to the new report, 42 percent of all teen fatalities in Johnston County in the past 5 years were male, 75% of those killed were the driver, 67% of female deaths were passengers, 50% of those killed were unbelted, and 100% of the deaths were in single vehicle crashes.
92% of the fatalities occurred on single lane roads in Johnston County, 33% occurred at night, and 25% were alcohol related. 50% of the crashes involved speed.
JoCo Teen Drivers recently held their 2017 Kickoff Luncheon in Smithfield. The focus was to honor and congratulate teens in the program for their efforts in raising awareness and to garner support for the group’s message – Drive To Stay Alive.
Texting while driving is now a big concern. 8 percent of all teen deaths in the county since 2012 were the direct result of distracted driving.