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.

The link below will provide guidelines for carrying out an IT ONLY TAKES ONE campaign in your school and community. Please read each page carefully, and then organize a meeting with an interested school group, SADD chapter or other school or community group to make plans for executing your IT ONLY TAKES ONE campaign. The end goal is to change attitudes and behaviors of youth behind the wheel, therefore, decreasing crashes and saving lives.

Contact your Regional Coordinators to help with any additional questions you may have. Also, note that there are prizes available to schools for participating in the IT ONLY TAKES ONE campaign. Keep reading to find out about how to get involved in educating youth, parents and community members about the dangers of distracted driving.