SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) –  The California Highway Patrol announced a yearlong comprehensive campaign to discourage teens from driving while distracted on Friday. The Teen Distracted Driving initiative aligns with National Teen Driver Safety Week, which runs from Oct. 15 through Oct. 21. 

The Teen Distracted Driving initiative is dedicated to promoting safe and responsible driving practices to help teen drivers remain focused on the road to avoid becoming another statistic, CHP said. 

According to data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, in 2021 there were more than 17,000 fatal and injury crashes involving teen drivers.

“A combination of driver inexperience and distraction behind the wheel can lead to a lifetime of consequences,” said California Highway Patrol Commissioner Sean Duryee. “The dangers associated with driving distracted are not worth the text, call, or fleeting distraction. It’s a careless choice that can change lives forever.”

As part of this initiative, CHP officers and traffic safety collaborators will participate in school and community events across the state to educate the youth.