Each year thousands of high school students across New York State look forward to attending their prom and graduation ceremony. For parents, siblings, educators and the community, these memorable moments become tarnished when a child dies or becomes seriously injured in a car crash.

In an effort to reduce these tragedies, at Garnet Health Medical Center we support the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) “No Empty Chair” campaign.

Local cases of teens in Motor Vehicle Crashes do occur in our community. In 2017, ORMC had 659 patients come in from a Motor Vehicle Crash last year that were between the ages of 16-25. The numbers increased each month from April to July which is consistent with the drive of the “No Empty Chair” campaign.

To compare it to the other ages, 26-65 was 1,292 visits in 2017. So this small age group holds significant portion of motor vehicle crashes that arrive at ORMC.

Educating Teens About Distracted Driving

Though it is important all year long to promote safe driving with your teens, we encourage you to take a moment to sit your teen down during prom and graduation season to reemphasize the importance of safe driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), in 2016 alone, 3,450 people were killed. 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015.

During daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

Share & Safe Lives!

Please join us and our Trauma & Injury prevention team in sharing this article or the following video to help spread awareness and education, and save lives.

This video was produced by Garnet Health Medical Center’s Injury Prevention Program, featuring local Police, EMS, and Fire Department, local drama students, and our very own Garnet Health Medical Center staff.

For more information, contact our Injury Prevention Coordinator, John Nowinski, by phone: 845-333-1379, or email:

All content presented are provided for informational and educational purposes only, and are not intended to approximate or replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.  Never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read within the website content.  If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.