SALT LAKE CITY -- Last year, 28 percent of all teenage automobile-related deaths in Utah occurred in Weber County.
"We had three separate crashes last year in Weber County that took the lives of nine young people," said Jann Fawcett, Weber-Morgan Health Department injury prevention specialist.
"Because this is National Teen Driving Week, we are urging parents to talk with their teenagers about safe driving, but we don't just want them to talk -- we want them to set an example."
Because teenagers are so new to the road, Fawcett said, they don't fully comprehend the seriousness of driving.
"Driving is a privilege and a responsibility, and there should be rules and consequences," she said.
"Parents should draw up a contract with their kids that includes several rules such as buckling up, curfews, how many passengers allowed in the car, no texting and talking on the phone."
The Utah Department of Health has released a book that tells the stories of teenagers killed in motor vehicle crashes.
"All They Left Were Memories" is written in English and Spanish and can be downloaded from the Internet.
The book will be used by the Utah Department of Health and other state and local agencies as a prevention tool to help teenage drivers realize the impact they have on others while they are behind the wheel.
This is the fourth year UDOH has collected stories of teenagers killed in car accidents. This year, a map showing the location of each of the 25 deaths that occurred in Utah is included in the book.
Five of those Weber County deaths occurred when a group of friends was returning from a camping trip in Ogden Canyon and the driver of their car crossed a double yellow line to pass another car of friends, only to collide with an oncoming vehicle.
All occupants of the car of teens died.
During a news conference Thursday at the Utah Department of Health, Johnny Reyes, the father of 19-year-old Vanessa Reyes, one of those killed in the crash, said the scene of the crash was like a horrible nightmare.
"It was quiet. No ambulance, just a tow truck. I wanted to see my daughter, but all I saw was mangled metal," he said.
"I can't begin to describe the emotions one feels, knowing they will never see or hear their child again, the pain of knowing a small child will never know his mother and we will never hug her again, all because of a choice someone else made."
Fawcett said drivers from Ogden and Fremont high schools currently have the lowest rate of using seat belts. Because of that, she said, the health department has teamed up with the schools' driver's education department to provide literature and hands-on activities.
"This book shows the ripple effect our driving decisions can have on our families, friends and communities," said Jenny Johnson, UDOH Violence and Injury Prevention Program specialist.
Teen drivers were three times more likely to have a contributing factor, such as speeding, in a fatal crash. In addition to speeding, Fawcett said, failing to yield the right of way, passing other cars and distracted driving were contributing factors.
"Hopefully, the things we're doing will help our kids be safer on the road," Fawcett said.
"They need to know that their driving impacts everyone around them, including other drivers as well as those inside their own vehicle."