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Do you have a teen driver in the house? Maybe you have a niece or nephew who just started driving. Either way, you can help them keep safe while they are on the road.
October 18-24 is Teen Driver Safety Week, and it’s a great time for parents and close family and friends to talk to teen drivers they know about the risks they face while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has teamed up with state and local highway safety and law enforcement organizations on the teen driver safety campaign “5 to Drive.” The education and awareness campaign identifies the five most important rules all teen drivers need to follow.
- No Drinking and Driving. Compared with other age groups, teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes, even though they’re too young to legally buy or possess alcohol. Nationally in 2013, almost one out of five (19 percent) of the teen drivers (15 to 19 years old) who were involved in fatal crashes had been drinking.
- Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. Teens aren’t buckling up, and neither are their passengers. In 2013, 64 percent of all the young (13- to 19-year-old) passengers of teen drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes weren’t restrained. When the teen driver was also unrestrained, the number of all passengers unrestrained increased to almost 90 percent.
- Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. In 2013, among teen drivers involved in fatal crashes, 11 percent were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group had the highest proportion of drivers distracted by phone use. That same year 318 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted teen driver.
- Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. In 2013, almost one-third (29 percent) of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding.
- No More Than One Passenger at a Time. Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in a car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers.
Starting a conversation about the risks teens will face on the road isn’t just smart, it’s necessary. The “5 to Drive” campaign helps parents give their teens the tools they need to drive safely.
For more information about Teen Driver Safety Week and the “5 to Drive” campaign visit www.safercar.gov/parents.