by Sharlyn Petit
This year’s National Teen Driver Safety Week runs October 18 – 24, 2015.
The campaign theme is “5 to Drive” – a catchy reminder for five talking points for parents to cover with their teens. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares these rules designed to help save the lives of teen drivers:
1. No alcohol. The minimum legal drinking age in every state is 21. Despite that, in 2013, among 15- to 20-year-old drivers killed in crashes, 29% had been drinking.
2. No cell phone use or texting while driving. Texting or dialing while driving is more than just risky – it’s deadly. In 2013, among drivers 15 – 19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 11% were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use.
3. No driving or riding without a seat belt. In 2013, more than half (55%) of all 15- to 20-year-old occupants of passenger vehicles killed in crashes were unrestrained.
4. No speeding. In 2013, speeding was a factor in 42% of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers.
5. No extra passengers. NHTSA data shows that a teenage driver is 2.5 times more likely to engage in risky behaviors when driving with one teenage passenger and three times more likely with multiple teenage passengers.
The “5 to Drive” campaign helps parents start the conversation on rules of the road. For more information about Teen Driver Safety Week and the “5 to Drive” campaign, visit www.safercar.gov/parents.