''5 to Drive" Campaign Helps Parents Protect Teen Drivers

3 years 6 days 23 minutes ago Friday, October 16 2015 Oct 16, 2015 Friday, October 16, 2015 11:29:21 AM CDT October 16, 2015 in News
By: The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is pitching in to help parents talk to their teens about the rules of the road with its "5 to Drive" campaign during National Teen Driver Safety Week.

"Even though your teens might be gaining some independence and getting older, protecting them from harm shouldn't stop now," said Susan DeCourcy, Regional Administrator, NHTSA Region 7. "The '5 to Drive' campaign will give parents the tools they need to help keep their teen drivers safe."

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for U.S. teens 15 to 19 years old. In 2013, 2,614 teen (15-19 year old) passenger vehicle drivers were involved in fatal crashes.

The "5 to Drive" campaign addresses the five most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers. The idea behind the campaign is to give parents the words to use when they talk with their teens about the rules of the road. NHTSA's website, has detailed information and statistics about the five rules designed to help save the lives of teen drivers.

The "5 to Drive" rules for parents to share with their teens are:

1. No Drinking and Driving - almost one out of five (19 percent) of the young drivers (15 to 19 years old) involved in fatal crashes had been drinking, even though they were too young to legally buy or possess alcohol.

2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. - 64 percent of all the young (13- to 19-year-old) passengers of teen (15- to 19-year-old) drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2013 weren't restrained.

3. Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. - The age group of 15 to 19 years old has the highest percentage of drivers who were distracted by cell phone use and involved in a fatal crash. In 2013, 156 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted teen driver.

4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You - In 2013, almost one-third (29 percent) of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding.

5. No More Than One Passenger at a Time. - The risk of a fatal crash goes up with each additional passenger.

Teen drivers need to follow these rules and any other restrictions outlined in each state's graduated driver licensing (GDL) law. Parents need to outline rules and explain to their teens the deadly consequences of unsafe driving practices. The "5 to Drive" campaign can help parents start that conversation.

"We are hoping that Teen Driver Safety Week and the '5 to Drive' campaign will get the word out to all parents of teens," DeCourcy said. "Don't stop protecting them now that they can drive. They need you now more than ever."

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