Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20-year-olds in the U.S. That’s a scary statistic for parents with teenagers either out on the road or preparing to be. In response to this crisis, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a campaign to help parents speak with their teenagers about the importance of safe driving. They call it the “5 to Drive” campaign.
The campaign draws attention to the 5 most dangerous behaviors for teen drivers. The NHTSA’s official list is below.
- No alcohol – The minimum legal drinking age in every state is 21. However, in 2013, among 15- to 20-year-old drivers killed in crashes, 29 percent had been drinking.
- 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 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 11 percent were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use. In 2013, 318 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted teen driver.
- 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.
- No speeding – In 2013, speeding was a factor in 42 percent of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers.
- 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.
At Ponce Law, we deal with serious car accidents every day. We know the devastation they can cause Nashville families, especially when children are involved. We encourage you to take the time to speak with your teenagers about driver safety before they get behind the wheel. You’ll be glad you did.