NHTSA’s 5 to Drive Campaign
Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for teens aged 15-19 in America? Parents have a bigger influence over their teens than they realize and can change those numbers by talking to them about road risks.
A good first step is understanding your teen’s brain. Although your teen may begin to look like a young adult, their brain still has some growing up to do. Because the decision-making and problem-solving areas of their brains are less developed, your teen can’t always make good decisions quickly. This is especially true when it comes to driving. When teen drivers face complex driving situations, studies show they’re more likely to:
- Get confused
- Be indecisive
- Have trouble figuring out the consequences
- “Freeze up”
It’s important for parents to introduce teens to various driving situations through practice and role playing in a safe and supervised setting. When teens face new driving situations without the chance to practice or rehearse first, they are more like to face greater risks.
Implement the “5 to Drive” Rule
This October 18-24 is Teen Driver Safety Week, and it’s a great time for parents to talk to their teen drivers about the risks they face while driving. As part of an awareness campaign, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration teamed up with state and local highway safety and law enforcement organizations to identify the five most important rules all teen drivers need to follow.
The “5 to Drive” campaign addresses the five most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers, and gives parents the words to use when they talk with their teens about the rules of the road. The “5 to Drive” rules for parents to share with their teens are:
- 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.
- 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.
- Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. – The 15 to 19 year age group 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.
- 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 – 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 Virginia’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) law. Parents need to outline rules and explain to their teens the deadly consequences of unsafe driving practices.
For more information about Teen Driver Safety Week and the “5 to Drive” campaign, please visit www.safercar.gov/parents.
At Virginia Beach insurance company WBR Insurance we offer a full portfolio of policies, including auto insurance. We pride ourselves in establishing personal relationships with our customers to assist you in protecting what matters most. To get a free quote for your Virginia Beach auto insurance needs, give us a call at 757-340-0028 or visit our website www.WBRInsurance.com.
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