Join the "5 to Drive" Campaign


Getting a driver’s license is a momentous step for many teens, leading to increased independence and responsibility. During the National Teen Driver Safety Week, next week (October 16-22), we encourage parents and guardians of teen drivers to discuss one traffic safety topic each day with their teens. The “5 to Drive” Campaign highlights five necessary rules that teen drivers need to follow to stay safe behind the wheel. These rules address the greatest dangers for teen drivers: alcohol, lack of seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding, and extra passengers.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 19 year-olds in the United States. In 2014, there were 2,679 teen (15-19 year old) drivers involved in fatal crashes and an additional 123,000 were injured. Parents can be a major influence on teens’ choices behind the wheel.

Tell your teen…

No alcohol - The minimum legal drinking age in every state is 21. But in 2014, among 15-19 year-old drivers killed in crashes, 1 in 5 had been drinking. Remind your teen that driving under the influence of any impairing substance could have deadly consequences.

No cell phone use or texting while driving - Texting or dialing while driving is more than just risky - it's deadly. In 2014, among drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 10% were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use.

No driving or riding without a seat belt - Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways for teens to stay safe in a vehicle. Yet too many teens aren’t buckling up, and neither are their passengers. In 2014, 59% of passengers riding with a teen driver were NOT wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash.

No speeding - In 2014, almost one-third (30%) of all teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the crash.

No extra passengers - Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of passengers in a car with a teen driver. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers.

"When parents model and reinforce safe driving habits, they equip their teens with the skills to safely navigate the roadways for life," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Parents need to take the time to talk with their kids about behaviors that will keep them safe, and those that create greater risk."

Even if you think they don't hear you, they do. Remember, the "5 to Drive" – Set the Rules Before They Hit the Road. Talk regularly with your teen about the dangers and responsibilities of driving. For more information about National Teen Driver Safety Week and the “5 to Drive” campaign, please visit www.safercar.gov/parents.

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Monthly Messages are brought to you by the Tompkins County Youth Services Department, a proud partner of The Community Coalition for Healthy Youth.

If you have further questions or comments about this message or would like information on how to become involved with the Community Coalition for Healthy Youth, please email ahendrix@tompkins-co.org

Thank you in advance for sharing this monthly message with your networks.
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For more information on-line, go to Links – Tips for Families, Parents and Youth Workers