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Teen Driver Safety Week: 5 to Drive Rules

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5 to driveAhh, getting a driver’s license. It’s a moment for a teenager to rejoice in a newfound freedom bestowed upon them. They’ll no longer have an anxious mom or an overly commanding dad as a passenger. Instead, their cars will be filled with friends who are also rejoicing; rejoicing that their friend Jimmy is now a licensed driver.

We all had that moment — that moment where the whole world seemed to open up to us. But even though Jimmy got his license, his mom will still be anxious, and his dad will still be commanding.

Why? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the US. But, in recent years, the number of teen fatalities has declined. There’s a number of factors that could be helping to stabilize and decrease these alarming numbers, and one of them is most definitely the influence of parents, grandparents and other experienced adult drivers.

Teen Driver Safety Week runs from October 19-25, and we should all chip in and make sure teen drivers know the 5 to Drive rules, and while we’re at it — set a good example and follow the rules ourselves.

Check out the 5 to Drive rules below, courtesy of the NHTSA and their National Teen Safety Driver Week efforts.


1. No Drinking and Driving. Compared with other age groups, teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes, even though they’re too young to legally buy or possess alcohol. Nationally in 2012, 28 percent of the young drivers (15 to 20 years old) killed in crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.

2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back.  In 2012, of all the young (15- to 20-year-old) passenger vehicle drivers killed in crashes, more than half (55 percent) of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

 3. Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. In 2012, among drivers 15 to 19 years old who were distracted in fatal crashes, nearly one in five were distracted by their phones. This age group had the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use.

4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. In 2012, speeding was a factor in almost half (48 percent) of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers. By comparison, 30 percent of all fatal crashes that year involved speeding.

5. No More Than One Passenger at a Time. Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in a car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers.


Share the “5 to Drive” rules with your teen driver! If you want to be sneaky about it, post our blog to their Facebook page.  

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