The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is recognizing this week in October, National Teen Driver Safety Week. NHTSA would like to remind parents of teen drivers to discuss these various safety topics that are among some of the most risky behaviors of teen drivers.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of deaths for those ages 15-20 years old in the US. An estimated 130,000 teens were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2013. Many parents are not spending as much time as they could talking with their teens about safe driving practices after they obtain their drivers license.
Below are the “5 to Drive” topics from the NHTSA that are most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers.
- No Alcohol. The minimum legal drinking age in the US is 21. In 2013, 29% of drivers killed in fatal crashes were between the ages of 15-20.
- No Cell Phone use or Texting while Driving. Texting or dialing while behind the wheel is not just risky but deadly. Distracted driving is most common among teens and 11% of fatal crashes in 2013 attributed to cell phone use.
- No Driving or Riding without a Seat Belt. Over half of teens killed in car crashes in 2013 were not wearing their seat belt.
- No Speeding. In 2013, speed was a factor in 42% of teen car crashes.
- No Extra Passengers. NHTSA data shows that a teen driver is 2.5 times more likely to engage in risky behavior when driving with one other teenage passenger and 3 times more likely with multiple teen passengers.
Parents, please use this week to remind your teens about these risky driving behaviors. All of these behaviors are simple to implement and can help keep the roads safer for everyone.