The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has unveiled its “5 to Drive’’ campaign, which gives parents and teens a simple checklist to help them talk about good driving skills that can prevent crashes. Here are five critical practices that promote teen driving safety.
All text by Tara Baukus Mello, Bankrate.com contributor
Tell teens: Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel
Why: Inexperienced drivers are more susceptible to being distracted behind the wheel.
Key statistic: Making a phone call increases teens’ risk of crashing sixfold. Texting increases their crash risk 23 times.
Tell teens: No extra passengers in the car
Why: Teens are more likely to get distracted or engage in a risky behavior with a friend in the car than when driving alone.
Key statistic: Teens are three times more likely to do something risky when driving with multiple passengers.
Tell teens: Drive the speed limit
Why: Speeding increases the risk of a car crash.
Key statistic: Speed was a factor in 35 percent of fatal crashes with teen drivers in 2011
Tell teens: Don’t drink and drive
Why: Teens are more likely to be killed in an alcohol-related car crash than anyone else.
Key statistic: About 31 percent of drivers 15-20 years old who were killed in car crashes in 2006 had been drinking.
Tell teens: Buckle up when you drive
Why: Seat belts prevent injuries and promote driving safety.
Key statistic: In 2011, a majority of teens who were killed in car crashes were not wearing seat belts