This year, Teen Driver Safety Week is October 18-24. Operating a vehicle requires tremendous responsibility, and that is especially true for new drivers. For teens 15-19 years old, automobile accidents are the leading cause of death. In the year 2013 and within that age frame, there were 2,614 deadly accidents alone.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has endorsed a campaign called “5 to Drive”. They hope it will incite parents to sit down with teens and discuss the responsibilities and importance of safe driving. The campaign includes the five most threatening and fatal actions for young drivers.
The “5 to Drive” guidelines to discuss are:
- No Drinking and Driving: Almost 19% of drivers ages 15-19 years old are involved in deadly accidents with alcohol in their systems. This is despite being too young to legally purchase or drink alcohol.
- Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back: In 2013, 64% of drivers ranging from ages 15-19 years old, and passengers from ages 13-19 years old were involved in fatal accidents while not wearing seatbelts.
- Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All: In 2013, the distraction of a cellular device while on the road resulted in 156 teens being killed. Cell phones are an important part of society, but no call or text is worth losing a life.
- Stop Speeding Before It Stops You: In 2013, driving over the speed limit was a factor in 29% of accidents involving teenage drivers.
- No More That One Passenger at a Time: As the number of passengers increase in a vehicle, so does chance of a deadly accident.
Being able to drive is an exciting time in a young person’s life, but there are countless responsibilities to consider before operating a vehicle. Drivers are not only accountable for their own safety, but also for everyone else on the road. If the guidelines above are put into action, the awareness of teen driver safety can increase tremendously. Parents and guardians, it is your responsibility to prepare your teens for Georgia roadways.