Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently unveiled a new safety campaign that’s working to keep teens safe through the busy upcoming holiday driving season. It’s the “5 to Drive” campaign and it’s addressing the five factors that can have the biggest impact young drivers’ careers behind the wheel.
“The ’5 to Drive’ campaign gives parents and teens a simple, straightforward checklist that can help them talk about good driving skills,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Our Birmingham car accident lawyers understand that traffic collisions continue to be the number one cause of death for teens across the nation. In 2011, there were more than 2,100 teen drivers who were involved in deadly collisions. Close to half of those teens were killed in these accidents. And to help to reduce the risks, we’re calling on parents to step in and kick off the conversation today. Sit down and talk with the teen driver in your family about the risks behind the wheel and the habits that can help keep them safe.
“5 to Drive” Campaign Topics:
-Keep it distraction-free. Avoid talking on a cell phone or text messaging behind the wheel. In the state of Alabama, drivers under the age of 17 with an intermediate license are not allowed to talk on a cell phone behind the wheel. All drivers are prohibited from text messaging behind the wheel.
-Avoid carrying extra passengers in the vehicle. Passengers only increase distraction and the risks for an accident. During the intermediate license, drivers cannot ride with more than 1 passenger (excluding family).
-Follow the speed limit at all times. Increasing your speed increases the risks for an accident.
-Never drink and drive.
-Never ride (or drive) a moving vehicle without your seat belt properly buckled. If you are in the front seat of a running vehicle, you must wear a safety belt or risk a fine of up to $25 from the Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS). If you are seated in the back seat you are NOT required to wear a seat belt unless you are under 15 years old.
These five topics have been designed specifically to counteract the common poor driving decisions made by teens — the ones that have helped to sustain the high death rate of these young individuals. In Alabama, vehicular deaths account for approximately half of all preventable deaths each year for those under 18 years of age. “Driver inexperience” is cited as the cause in approximately one-fourth of those deaths.
Each year approximately 450,000 teens are injured in vehicle crashes, 27,000 are hospitalized and 5,500 die.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama is currently the second-worst state in the nation for teen driver fatalities.
Now is the perfect time to talk with the teen in your family. Remember that it’s the habits that they develop now that they’re most likely to carry with them for a lifetime. Make sure that they’re equipped to stay safe out there on the road.
Backover Accidents Will Continue to Take Lives As Rearview Camera Mandate Delayed, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, October 23, 2013
Tuscaloosa Traffic Accidents – Cell Phones Not Only Distraction, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, October 16, 2013