At the age of 16, most teens take advantage of their ability to obtain a drivers license, with little or no formal training. The lack of training means they are not prepared for the road or the dangers that driving can pose. With this lack of experience, it is not surprising that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. In 2010, about 2,700 teens in the United States aged 16“19 were killed and almost 282,000 were treated and released from emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes. In Florida, teenage vehicle collision deaths have reached epidemic proportions. Our state reports the highest rate of crash involvement (ages 15 to 19 years), highest rate in fatal crashes and the second highest rate of alcohol-related crashes. Thus, NHTSA has rolled out a new campaign which asks parents to discuss five critical driving safety behaviors with their teens. The œ5 to Drive campaign rules are:
¢ No texting or talking on a cell phone while driving
¢ No additional teen passengers
¢ No speeding
¢ No alcohol consumption
¢ Always wear a safety belt as a driver or passenger
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The list is based on the leading contributing factors for fatal crashes that involve teen drivers, according to a NHTSA press release.