At Clark and Steinhorn, we have seen the senseless carnage on Maryland's roads associated with mistakes made by teenage drivers. Manifestly, The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has seen the same thing and has rolled out a new campaign to reduce teen driving fatalities and personal injuries both here in Maryland and nationwide.
The so called " 5 To Drive" campaign focuses on 5 simple rules to reduce or eliminate car and truck crash injuries and fatalities involving teenagers, including both teen drivers and passengers.
The rules are simply:
!. No cell phone use while driving. This means no texting and no talking, as extensive research has shown that talking on a cell phone is remarkably distracting.
2. No extra passengers. Research has shown that teen drivers are far more likely to be distracted when their friends are present in the car and also more likely to drive recklessly. Obviously, more teens in a car means more potential injuries or deaths in the event that an inexperienced driver makes a serious driving error.
3. No speeding. Speed reduces the young driver's time to compensate for mistakes or unanticipated situations. Speed also enhances the liklihood of more serious personal injuries or fatalities in the event of a crash.
4. No alcohol. This seems obvious but the incidence of teen driver alcohol use in deadly crashes is staggeringly high. Drinking and driving is prohibited for everyone but inexperienced teenage operators seem particularly prone to catastrophic driving mistakes when under the influence of alcohol.
5. Wear seat belts! Okay it is the law but any review of deadly car and truck crashes, teens or not, shows a great prevalence of deceased, unbelted passengers. At Clark and Steinhorn, we have seen numerous motor vehicle accidents where the belted passengers live and the unbelted die. It is simple bucke up!
The campaign focuses on parental involvement in these suggestions but the more sources are teen drivers hear this from the better.
The genesis of this safety push is the following shocking statistic : the leading cause of death for teenagers 14-18 years-old in the United States are car and truck crashes. 2,105 teen drivers were involved in deadly crashes in 2011." Of those teens involved in fatal crashes, 1,163 (55 percent) survived, and 942 (45 percent) died in the crash."