Traffic deaths in the first half of 2016 are still going up, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging parents and teens to take essential steps to prevent accidents during National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 16-22). NHTSA’s 5 to Drive campaign encourages safe driving behaviors in teen drivers, like cell phone use while driving, no extra passengers, no speeding, no alcohol, and no driving or riding without a seat belt.

"We have to do better"

“We know that 94 percent of all car crashes are caused by human choice or error,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Nearly 3,000 teens were involved in deadly vehicle crashes last year. We have to do better, and as parents we should all model, teach, and enforce good driving habits for our young drivers.”

To kick off National Teen Driver Safety Week, NHTSA will participate in events on October 17 on both coasts. On the West Coast, Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind and Safe Kids Worldwide CEO Kate Carr will lead a roundtable discussion about decision-making with teen drivers at Mills High School in Millbrae, California. And on the East Coast, Acting Deputy Administrator Terry Shelton will address students, safety advocates, and law enforcement at the National Organizations for Youth Safety Interactive Traffic Safety Lab, just outside Washington, D.C.

Risky behaviors

“Teen drivers today face many challenges as young drivers – it is critical for them to avoid distractions and risky behaviors, and focus on the road when behind the wheel,” said Rosekind. “I’m looking forward to our dialogue with teen leaders near my hometown about how we can help make these lifesaving decisions second-nature for teen drivers. We need to ingrain good habits like attentive driving and buckling up so teens stay safe for life.”

Teenage drivers are often the least experienced drivers on the road. NHTSA’s 5 to Drive campaign features  several straightforward and practical safe driving principles and receommendations to help parents enforce – and teens remember – safe driving habits every time they get in a car.
We all have a role when it comes to keeping teens safe as drivers and passengers, said Kate Carr, president & CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “As a parent of a teen, I understand the value of listening and learning what it will take and what we can do to empower teens to make safety a priority every ride, every time.”