Drive Smart: Talk to Your Teen About the "5 to Drive"
National Teen Driver Safety Week will take place Oct. 18-24. With that in mind, we thought we’d share with you five tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The “5 to Drive” campaign highlights the five necessary rules that teen drivers need to follow to stay safely behind the wheel. These rules address the greatest dangers for teen drivers: alcohol, texting, seat belts, speeding, and extra passengers.
1. No Drinking and Driving: Set a good example by not driving after drinking. Remind your teen that drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and alcohol and driving should never mix no matter your age.
2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back: Lead by example. If you wear your seat belt every time you’re in the car, your teen is more likely to follow suit. Remind your teen that it’s important to buckle up on every trip, no matter how far or how fast.
3. Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All: Remind your teen about the dangers of texting or dialing while driving, and that the phone is off-limits when they are on the road. It’s equally important to model safe driving habits for your teen — you shouldn’t text and drive either.
4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You: Drive the speed limit and require your teen to do the same. Explain that every time your speed doubles, your stopping distance quadruples.
5. No More Than One Passenger at Any Time: With each passenger in the vehicle, your teen’s risk of a fatal crash goes up. Colorado Graduated Driver Licensing Laws state the first 6 months of driver’s license there are to be no passengers under 21. Between six months to one year of holding a license, the driver may have one passenger under the age of 21. Immediate family/siblings are exempt; if parent is in the car or an adult age 21 or older with a valid driver’s license for at least one year.
FOR PARENTS — KEEP TALKING ABOUT THE “5 TO DRIVE”
Start the conversation with your teen during Teen Driver Safety Week, but continue the conversation every day.
Even if it seems like they’re tuning you out, keep telling them. They’re listening, and these powerful messages will get through.
Get creative. Talking is just one way to discuss safe driving. You can write your teen a letter, leave sticky notes in the car, or use social media to get your message across.
Get it in writing. Create a parent-teen driving contract that outlines the rules and consequences for your teen driver. Hang the signed contract in a visible place.