5 To Drive: New Program Launched That Aims To Keep Teen Drivers Safer

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Stopping teen tragedies. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has launched a new program to make teen drivers safer. It’s called “5 To Drive.”

Meghan McCorkell has more on the program.

Car crashes are the leading causes of death in teenagers age 14 to 18. Now the Feds are trying to reverse that trend.

Four teenagers were killed in a tragic crash on Kent Island in April. One of the causes was excessive speed.

A young father died riding his motorcycle in Gambrills. Investigators say the 19-year-old driver that hit him was texting behind the wheel.

Three Anne Arundel County high school graduates were in the car when the teen driver mistakenly went the wrong way down Rt. 50. All three died in a head-on crash.

Now federal officials are trying to stop tragedies like those. They’ve launched a new campaign called “5 to Drive,” outlining the five rules every parent should have for their teenage driver.

“It’s very important that parents set ground rules and more importantly, or equally importantly I should say, it’s important that parents be good role models,” said Ragina Averella, AAA.

Those rules? No cell phone use or texting behind the wheel, no extra passengers, no speeding, no alcohol and no driving without a seatbelt–behavior often seen on the roads.

“It’s scary how many people you see on the highway and on their phones,” said one driver.

Young drivers WJZ spoke with say they think the rules are a good idea.

“As a driver, I try to avoid doing those things because obviously it’s unsafe,” said one.

AAA also recommends parents drive with their teens in more challenging situations, like inclement weather or heavy traffic.

Officials recommend drawing up a parent-teen driving contract for your child to sign, outlining consequences if they break any of the rules.

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