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'5 for Drive' provisions could save lives

April is known as national distracted driving awareness month. If you have a teen driver or are soon to have one, you are right to be worried about the hazards on the roads. Indeed, the state has instituted a Graduated Driver Licensing program that is intended to protect young drivers, but teenagers still remain the most vulnerable group of drivers on Connecticut roads. In fact, car accidents are still the leading cause of death among young people ages 15-20, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With that, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has introduced what it terms “5 for Drive.” It is a group of pointers that parents should review with their teen drivers to ensure they understand how important it is to incorporate basic safety measures while driving.

They also make good talking points for parents and kids

Put your phone down – Distracted driving is still a problem on America’s roads. Despite the numerous campaigns urging drivers to refrain from talking on phones and texting while driving, there are still people out there who think they can do so safely and end up getting killed. Don’t be a statistic. 

Don’t drink and drive – Under Connecticut law, any amount of alcohol in a driver under the age of 21 is considered a crime.

Always wear your seatbelt – Seatbelts save lives. It’s more than just a public service announcement.

Be aware of the speed limit – A large percentage of fatal crashes unfortunately involve excessive speed. 

Limit extra passengers – Research suggests that the fewer teens in the car with a new driver, the less likely the driver is to be in an accident. This is essentially why Connecticut’s GDL program limits the number of young people that can be in a car with a driver under the age of 18.

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