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“Inexperience and immaturity, combined with speed, drinking and driving, not wearing seat belts, distracted driving, and other teen passengers contribute to the high fatality rate of teens involved in fatal crashes,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

Auto accidents are the leading cause of deaths among teens in America.   Teenage drivers have more fatal accidents, mainly because of their immaturity and lack of experience. They speed, make mistakes, and are easily distracted, especially if their friends are in the vehicle.

Whether it’s drunk or distracted driving, not wearing seat belts, or speeding, we need to increase our efforts to help teens make the right choices, as drivers and passengers.  How do we do that?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it begins in the home; parents need to be involved more than ever before and make it clear that many common teen road behaviors are dangerous, illegal, and potentially deadly.  To encourage open discussions on driving dangers and safer driving habits, the NHTSA has implemented a new campaign called “5 to Drive,” a simple checklist that can help parents talk with their teens about safe driving habits and most importantly, prevent a tragedy before it happens.  The five safety points are:

  • No cell phone use or texting while driving
  • No extra passengers
  • No speeding
  • No alcohol
  • No driving or riding without a seat belt

“5 to Drive” is the conversation that needs to happen before you hand over the keys.  When safe driving becomes a normal topic of household discussion, it becomes a normal behavior.  I encourage all parents of teen drivers to establish these rules before your teens hit the road.  Together, we can save lives.

The new “5 to Drive” campaign was launched to coincide with National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 20-26, 2013.  For more information on the “5 to Drive” campaign, visit

Mark Bello has thirty-six years experience as a trial lawyer and fourteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice, Public Citizen, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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