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Protecting Your Teens: Talk About Safe Driving

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

October 16, 2015

Oct. 16, 2015


Remember the "5 to Drive" 

Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla.—The Florida Department of Health is raising awareness about National Teen Driver Safety Week during the week of Oct. 18-24. This annual designation by Congress emphasizes the importance of safe teen driver and passenger behavior. This year’s theme, “5 to Drive,” highlights key safety messages for drivers. In 2014, Florida teens were involved in 38,795 driver crashes.

"Parents should talk with their teens reaching driving age about driver and passenger safety,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “We can prevent tragedies by reinforcing safe driving habits that keep all Florida residents and visitors safe on our roadways.”

“Teens represent eight percent of all drivers in crashes, and in Florida last year, 71 teen drivers were killed,” said Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Teens are impressionable drivers, and parents can play a large role in decreasing preventable crashes by setting a positive example for safe driving.”

“National Teen Driver Safety Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about safe driving behavior among our young drivers,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Boxold. “Florida is the third largest state in the nation and safety is a priority on our roadways as more people move to our state. FDOT is proud to support this national event and encourages our teenagers to develop good habits when they drive.”

Remember the “5 to Drive” before getting behind the wheel:

  1. No drinking and driving;
  2. Buckle up. Every trip. Every time. Front seat and back;
  3. Put it down. One text or call can wreck it all;
  4. Stop speeding before it stops you; and
  5. No more than one passenger at any time.

It is important for parents and guardians to remember that they are the biggest influence on your teens’ habits behind the wheel. All residents should take the time to model good driving practices when on the road with friends and family. Surveys show teens whose parents impose driving restrictions typically engage in less risky driving and are involved in fewer crashes.

For more information about National Teen Driver Safety Week, check out this public service announcement. Parents can also visit to learn more about how to talk to their children about car safety.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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