WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation launched a campaign Tuesday challenging parents to discuss driving safety with their teenagers in order to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes, the No. 1 killer of 14- to 18-year-olds in the United States, according to federal data.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the campaign coincides with National Teen Driver Safety Week. It asks parents to spend time each day during the week discussing one of the "5 to Drive" safety topics: no cellphone use or texting while driving, no extra passengers, no speeding, no alcohol, and no driving or riding without a seat belt.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland said 2,105 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes in 2011, and 45 percent of them died. His agency designed the safety topic list to counteract poor driving decisions that studies indicate contribute significantly to the high death rate among teenage drivers.