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Posted on 11-13-2016

MVA Attempts to Save Lives with "5 to Drive" Rules

As my avid blog followers are already aware I am a Baltimore Chiropractor that spends the majority of my clinic time treating patients in Baltimore with headaches, neck pain, and back pain. We have been seeing an increase in the number of injured teen drivers as of late. I just figured that the end of daylight savings time which results in more dark driving hours was to blame. As it turns out, that's only part of the reason for an increase in teen crashes and injuries as a result of Baltimore auto accidents.

As we all know young drivers are inexperienced. The inexperience they bring to driving, combined with distractions, can lead to a deadly combination for many Maryland teenagers. In 2015 Maryland saw 21 deaths in teenagers between ages 16-20, which was up from 12 in 2014.

The MVA is hoping to curb teen death by releasing what it calls the "5 to drive" rules. It is hoping that parents of teenagers go over these safety recommendations with their teenagers before they get behind the wheel.

1. No cell phones (no texting). It is said that glancing away from the road for even 5 seconds at 55 mph can have a car travel the entire length of a football field. With all of the social media apps out there, it can be hard not to glance at every beep on the phone or every snapchat message. The MVA wants teenagers to turn their phones off while they are driving.

2. No extra passengers. Driving alone allows a teen driver to focus on the road and not to be distracted by music or conversation. It has been determined that driving with even one extra friend in the car doubles the risk of a fatal crash for a teenager.

3. No speeding. Not surprisingly, it was found that the majority of teen deaths behind the wheel were directly attributed to speeding. It is important that young drivers learn how to follow posted speed limits.

4. No alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs impair brain function and reaction time. This is a good recommendation for adults as well as teenagers. But as the saying goes, good habits start early.

5. Always buckle up. It has been determined that nearly 1 in 4 Maryland teenagers killed by a driving accident did not have their seat belts on. It is important to buckle your seat belt from the moment you get behind the wheel until you car is safely parked.

Obviously these "5 to drive" rules are pretty basic. It is important that parents discuss these rules with their teenagers and hold them accountable to these actions so that we can cut down the risk for teenage death and injury due to motor vehicle collision in Baltimore and Maryland.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured as a results of a Baltimore auto accident injury, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!

Dr. Gulitz

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