On February 13, 2006, Abbate's 15-year-old brother, Luke, was seriously injured in a car accident on the way home from lacrosse practice, and died two days later. Before his junior season, Abbate asked head coach Jim Grobe whether he could switch his jersey number from 40 to 5, the number his brother had worn. Grobe agreed, and Abbate wore the number throughout his junior season. During the 2006 season, Abbate and his family would hold up five fingers before the start of the fourth quarter as a tribute to Luke. As the season progressed, Abbate's teammates, Wake Forest fans, and even fans of opposing teams began holding up five fingers as well—a tradition that attracted much media attention during the Deacons' successful year. Additionally, the Abbate family created the "Five Foundation" to raise awareness among young people of the responsibilities and dangers of driving. A movie about Jon Abbate, his brother Luke, and Wake Forest's 2006 football season, entitled The 5th Quarter, was released on March 25, 2011.