Our Hollywood, Florida injury lawyers frequently write about the dangers faced by teen drivers on the road. Now a new report by USA Today suggests that parents are turning to one of the oldest tools in the arsenal to help ensure the safety of young drivers: The Teen Driving Contract.
Teens are responsible for a disproportionately high number of cars accidents in Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida. Nationwide, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 20, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Now is an excellent time to initiate discussion and execute a safe driving contract with your young driver, as we prepare for high school homecomings, the upcoming holidays and the start of heavy traffic that comes with tourist season.
Teens are at risk for every poor driving decision, behavior and habit imaginable, including drunk driving, not wearing a seat belt, driving with too many passengers in the vehicle, distracted driving and speeding. A driving contract typically sets out the expected behavior and the penalties for any violation. The contract also can restrict freedom initially, while rewarding experience with more freedom behind the wheel.
“It’s a way for parents and teens to engage with each other and agree on what the consequences are,” says Arlene Greenspan, of the injury center at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Writing it down clarifies for everybody what the rules are.”
Many insurers also offer discounts to parents and teenagers who have executed a written driving agreement. The government reports a total of 6,428 motorists were killed in accidents with teen drivers in 2008. Florida car accidents involving teenagers claimed 516 lives.
AAA offers a Florida teen safe driving agreement here.
Freeman & Mallard is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to helping motorists who have been injured in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.