Car accidents in Weston and elsewhere are the number one killer of teens in the United States. With the holiday season approaching, teens are at an even higher risk for a fatal accident, but with parents’ help, we can try to reduce these risks. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, teen drivers are at the greatest risk of an accident during their first year behind the wheel. During this time, one out of every five will be involved in a car accident. More than 300 teens died in Florida in car accidents in 2007.
The “Drive with Care – Courtesy, Attention, Responsibility and Experience” campaign is reaching out to young drivers and their parents to discuss the dangers of driving and to help keep our roadways safer. As seasonal residents venture south and vacationers flock to the beach, teens are facing congested roadways and serious risks for accidents. Parents are urged to discuss these dangers and safe-driving tips to keep them safe.
Our Weston car accident lawyers understand that Florida law requires that parents provide their teen drivers with at least 50 hours of supervised driving before they can apply for an operator’s license. Ten of these hours must be completed at night. During this time, parents are asked to serve as a positive role model and coach. Teens are likely to mimic their parents’ habits on the roadways. Parents are urged to get involved in their young driver’s habits, especially during the holiday season when roadways traffic is expected to increase significantly.
Teen drivers are less likely than adult drivers to be able to understand the risks and dangers of driving. This is because they’ve been behind the wheel for such a short amount of time and they’ve been exposed to much less driving hazards. Teens’ brains are still developing well into their 20s. This development affects their judgment while driving.
Drivers age 16 and 17 are nearly 50 percent more likely to be involved in an accident if there’s another passenger in the vehicle. These drivers also face increased risks for accidents between 9 p.m. and midnight. Although our teen drivers make up only about 6 percent of Florida’s driving population, they account for nearly 15 percent of all fatal accidents.
Safety tips for teens from the Florida Driver Handbook:
-Always wear a seat belt. It may be your best defense in the event of an accident.
-Make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted before starting your car.
-Always drive with your lights on for added safety.
-Be sure to come to a complete stop at all red lights and stop signs. Slow down before stopping to avoid having to slam on the brakes.
-Never tailgate. Keep a distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
-Be sure to look all around before moving forward from a stop.
-Don’t rely on mirrors when backing up or making a turn.
-Stay at least 15 feet away from all trucks. Remember that if you can’t see the truck’s side-view mirror, the driver probably can’t see you.
-Never drive faster than the posted speed limit. Your risks of serious injury or death doubles for every 10 mph you travel over 50 mph.
Parents are urged to discuss these pointers with teen drivers to help to prevent a car accident in Weston and elsewhere in South Florida.
The car accident attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC are well versed in cases involving drunk drivers, speeders and distracted drivers. If you or your teen driver has been involved in a car accident in Weston, Delray Beach, Greenacres or anywhere else in South Florida, call 1-800-561-7777 to make an appointment for a free consultation today.
More Blog Entries:
AAA Studies Teens to Determine Most Common Cause of Car Accidents in West Palm Beach, Nation, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, October 18, 2011
Fewer Drivers, Fewer Car Accidents in Weston, elsewhere, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, October 14, 2011