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Car Accidents and Teenage Fatalities on the Rise in Florida

We might be doing a better job in helping to form the safe driving habits of our teenage drivers, but the job is far from over.

According to the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a near 50 percent decrease in the number of driver fatalities among drivers age 15 to 20 from 2002 to 2011. Although that may look like good news to you, it’s important to point out that the number of teen driver fatalities actually increased from 2010 to 2011. This means that there were close to 2,000 teenage drivers who were killed in traffic accidents across the U.S. in 2011.
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Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys understand that traffic accidents continue to be the number one cause of death for teens across the nation, despite this recent decrease. In 2011, there were close to 212 million licensed drivers in the U.S. Our young drivers accounted for merely 6 percent of these drivers. Yet teenagers accounted for about 10 percent of all drivers involved in fatal accidents. The fact remains a large number of drivers out there are driving with little experience under their belt and are at extremely high risk for accidents. Parental and guardian involvement is one of the best ways to help to reduce these numbers.

In 2011, there were close to 4,500 young drivers involved in fatal traffic accidents. During this same time, there were close to 1,300,000 teenage drivers who were involved in police-reported collisions. There were many accidents that officials believe were not reported.

In the state of Florida, there were more than 120 teenage drivers who were killed in traffic accidents in 2011. Overall, we were ranked as the third most dangerous state in the country for these kinds of accidents. If you include all teens involved in fatal accidents, you’d come out with a fatality number of close to 350.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there are no passenger restrictions in the state of Florida for newly-licensed drivers. In addition to the lack of passenger regulations, the state of Florida also has very loose restrictions for teenagers behind the wheel. These two reasons may be top contributors to why Florida saw so many teen fatalities on our roadways.

For this reason, we’re asking parents to get involved this spring. As the ruler of your family, your home and your teen, we’re asking you to enact some tougher rules in your household. Parents and guardians are some of the most influential people in their teen’s driving career. Make sure you’re setting a safe example and your providing your young drivers with all the tools they need to develop safe driving habits.

If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, call Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

One Dead, 16 Injured in School Transportation Accident, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 23, 2013

Florida Pedestrian Safety a Summer Concern, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 17, 2013

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