Two teens from Palm Beach Gardens High School and a student from John F. Kennedy Middle School were killed in a recent car accident on Blue Heron Boulevard. Two older men in the vehicle were killed as well.
According to FOX29, a 21-year-old driver ran a red light while getting off Interstate 95 in Riviera Beach and slammed into the vehicle of five, killing them all. The 21-year-old driver was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center and was last listed in serious condition. Officials are still looking into the cause of the accident.
Our Riviera Beach car accident lawyers understand the risks that our younger drivers face out there on South Florida roadways. Unfortunately, passengers might come with the greatest risks. The truth of the matter is that two or more peer passengers more than triple the risk of a fatal crash with a teen at the wheel. It’s not so much the driver’s fault, it’s how the passengers act in the vehicle. According to a simulator study with Teen Driver Source, just knowing the passengers are there can cause teen driver to engage in dangerous behaviors. In 2011, there were more than 930 passengers who were killed in accidents involving teen drivers.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to talk with the young driver in your family about these risks. Many pediatricians counsel and talk with teenagers about driving and talk about the importance of a seat belts and the dangers that are associated with alcohol use. However, many don’t talk about the risks associated with nighttime driving and even the risks associated with present passengers.
This is especially important if you’ve got a young, male driver in your family. According to statistics, they’re more likely to be involved in an accident with passengers present. As a matter of fact, there close to 10 times more likely to drive dangerously and about twice as likely to act aggressively behind the wheel when passengers are present.
According to Florida’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) program, there are no passenger restrictions for our young drivers. In many states, our newly-licensed drivers are prohibited from having more than 1 passenger in the vehicle with them during their learner’s permit and restricted licensing stages. As these drivers gain more experience behind the wheel, they’re slowly allowed more passengers. Not here in Florida.
Because we have no passenger restrictions, we’re asking parents to step up and to do the dirty work. By enacting a passenger rule within your household, you can help to keep your young drivers safe. While you’re at it, you should consider enacting curfews and other safe driving regulations. It’s your talks, your enforcement and your efforts that are going to help to shape the safe driving habits of your teen for a lifetime.
If you or your teen driver has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact the Riviera Beach injury attorneys of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp, & Gonzalez at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Drive It Home Encourages Parents To Help Teens Avoid Car Wrecks, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, March 26, 2013