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South Florida Teens at High Risk of Traffic Collisions Through Graduation

With graduation and summer break right around the corner, teens are more likely to be behind the wheel. When they’re spending more time driving, they face higher accident risks and we unfortunately see more teen traffic fatalities. We’re approaching “The 100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), this is the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an average of 399 teens died in traffic crashes during each of the summer months (May-August), compared to a monthly average of 346 teen deaths during non-summer months.

Our Fort Pierce car accident lawyers understand that it’s not too late to instill safe driving habits in our newly-licensed drivers to keep them safe during this dangerous time.

Parents have good reason to be concerned when their teen gets behind the wheel. Young, inexperienced drivers are the most crash-prone drivers on the road.

According to newly-released statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 2,000 young (15- to 20-year-old) drivers who were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2011. Unfortunately, that’s an increase from the prior year. In addition to these fatalities, there were another 185,000 teenage drivers injured in these crashes.

During this time, there were more than 115 teenage drivers killed in car accidents in the state of Florida. We ranked among the top states for recording the most of these fatalities.

We can and must do better.

What can parents do to keep their teens safe?

-Make sure their trip has a purpose. Don’t just let them go out to drive and wander the streets. That’s creating unnecessary risk.

-Limit the number of passengers that are allowed in the vehicle. Unfortunately, the state of Florida has no passenger laws on the books, but you can create your own household laws to make sure they’re safe and focused.

-Keep an eye on their nighttime driving. Only allow it when it’s legal and necessary. Their risks for an accident skyrocket when the sun sets.

-Make sure that you talk with them about the risks of drinking and driving. They may not be old enough to legally consume alcohol, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t get their hands on it.

-Enroll teens in driving school. Not only will it help to lower their insurance rates, but it will also help to lower their risks for an accident.

-Talk with the parents of your teen’s friends. Make sure that everyone is on the same page with safe driving and with driving regulations.

-Make sure you ride along with them often. Providing plenty of supervised driving time will help them to develop safe driving habits that will last a lifetime.

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

More Blog Entries:

Car Accidents and Teenage Fatalities on the Rise in Florida, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, April 30, 2013

Three Teens Killed in Riviera Beach Off-Ramp Accident, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, April 22, 2013

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