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South Florida Traffic Accidents and Teen Deaths — A Direct Connection

The first year our teens get their driver’s license is among the most exciting — and dangerous — time of their life. Truth be told, car accidents are the number one cause of death for teens across the nation. For this reason, we’re asking parents to step up and to take charge of their teen’s learning process.

The “Drive it HOME” website is one valuable resource parents can use.

Our Belle Glade accident lawyers understand that one of the most beneficial moves to help teach our young drivers the rules of the road is to join the process with them. Make sure you’re offering them plenty of supervised driving time. Ride along with them often and provide them with some constructive criticism. Whenever they’re riding along with you, make sure you’re on your best behavior and offering them the safest example you can. Practice what you preach!

Another proactive move you can take is to enact a parent-teen driving contract between you and the young drivers in your family. Make sure that you lay out all of the expectations and rules you have for them behind the wheel. It’s also useful to lay down the consequences for breaking any of these rules, too.

When creating your parent-teen driving contract, you want to make sure that you lay down the laws for unsafe speeds, passengers, seat belt use, nighttime driving and impaired driving.

-Unsafe speeds. It’s important to realize that speed limits are there to keep us safe. The faster you’re traveling, the higher your risks for getting into an accident.

-Passengers. Consider limiting the number of passengers that your teen can drive with. Passengers only serve as distractions to teen drivers and increase their risks for an accident.

-Seat belts. These devices can save lives. Make sure that your teen knows that everyone in the vehicle needs to be buckled in during every car ride.

-Nighttime driving. The state of Florida might not have the toughest limitations on exactly when these young drivers can drive at night. Currently, 16-year-old drivers cannot drive from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. while 17-year-old drivers cannot drive from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Don’t be afraid to enact tougher limitations within your household to help to reduce the risks of accidents.

-Impaired driving. Your teen might not be old enough to purchase alcohol, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t get their hands on it. Drinking among teens is more common than you might think. Make sure your teen understands the risks of drinking and driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 2,000 teenage drivers killed in car accidents in the U.S. in 2010. Of these fatalities, more than 100 of them occurred in the state of Florida. Parents need to step in and step up now to help to keep their young drivers safe out there!

If you or someone you love has been the injured or killed 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:

Tightening Road Laws for Safer Roadways — Florida Fails, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, January 22, 2013

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