Despite the forever aging adult population in Florida, teen drivers still remain the age group most at risk of a car accident in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and elsewhere.
Teen drivers are a hot topic on our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog because we want parents of teens to have a clear understanding of the dangers teens face. Knowledgeable parents can help young drivers gain the knowledge and experience needed to be safe drivers.
Our Fort Pierce car accident lawyers know that students returning to school increase traffic congestion during morning commutes; teen drivers and other motorists should be alert and use extra caution now that school is back in session.
There were more than 235,000 traffic crashes involving 338,633 drivers in Florida in 2009, according to a statistics report by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Crashes involving a teen driver in 2009 totaled 29,485. Eighty teens were killed, along with 73 teen passengers. More than 10,000 teen drivers were injured in a crash and almost as many teen passengers needed medical attention following a car accident in 2009. The rate of drivers between the ages of 15-19 involved in fatal crashes per 10,000 licensed drivers was 3.13.
In an effort to support back to school safety, the National Safety Council offers the following advice to parents of teen drivers. The more a young driver can learn by example and gain experience in supervised driving situations, the more confident they will be when they hit the streets solo.
Strict Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws and programs are proven to reduce teen driver crashes and fatalities by as much as 40 percent. Parents can use the following tips to form their own GDL program, especially if your teen needs extra guidance in certain areas.
-23 percent of all crashes nationwide involve cell phone use and teens are the worst perpetrators when it comes to using cell phones behind the wheel. Establish strict rules prohibiting your teen from texting or talking while they drive.
-Almost a third of drivers ages 15 to 20 involved in fatal crashes have alcohol detected in their system. Mirror Florida’s zero tolerance for underage drinkers by issuing your own no tolerance rule.
-Passengers can increase the odds of a teen crash by 50 percent so restrict your young driver to no passengers until they have a year of driving experience under their belt.
-Driving at night can be dangerous, especially right before midnight so set an agreeable curfew capping the time when your teen is permitted to drive unsupervised. The NSC recommends no later than 10 p.m.
-Extend the learner’s permit stage to at least 6 months to give the teen more experience with adult supervision. Be patient and always set a good example every time you and your teen are in the car together.
If you or a loved one are injured or killed in a teen driving accident in Margate, Miami, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie or Fort Lauderdale, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for experienced advice about your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777 to arrange a free and confidential appointment today.
Teen Participation in Distracted Driving Initiative Could Reduce Risk of Fort Lauderdale Car Accidents, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, August 13, 2010.
Leadership Awards Recognize Efforts Made to Reduce Teen Car Accidents in Margate, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, July 20, 2011.
73-Year-Old Woman Killed in Fort Lauderdale Teen Car Accident, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, July 11, 2011.