Safe Driving Tips for Florida Teen Drivers to Avoid Car Accidents
With motor vehicle crashes being the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, motor vehicle safety for teenagers has never been more important. There are many times that these teen driver car accidents could have been prevented simply by avoiding straightforward safety problems. According to the CDC, the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens aged 16-19 than among any other age group, with teens being three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.
As newer drivers, teen drivers’ lack of experience can often lead to poor judgment when faced with driving dangers. In Florida, teenagers can earn a learner’s permit at the age of 15, and can only drive with an adult 21 years of age or older, driving the car from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. The teen driver must hold their learner’s permit for 12 months – or until they turn 18, whichever comes first – to receive a driver’s license.
Safe Driving Tips for Teenage Drivers
On the personal side, we are proponents of safe driving and truly believe we as a community must invest our time into giving teenage drivers the right tools to become responsible, safe drivers. Brian LaBovick has been active in furthering the mission to help teens be safe on the road, and he recently spoke about driving safety at The Benjamin School.
It takes time for teenagers to understand all the driving conditions to gain a sense of how and when to react to particular things. For example, Florida is known for its terrible “pop-up” rainstorms filled with lightning, hail and heavy rains in the late summer afternoons. Young drivers need to learn how to navigate these storms and when to just wait them out. There are also the impacts of driving with friends in the car, which can lead to distracted driving. According to the CDC, the presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers, and the risk increases with more teens present. Teenage drivers can become safe drivers if they adhere to the rules and regulations in place.
To stay safe, teenage drivers should keep the following tips in mind:
- Buckle up. Unfortunately, seatbelt use is the lowest among teenage drivers. Many teenagers don’t understand or think about the fact that seatbelt use truly saves lives. Wearing a seatbelt properly can mean the difference between life and death when an accident occurs. Wearing a seatbelt is a simple step every driver, especially those with less experience, should take immediately upon entering the vehicle.
- Put the phone down. In Florida, a person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers or symbols into a wireless communications device to text, email and instant message. This type of distracted driving has led to countless accidents across the state and country. There is even a campaign to help drivers remember to stay focused called Put It Down: Focus on Driving.
- Don’t drive under the influence. Drivers should not drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol. This is a prevalent problem among teenage drivers, where peer pressure and risky behavior can be a part of daily life. In Florida, the penalty for driving while impaired is significant. Drivers under 21 with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or higher can have his or her driver’s license suspended for 6 months for a first offense and possible rehab requirements. If the driver’s blood alcohol is 0.08 percent or higher, they will face the same penalties as an adult convicted of a DUI, which can include a jail sentence of up to six months, 50 hours of community service, a fine not to exceed $1,000, and a driver’s license suspension of up to one year.
- Follow the speed limit. Speeding and reckless driving are leading causes of accidents. Drivers must obey all speed limits, stop signs, and traffic lights. Going too fast gives drivers less time to stop or react. In 2017 young drivers, male and female, were speeding at the time of the fatal crashes more than the other age groups. Slow down and save lives.
Parents Are Responsible
Parents and guardians are responsible for teaching teens safe driving techniques. Parents should make their teens aware that if they do drink any alcohol and drive, get into an accident while texting, or do anything that is reckless in the car, it not only can end in a fatal accident, but it also jeopardizes their entire financial future as well as their parent’s total financial well-being. Between the ages of 15 and 18, parents are 100% responsible for everything that happens to the child that is driving. Giving teens information can give them the power to make the right decisions. For more information and great resources as parents of teen drivers, visit https://www.cdc.gov/parentsarethekey/.
We are trial lawyers and have experience seeing the wreckage caused by teenagers getting into accidents. If you or anyone you know has been harmed by a driver who is intoxicated, texting and driving, or acting recklessly, please contact LaBovick Law Group. We are Warriors for Justice and will always fight for our clients. The consultation is always free and we never get paid until we get money for you!