Our nation loses six teens a day to car accidents. That is over 2,000 teens every year lost in car accidents that are often preventable.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that parents are one key to keeping teen drivers safe on our roads. As part of its Saving Lives, Protecting People program, the CDC lists eight danger zones and gives recommendations on what parents can do to keep teens safer on the roads.
In its article Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers, the CDC encourages parents to educate their young drivers on the leading causes of teen crashes. Review the CDC's eight danger zones and talk to your teen driver today!
1. Driver Inexperience
The risk of being involved in a car accident is highest the first year a teen has their license. Parents are encouraged to provide at least 30 to 50 hours of supervised driving practice over at least six months. Driving practice should be done on a variety of roads, at different times of day, and in varied weather and traffic conditions. Before a teen can get their Florida drivers license they must complete 50 hours of driving experience. Learn about obtaining a Florida learners permit!
2. Driving with Teen Passengers
Car accident risk increases when teens drive with other teens in the car. The CDC recommends limiting the number of teen passengers your teen can have to zero or one for at least the first six months that your teen is driving.
3. Nighttime Driving
For people of all ages, fatal crashes are more likely to occur at night. The risk is even greater for teens. Florida restricts night time driving for teens with learners permits. Night driving is not allowed during the first three months. After three months a teen may drive until 10 p.m.
4. Not Using Seat Belts
Wearing your seat belt is the most effective way to prevent serious injury or death if you are in a car accident. In you are in a car accident, wearing your seat belt reduces the risk of dying or being severely injured by almost 50%.
5. Distracted Driving
Distractions increase a teens risk of being involved in a car crash. The CDC recommends that parents not allow their teens to do activities that may take their attention from the road, such as using their cell phone, texting, eating, or playing with the radio. Learn more about distracted driving here.
6. Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving causes thousands of crashes each year. Teens are most tired and at risk when driving in the early morning or late at night.
7. Reckless Driving
Research shows that teens lack the experience, judgment, and maturity to adequately assess risky situations. The CDC encourages parents to make sure their teen knows to adjust their speed to match road conditions, to follow the speed limit, and to avoid following the car in front of them too closely.
8. Impaired Driving
Even one drink will impair a teens ability to drive a car. Teen drivers are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% than when they have not been drinking. The CDC recommends that you talk to your teen about the dangers of drinking and driving.
You can enforce safe driving habits by using a parent-teen driving agreement. The driving agreement puts the rules in writing. It sets clear expectations and outlines the consequences for breaking the rules. Together we can keep all of our teens safe on the roads!
If you have been injured in a car accident in Florida, contact us to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. We invite you to learn more about our firm here. With offices in Kissimmee, Orlando, and St. Cloud, we are proud to serve clients throughout Osceola County and Orange County, FL.