The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports the main cause of death among teens is motor vehicle accidents. Approximately 3,000 teens die every year in traffic accidents, and 20 percent of 16-year-olds will be in an accident in their first year of driving.
As the school year comes to an end, teens will have more time to be on the roads. The NHTSA urges parents to consider whether their teens are ready for the responsibilities and risks of driving before giving their consent to allowing them to get behind the wheel. When teens do start driving, parents are still in control and need to set concrete ground rules. In “Talk to Your Teen Driver About Safe Driving," the NHTSA suggests setting driving rules:
- Wear Seat Belts – The car doesn’t move until everyone is buckled up in the front seat and back, on every trip, every time. Over half of passengers killed in cars driven by teen drivers in recent years weren’t buckled up.
No Drinking and No Drugs – Emphasize the fact that it’s illegal to drink before you’re 21, and that driving drunk or high is unacceptable at any age. In 2017, almost one out of five teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking.
- No Distractions – Driving is the first and only task when behind the wheel. That means no phones or texting while driving, and not doing anything else, like eating, drinking, or fixing hair and makeup when you should be fully focused on driving. About 10 percent of all teen drivers involved in fatal crashes in recent years were distracted at the time of the crash. Teens should activate the “do not disturb” feature on their phones to eliminate the distractions notifications cause.
- No Speeding – Almost one-third of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding in 2017. Faster speeds rob inexperienced teen drivers of the extra reaction time they may need to avoid a crash. Emphasize that they must obey posted speed limits.
- Limit Extra Passengers – Teen drivers are at a greater risk for a crash when they have others in their car. Passengers can serve as a distraction for inexperienced teen drivers, and that’s why many states’ graduated driver licensing (GDL) restrictions prohibit any passengers in vehicles with teen drivers. GDL laws also set other limits on teen drivers for safety.
Florida’s GDL program was established to allow young drivers to safely gain driving experience before obtaining full driving privileges. Most of its programs include three stages:
- Learner Stage: Supervised driving, culminating with a driving test
- Intermediate Stage: Limiting unsupervised driving in high-risk situations
- Full Privilege Stage: A standard driver’s license.
“Parents have set driving examples for their teens since early childhood. Teaching good driving habits through setting examples of always buckling up, driving the speed limit, obeying traffic lights and stop signs, and stowing cell phones will help prevent teen driving accidents. We developed a downloadable ‘Safe Driving Pledge’ to help parents enforce the rules of the road with their teens. You may download our free teen-parent driving contract below,” said Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
“Should you or a loved one be injured in an accident, please contact our experienced Fort Myers car accident legal team after seeking medical attention. We represent people involved in numerous types of personal injury and wrongful death accidents throughout the state of Florida. All of our clients have unique personal injury cases. Our firm provides personal contact and communication along with aggressive representation. For more information on our case results, please go to Case Results. We are available 24/7, and there are no costs or attorney fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you,” said Attorney Spivey.
Fort Myers Car Accident Lawyer Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.