Keeping Your Teen Driver Safe on the Road
Despite improved driver education and extensive safety features on new cars, car accidents are still the leading cause of fatalities for teenagers between the ages of 14 to 18. This year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration designated the week of October 19th to be National Teen Driver Safety Week.
The NHTSA hopes to bring attention to the issue of teen driving safety and educate parents and teen drivers not only with a week of increased awareness but with its new publication of the “5 to Drive” rules as well.
Spotlight on Teen Drivers at Risk
Nationwide statistics indicate that teen drivers must contend with a variety of potential lapses in safe driving judgement and unsafe driving conditions. The NHTSA identified its top 5 safety priorities through teen driver accident data compilation and analysis.
Top Five Categories of Safety Liability for Teen Drivers
Some of the risks that teen drivers must contend with, like driving while impaired, are issues all drivers must manage. Other high risk scenarios, like driving with a multitude of passengers in the car, are generally more dangerous for teen drivers.
It’s probably no surprise that driving while under the influence of alcohol is still the number one issue of safety liability when it comes to teen drivers. Even though teenagers are not legally eligible to purchase or consume alcohol, they are still the demographic most likely to be involved in a car accident resulting from driver intoxication.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your teen driver about the effects that prescription medication and lack of sleep can have on drivers as well. Driving under the influence is a term that can be applied to a variety of common driving scenarios. If your teen driver stays up all night studying for an exam and then drives themselves to school the next morning, they are driving under the influence of a lack of sleep and are putting themselves and others on the road at risk.
2. Seat Belts
Florida law requires that all drivers wear seat belts while operating their vehicles. Wearing a seat belt is an easy way that teen drivers can protect themselves from serious injury in a car accident. It’s also important that your teen driver understand that failure to wear a seat belt in the state of Florida can result in a reduction of compensation award damages for the injured party even if the injured party is deemed not at-fault for causing the accident.
Improper use of mobile device is a relatively new threat to teen drivers but it has proved itself to be a deadly one. Make sure that your teen driver understands that mobile devices are never, under any circumstances, to be used while driving. Have your teen driver sign the “I Will Not Text While Driving Pledge.”
Like alcohol consumption, speeding is a classic safety risk when it comes to teen drivers. Speed is a killer across our nation’s roadways. Make sure your teen driver understands why they must obey speed limits. It’s also important to remember to lead by example when you are driving and your teen is in the car.
Statistics have shown that the more passengers a teen driver transports; the greater the risk of accident. Explain to your teen why they should not drive with more than one passenger in the car. In Florida, all teen drivers need to be aware of the state’s graduated drivers licensing laws. Depending on the age of the teen driver, they may be prohibited from transporting any passengers.
If you need help recovering compensation for injuries you or a family member sustained in a car accident, please contact the Fort Lauderdale law offices of Boone & Davis by calling (954) 566-9919. Your initial consultation is always free.