The Palm Beach Post recently reported on the tragic death of an 18 year old valedictorian, National Honor Society member, soccer star and wrestling team manager.
Our Boca Raton car accident lawyers frequently report on the risk of car accidents faced by teen motorists. This is the latest in a long string of tragedies, with spring break, prom and graduation still right around the corner.
This young woman died on Valentine’s Day just 11 days after her 18th birthday from injuries sustained in a 2 a.m. car crash. There weren’t many details available other than her 17-year-old boyfriend was driving on Lantana Road when his car hit the median and then slammed into a pine tree. The 17-year-old driver and his 13-year-old brother escaped serious injuries.
Though there is no evidence as to what caused the crash, during the funeral service the father of the victim, told the group that was gathered, that they shouldn’t think an accident can’t happen to them. Pushing their luck when it comes to driving while being inattentive or drinking is not a good idea explained the father.
In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 2,739 drivers age 15 to 20 year old died and another 228,000 were injured in car crashes. Of all the fatal crashes in 2008, NHTSA reports 12% were drivers ages 15 to 20. In Florida during 2008, there were 195 young drivers killed, 106 passengers in the young drivers car were also killed, along with an additional 215 deaths who were either occupants of other cars or non-occupants.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention teens that are at an especially high risk of crashing are:
-Males: From 2000 to 2006, almost twice as many male drivers and passengers ages 15 to 19 were killed in crashes than female drivers and passengers.
-Teens driving with teen passengers: Teens should not drive with teen passengers. As the number of teen passengers increase so does the risk for crashing.
-Driving at night: Teens are twice as likely to crash at night as they are to crash during the day.
-Newly licensed teens: Teens have the highest risk of crashing during their first year of driving.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles outline the restrictions for young drivers until they are 18 years old:
With a Learner’s License you must always be with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and who is sitting in the front passenger seat. You can only drive for the first 3 months during the day, after 3 months you can then drive until 10 p.m.
With an Intermediate License as a 16 year old you can drive by yourself between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. If you have a licensed driver that is at least 21 years old in the front seat or coming to or from work you can drive after 11 p.m. If you are 17 years the same rules apply but you can drive between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. by yourself.