Each and every year, safe driving advocates take October to focus on teen driver safety. Teen car accidents are a problem that continues to plague our roadways. Car accidents are the number one killer for teens in the country. For this year’s Teen Driver Safety Week, officials asked residents to wear the color white, to signify whiting out teen crashes, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).
Last year, there were roughly 700,000 teens who had a driver’s license in the Sunshine State. Of these licensed drivers, there were close to 50,000 who were involved in accidents. We lost close to 200 of them.
Our Boca Raton car accident attorneys are asking parents to step in and to help to keep our teens safe out there. Parents, you might not believe it but you are some of the most influential people in young drivers’ lives. You’re asked to provide your teen with plenty of supervised driving time. Offer them some constructive criticism regarding their driving habits. Make sure that you’re on your best driving behavior when they’re in the car with you. Recent studies have determined that these young drivers are more than likely going to mimic the driving habits of their parents. Let’s set a safe example.
“It’s important that teens learn to be safe drivers from the beginning,” said the Executive Director of the DHSMV, Julie L. Jones.
Teens are actually more likely to get into a car accident during their first year of having a driver’s license than during any other time of their driving career. Make sure you enforce Florida’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) program to help to reduce these risks.
Florida’s GDL Program, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):
-Drivers can get their learner’s permit at the age of 15.
-Drivers must hold their learner’s permit for a minimum of 12 months.
-During the learner’s permit stage, drivers are required to complete 50 hours of supervised driving time, 10 of which are required to be at night.
-At the age of 16, and after completing the steps above, drivers can get their restricted license.
-While obtaining a restricted driver’s license, 16-year-old drivers may not drive from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Once they turn 17, they’re prohibited from driving from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
-Once a driver turns 18 and has completed everything listed above, they’re eligible for their unrestricted driver’s license.
Parents are urged to create their own parent-teen driving contract. Our state may not have the strictest of driving laws, but your household can. Consider enacting passenger restrictions and other driving restrictions. Make sure that you clearly state the consequences for breaking these laws in your contract, too. Stay an active part in your teen’s driving career to help to keep them safe out there.