Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is here. While you may be looking forward to cookouts and vacations, you should also be aware that summer can be a dangerous time on Florida’s roads, especially for young drivers. So much so that the Florida Department of Transportation has dubbed the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the “100 Deadliest Days.” That’s because fatal car crashes involving teens increase dramatically in the summer.
Studies have found that teens are 2.5x more likely to engage in risky behavior when driving with a teen passenger than they are when alone, and 3x more likely to engage in risky behavior when driving with multiple passengers. Crashes involving teens are more likely to occur on Friday than any other day.
The FDOT and the Teen Safe Driving Coalition have offered several tips for parents of teen drivers to help keep them safe:
Studies have shown that distraction plays a role in almost 60% of teen crashes. The most common distractions include smartphones and passengers. Your teen driver should know that using a smartphone while driving is not only dangerous, it is illegal in Florida. Florida Statutes §316.305 is Florida’s “Ban on Texting While Driving Law.” The law makes it illegal to type or read text messages, emails, instant messages on a cell phone while driving.
Make sure your teen driver knows that TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, or texting can wait until they reach their destination. If there is an urgent need to read or send a message, be sure they know to pull over to a safe location first.
As noted above, while teens may want to drive with friends, passengers are one of the most common sources of distraction for young drivers. The more passengers, the more distractions. Setting limits on transporting passengers can help limit the distractions your teen driver faces.
Wear a Seatbelt
Studies have also shown that using a seatbelt significantly reduces the risk of dying in a car accident.
Obey Speed Limits
Speed is a factor in many fatal car accidents involving teens. Ensuring that your teen driver obeys speed limits will greatly reduce the risk of an accident.
Limit Driving After Dark
Something additional that can help keep your teen drivers safe is setting a curfew or restricting night time driving, as the night brings reduced visibility and drowsiness that may affect inexperienced drivers more.
Never Drive Under the Influence
Speak with your teen driver about never driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs or riding with someone who is, and make sure they always have a plan to get home safely.
AAA suggests that parents of teen drivers should talk with their teens about safe driving, teach by example by driving safely, and establish an agreement or rules for your teen driver that set safe driving guidelines. The AAA found from a survey that only 38% of parents have set rules banning cell phone use or texting while driving for their teen drivers, and only 37% have set limits on the number of passengers their teen may have in the vehicle. It is also suggested to supervise your teen’s driving from time to time to help enforce safe driving habits. There are also a variety of online or in-person driving courses that can help teach your teen safe driving habits.
Following these tips can help keep your teen driver and everyone on the road safe during this dangerous time of year.
If you or your teen driver have been involved in an auto accident, you should contact a qualified attorney as quickly as possible. Even if the cause of the accident is unclear, or you’re not sure what happened, we can immediately conduct an investigation. The experienced lawyers at The Fina Law Firm can help you put the evidence and law together and determine if someone is responsible for your injury.
We’re happy to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. If you’d like to set up a free consultation today, give us a call at 904-878-2379 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org