Teen driver safety should be on everyone’s mind in Florida because nearly a million teenagers are on the road. If that scares you, it should. Nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 had the highest crash risk of any age group. Teen drivers in this age range have a roughly three times higher risk of being in a fatal collision per mile traveled than drivers at least 20 years old.
Common unsafe driving behaviors become even more dangerous when teens are involved because of their inexperience. Examples of hazardous driving actions that harm efforts to improve teen driver safety include:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving has a negative impact on everyone’s ability to drive, but it can be particularly risky for young, inexperienced drivers. According to the findings of the 2019 National Youth Risk Behavior Poll, 39.0% of American high school students who drive texted or emailed at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey.
- Speeding: Younger drivers are more inclined than older ones to speed and give themselves smaller headroom (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next). In fatal accidents in 2019, 31% of male drivers between the ages of 15-20 and 17% of female drivers between the ages of 15-20 were speeding.
- Drunk Driving: Any amount of alcohol consumed prior to driving increases the chance of a collision for juvenile drivers. Even at blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) below the legal limit for adults, teen drivers are substantially more likely than older drivers to be involved in crashes at the same BAC level.
- Lack of Seat Belt Use: Teenagers and young adults frequently have the lowest seat belt use rates when compared to other age groups. For instance, according to data from the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) Controlled Intersection study from 2016 to 2019, adults (25 years of age or older) were more likely than teens and young adults (16 to 24 years of age) to use seat belts in the front seat, at an average of 90% or higher each year.
Addressing these issues can help improve teen driver safety.
Improving Teen Driver Safety
There are many efforts underway to improve teen driver safety, impressing teenagers with the need to use seatbelts, adhere to traffic laws, never drive while intoxicated, and always pay attention to the road. In the meantime, such negligent and reckless behavior can have terrible consequences.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact the Orlando car accident lawyers at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. We’ve been helping Florida auto accident victims obtain settlements for 35 years. Call 866-730-4812 for a free consultation, or stop by one of our convenient Central Florida locations.