Summer is a deadly time for teen drivers in Florida: Tips to keep safe

Florida Teen Driver Accident - Franco Law

Teens are closing their books and grabbing their keys to get out and enjoy the summer before heading into another school year. More teens out on the roads means more opportunities for them to be involved in a crash. As reported by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of crashes involving teen drivers typically increases during the100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Approximately, 10 people a day are killed each of the 100 days in crashes involving a teen driver Nationwide; a 14 percent increase compared to the rest of the year.

The 2016 Crash Facts Report put out by the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows that over 2% of all Florida crashes with injuries in 2016 involve teen drivers 15-17 years old. That is a significant percentage considering it is such a small subset of Florida drivers. The report also showed that over 21% of all 15-17 year old drivers injured vehicle accidents happened in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, and Manatee counties. That is almost a quarter of 15-17 year old drivers who were injured in vehicle accidents in 2016 in just 5 of Florida’s 67 counties. Our teens are at a great risk this summer!

Nighttime driving and speeding are among significant contributing factors to these grave statistics. However, these statistics can be changed! As stated by Dr. David Yang, the Executive Director at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “Through education, proper training, and involvement of parents, we can help our young drivers to become better and safer drivers, which in turn keeps the roads safer for everyone.” Parents/Guardians play a key role in changing the trend said Danielle Branciforte, the director of Florida’s Students Against Destructive Decisions. The spokesman for AAA in Tampa, John Pecchio suggests that parents set realistic expectations and boundaries before teens get behind the wheel of an automobile. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offers a Parent & Teen Safe Driving Agreement to aid in this effort. The agreement highlights specific rules of the road the teen should follow, especially in regards to driving during approved hours and obeying the speed, as well as, actions to improve focus on driving, such as, not using a phone while driving. Parent responsibility in this agreement includes modeling safe driving behavior and ensuring a specified time of driving practice with their teen.

The We Save Lives: Highway Safety Advocates offer additional tips for parents to battle this teen driving summertime crash epidemic…

  • Give teens permission to call if they are in potential bad driving situations. Let them know you will pick them up without recriminations.
  • Empower teens to show courage and decline a ride from a friend who is under the influence (alcohol, drugs, cell phone distraction, etc.)
  • Give teens information on what to do in hazardous situations (ex. how to change a tire)

For more information, contact Tampa Auto Injury Attorney.

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Christine Franco

About the Author

Owner of the Tampa firm of Franco Law Group PA, Ms. Franco received her B.A. from The University of South Florida and her J.D. from Stetson College of Law in 1995. Ms. Franco practices primarily in the fields of personal injury, social security disability and has previously acted as the case law monitor for the News & 440 Report, providing updated case law summaries, specifically in the area of workers compensation, for five years. She was also editor of the News & 440 Report, and served for the Florida Bar Workers’ Compensation Section as Secretary of the Executive Council.