Getting their driver’s license is a major milestone in the life of a teenager. No longer dependent on mom and dad for a ride, teenagers are eager to get behind the wheel at any opportunity.
Sadly, due to their inexperience and sometimes poor judgment, some teenagers in Broward County will end up being involved in a serious motor vehicle accident that leads to serious injuries or could even be fatal. Therefore, it is important for parents in Florida to discuss driver safety with their teens before handing them the car keys.
The scope of the problem of teen car crashes
Car crashes are the second leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2019 approximately 2,400 teens lost their lives and another approximate 258,000 suffered injuries severe enough to send them to the emergency room in a motor vehicle accident.
To put it another way, each day approximately seven teens lose their lives and hundreds more suffer injuries in a car accident. Clearly this is a serious issue plaguing our nation.
What factors contribute to teen auto accidents?
There are a variety of factors that contribute to the teen auto accident rate. Inexperience plays a role, as teens simply have not spent as much time behind the wheel. This makes it more difficult for them to recognize dangerous situations or could lead them to make critical decision errors. Teens may also not recognize the importance of following the rules of the road, and may be more apt to speed, run red lights or commit some other traffic infraction.
Distracted driving is another common factor in teen auto accidents. Teens are especially attached to their cellphones and may not recognize the dangers of texting and driving. However, texting takes their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel and their minds off the task of driving, making it especially dangerous. Chatting with passengers, eating or tuning the music or GPS can also distract a teen driver.
Drunk driving is also a common factor in teen auto accidents. This is true even though teens cannot legally consume alcohol in the U.S. Alcohol use and driving is a deadly mix amongst drivers of any age. Even if our blood alcohol concentration is below the legal limit, we can still experience poor judgment, reduced coordination, disorientation and reduced mental faculties. Any of these effects can easily lead to a drunk driving crash.
Parents should talk with their teens about driver safety
It is up to parents to talk with their teen about safe driving practices. Enforce how factors such as speeding, distracted driving and drunk driving can easily lead to a serious or even fatal car crash. If your teen was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident due to no fault of their own, it is important that you take the steps necessary to pursue appropriate avenues of compensation.