School is officially back in session in Miami-Dade County. High school students who worked hard to get their driver’s license naturally want to get off the school bus and drive themselves to school. Being able to drive is a right of passage and a sign of independence and self-reliance. It can be exciting for students – but it can also be terrifying for parents!
According to the National Safety Council, auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teens. The first year and the first 1,000 miles that an inexperienced driver is on the road are the riskiest. Drivers aged 16 -19 years are four times more likely to get into a serious accident while driving than drivers aged 35 -54. The cost of crashes involving teen drivers is approximately 27 billion dollars annually.
Not only young drivers are at risk, but their passengers are also in danger. South Florida teens and parents may think that carpooling to school in order to save money sounds like a really great idea. The more passengers that are in the car with a teen driver behind the wheel, the greater the risk of getting into an accident.
Preventing Teen Auto Accidents
Teens and Nighttime Driving
Driving at night means it’s harder to see. Everything looks different in the dark. It isn’t just teens who can become disoriented. Anyone can have difficulty while driving at night. The most dangerous time for teens age 16 -19 years are the hours between 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. Learning how to drive in the dark is an important skill behind the wheel. The best way to reduce the risk of nighttime driving is to drive with a parent or other licensed adult. Slowly increasing the amount of time a teen can be out after dark over the course of a year after getting their license can help them become better accustomed to night driving.
In the state of Florida, 16 year-olds are prohibited from driving unsupervised between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. For teens 17 years of age, they’re prohibited from driving unsupervised from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Florida maintains these nighttime restrictions for teens until the driver turns 18.
It can be all too easy for anyone to drive over the speed limit. For inexperienced teen drivers, even if they are driving at the posted speed limit, it can still be too fast. If roads are slippery from poor driving conditions it’s easy to lose control.
There is always a learning curve for any driver to become aware of how their vehicle performs. Teen drivers commonly can follow other vehicles too closely. If someone hits the brakes, it can cause an accident. The best way to get a young driver used to being in traffic is to drive with them so that they are exposed to the traffic flows, the laws of the road, and how to react.
Insurance rates for teen drivers are higher for a number of reasons. One reason is because of their lack of experience and their willingness to take unnecessary risks. Speeding, distracted driving, and failure to wear a seatbelt are just some of the kinds of risks that cause a serious accident.
If you or your teen has been in an auto accident in Aventura or surrounding South Florida area, you need the advice of an experienced Aventura auto accident attorney.
At the law offices of Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA., we have years of experience in dealing with auto accidents – including those involving teen drivers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.