As we commence National Teen Driver Safety week, Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky reminds parents of the importance their behind the wheel behavior in molding safe teen drivers. The need for National Teen Driver Safety Week is based upon the NHTSA’s study which found that more teenagers died in car accidents than by any other cause. Despite this epidemic, studies demonstrate that less than 25% of parents have actually had a serious talk with their teen driver about the dangers associated with driving a car, particularly about distracted driving.
Many unnecessary personal injuries may be avoided if parents begin by driving as a proper role model, rather than setting a bad example of a distracted driver. While parents often talk about the hazards of texting while driving, they are often the most blatant offenders. In fact, a major insurance company reports that almost ninety percent of teenage drivers witnessed their parents talking or texting while driving.
Another example of poor parental teaching behavior is calling a teenage driver while they are behind the wheel. Considering most parents expect their teenage to answer the phone, those who are driving are faced with a difficult decision of driving in a less than safe manner, or risk being punished by their parent for not answering their phone.
We cannot stress the importance of the 5 to drive rules, which include: no using a cell phone while driving, no taking extra passengers in the car, no speeding, not alcohol and no driving or having passengers who do not use their seatbelt.
The Florida Legislature passed laws which punish drivers who are seen texting, but the associated penalties are not enough to stem the tide against dangerous distracted teenage driving. Parents need to make sure that their teenage drivers know and understand the deadly results which can come from a quick look at a text. As personal injury attorneys who have helped thousands of Florida families overcome the devastating results of deadly car accidents, we hope all families take this week to spend some additional time talking to our teenage drivers about the responsibilities which come with having a driver’s license.