As the parent of a teenage driver, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Joseph Lipsky knows too well about the frequency of teenage driver related car accidents; and the ongoing need to reduce the wrongful deaths and injuries which unfortunately happen too often in those crashes. According to a recently released report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), older teenage drivers, those between the ages of 18 and 20, demonstrate a higher frequency of being involved in a crashes resulting in wrongful deaths, as compared to younger teenage drivers.
These deadly increases fly in the face of continuing efforts by the State of Florida to reduce teenage driving car accidents. Yet, the plain fact is that teenage drivers account for nearly 50% more car accidents than adult driver. Sadly, wrongful deaths from teenage driving car accidents rose nearly 10 percent last year. Considering that teenage drivers are nearly three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, ongoing driver education is a subject which affects everyone on Florida’s roads, not just those teenage drivers.
The report, which was underwritten by Ford, advocates that states more carefully monitor the unending number of teenage driver car accident wrongful deaths and direct greater resources at those older teenage drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), last year’s rise in teenage driver wrongful deaths actually reverses reductions seen over the past decade. Additionally, the majority of deadly teenage car accidents happen on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings between 9 p.m. and midnight.
According to Ford, the proof is demonstrable that efforts in educating new drivers resulted in a reduction of young drivers being involved in car accidents. But the focus on continuing to educate older, but still teen aged drivers, needs greater resources. Considering nearly one third of teenagers do not get their driver’s license until turning 18, those new drivers avoid the state’s graduated driver licensing, which includes restrictions such as limitations on night-time driving. Because of this anomaly, the NHTSA is recommending Florida increase the age of the graduated licensing program to include new drivers through 21 years of age. Some of the recommendations include safe driving courses at colleges and parental education.
Many counties across Florida participate in the Florida Sheriffs Association Teen Driver Challenge. The program is free and includes nearly 10 hours of hands on driver training in safety skills with the purpose of reducing the likelihood of being involved in a crash. We certainly agree that all additional steps, including education, enforcement and parental engagement are necessary to help stem the tide of rising teen driver accidents and deaths. Florida car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky hopes our representatives in Tallahassee understand this tragic increase in teenage driver deaths and take the necessary legislative actions to insure that all motorists, not only those novice teenage drivers, are properly educated about how to drive defensively. Nothing would make us happier than all motorist learning to drive safer and not having to speak to another family after one of their loved ones died in a car accident.