Study Shows Florida Teen Driver Deaths Decreased in 2012

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Teenage drivers lack experience, which is a main reason they have high crash rates. In 2011, there were 14 teen driver deaths in Florida. The number of fatalities decreased to 5 in 2012. Five deaths, however, is still too high.

A recent Governors Highway Safety Association report shows a decrease in teen driver deaths since 2003. This decrease accelerated in 2006 through 2011. Interestingly, teen driver fatalities tend to decline when there is an economic recession or higher gas prices because discretionary and recreational driving decreases.

A major reason for the decrease in teen driving deaths in Florida was the introduction of the  graduated driver licensing (GDL) program in 1996. Florida was actually the first state to implement this type of program. There are several important aspects of the GDL program:

  • Online courses to get a learner’s permit and prepare for getting a driver’s license
  • Online drug and alcohol course
  • Teens must have a learners permit for a year with zero citations to receive an intermediate license.
  • In order to apply for a license, a parent or guardian must certify that a teen has completed at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel training, 10 of which must have been at night.
  • Teenagers under 17 cannot drive around between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., unless they are with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age, or they are driving to or from work.
  • At 17, drivers may not drive between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., unless they are with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age, or they are driving to or from work.

Even when parents are vigilant in teaching driving safety to their teenagers and policies have been successful in reducing the number of teen driving fatalities, tragedies still occur.

Posted in Personal Injury