About Accidents Involving Teen Drivers

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley
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Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley

Before handing the car keys over to your teenager, you should know the facts. Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teens ages 15 to 20. When teen drivers ride with other passengers, their risk of being in a fatal car crash doubles. Overall, teenagers underestimate or are unable to recognize hazardous driving conditions.

Florida is a relatively dangerous place to drive. In 2017 alone, there were over 400,000 crashes, which involved nearly 700,000 drivers. Though this does place Florida as one of the most dangerous states for driving in the country, teen drivers are even more dangerous.

Almost 70,000 teenagers were involved in car accidents throughout Florida in 2017. These wrecks resulted in nearly 16,000 injuries and almost 150 fatalities. Unfortunately, younger teen drivers are getting into more accidents, although older teens were involved in fewer accidents from 2016 to 2017. Add in distracted and impaired driving, and teen driving becomes outright lethal. If your teen has been hurt in a crash, contact a Florida car accident attorney today.

Teen Drivers, Cell Phones and Texting

Teen drivers, cell phones and texting while driving are a deadly combination, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Check out these eye-popping statistics, based on information from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD):

  • Drivers under the age of 20 make up the largest percentage of distracted drivers.
  • 56% of teens admit to talking on cell phones while driving.
  • 13% of teens admit to texting while driving.
  • 34% of teens aged 16 and 17 admit that they send and respond to text messages while driving.
  • 48% of kids ages 12 to 17 report being in a car when the driver was texting.
  • 12% of distracted drivers involved in fatal car accidents were teens ages 15 to 19.
  • Talking on a cell phone can double the likelihood of an accident and slow a young driver’s reaction time to that of a 70-year-old.

Underage Drinking and Driving

  • Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.
  • About 8.2% of high school students reported driving a car or other vehicle one or more times after drinking alcohol.
  • 13.5% of 12th graders reported driving after drinking.
  • About 25% of fatal teen car accidents involve underage drinking and driving.
  • About 5.8% of 16- and 17-year-olds and 15.1% of 18- to 20-year-olds reported driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year.
  • 33% of drivers ages 15 to 20 who were killed in crashes had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .01 or higher, and 28% had a BAC of .08 or higher (the legal limit for drivers over age 21).
  • Nearly 60% of young drivers involved in fatal drinking and driving crashes didn’t use a seat belt.
  • 70% of young drivers who died in underage drinking and driving accidents didn’t use a seat belt.
  • 27% of the young male drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking at the time of the crash, compared with 15% of the young female drivers involved in deadly crashes.

You don’t want to find yourself involved in a potentially damaging personal injury claim based on a car accident, especially if you haven’t fastened your seatbelt. If you have been injured in a car accident, or have any other type of legal claim, speak to a Florida car accident attorney immediately.

It’s up to you to confirm that your teenage drivers understand safety. They typically model you and tend to listen when driving privileges are at stake. 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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