The summer break is when teens and their parents in Florida and elsewhere celebrate graduations and make the most of their free time. Sadly, too many inexperienced teenage drivers, their passengers and other road users lose their lives between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Florida Highway Patrol and the AAA records show the average number of teen driver deaths during what is referred to as the ”100 deadliest days” is as many as 36 teenagers, totaling 400 teenagers between 16 and 19 years over the past 10 summer breaks.
AAA shared more concerning statistics indicating auto crashes are the primary cause of death for teens in the 16-19 age group. They say the risk of dying in a crash is three times higher for teens in this age group than those older than 20 years. FHP released a list of the top 10 citations issued to teenage drivers. The following list shows excessive speed as the most frequent violation, and careless driving following in number two:
- Unlawful speed
- Careless driving
- Driving without insurance
- Driving without a driver’s license
- Disregarding traffic signs or devices
- Failure to wear a seat belt
- Learner license violation
- Failure to display driver’s license
- Obstructed, obscured, defaced` or missing license plate
- Failure to observe a stop sign
Florida troopers say teenage passengers are dangerous distractions for inexperienced drivers.
Teenage drivers in Florida may not understand the consequences of car accidents that involve injuries or deaths. If their negligence causes accidents, they and the owners of the vehicle involved may be held accountable in civil lawsuits. Even their passengers or the surviving families of deceased passengers could file such lawsuits. Furthermore, if negligent teenage drivers do not survive accidents, lawsuits could be filed against their estates.