Florida communities may observe safety campaigns such as National Teen Driver Safety Week, but it is important to keep the issues addressed during such events in mind throughout the year. Concern for teen drivers is rising because of 2015 statistics, which show that accident-related fatalities grew at a high rate in that year for this age group. The year’s overall statistics are particularly disconcerting because that was the first year with an increase in driving fatalities over the previous year since a downward trend in these numbers began in 2007.
Unfortunately, experts are concerned that fatal motor vehicle accidents will continue to increase in number because of the issues most commonly involved Among teens, human choices tended to be the most frequent issues in the 2015 fatal accidents. Approximately 3 percent of the 2015 incidents involving teens stemmed from speeding. Another 3.2 percent of these incidents involved driver impairment. Nearly 5 percent of teen fatalities on the roads involved failing to use seat belts. Approximately 9 percent of deadly teen accidents related to distracted driving.
Although parents must exercise a level of trust when allowing teen drivers to take to the roads, being a model of good driving behavior can help these young people to take rules seriously. A parent’s use of a smartphone while driving can create a perception that rules aren’t really important. It is also wise to help a teen driver to understand appropriate passenger protocols to promote safety for all occupants of a vehicle.
The parents of a teen driver could be held financially responsible for an accident caused by their child. If the teenager had been known by the parents to have driven recklessly in the past and the parents owned vehicle involved in the accident, an attorney representing an injured victim could use the theory of negligent entrustment as the basis for naming the parents as defendants in a personal injury lawsuit.