Whether you attribute it to lack of experience, tendency to text and drive, or other risky behavior, the popular assumption persists that teens are more dangerous behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this is one hypothesis that does carry some truth. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 2,000 people are killed in accidents involving teen drivers annually, comprising 8% of all fatal crashes. However, to put things in perspective, note that teenagers amount to just 5% of total drivers in the US.
These and other statistics are disturbing for parents of younger drivers, but the numbers are also cause for concern for other motorists who share the road with them. It is a comfort to know that Florida auto crash laws apply regardless of age, and a Miami car accidents attorney can assist with your legal options. Some additional data on teen motorist collisions is also informative.
Statistics on Teen Drivers and Auto Crashes
The risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident is higher among teens 16 to 19 years old than any other age group. Based upon mileage, motorists in this category are three times as likely as drivers 20 years or older to be in a deadly collision. Plus:
- Every year, around 258,000 teen drivers are treated in US emergency rooms for injuries linked to auto accidents.
- Approximately seven motorists aged 13 to 19 years old die every day in motor vehicle crashes.
- Of all teenage drivers who are killed in auto accidents, 45% were not wearing a seatbelt.
- In Florida, there are more than 63,000 crashes statewide involving motorists aged 20 and under annually. These incidents lead to 126 fatalities and almost 16,000 injured victims.
Overview of Florida’s Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) Program
In an effort to resolve one major contributing factor to teen auto accidents – lack of experience – Florida has joined other US states in establishing special licensing for younger drivers. The GDL program enables teens to gain experience, along with parental supervision and participation. It also imposes restrictions based upon three different GDL levels:
- A learner’s permit is available for 15 year old drivers, who must always have a licensed driver 21 years or older in the car. A motorist must complete 50 hours of supervised driving, at least 10 of which are during nighttime hours.
- A 16 year old can obtain a driver’s license, but cannot operate a vehicle between 11pm and 6am.
- For motorists 17 and older, the driver’s license restricts driving from 1am to 5am.
Call Now to Speak With a Skilled Miami Car Accidents Attorney
Though the statistics reveal a higher risk of auto crashes when teens are behind the wheel, the legal process for recovering compensation remains the same regardless of age. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA is prepared to advocate on your behalf, so please contact us to set up a free consultation. We can meet with you at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach.