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May 24, 2022

100 Deadliest Days for Teen Driving: A Summer Crash Course

Teen drivers

Young people wait all year for summertime, especially in Florida. School’s out. Fun at the beach. Hanging with friends. Did we mention school is out?

But for all its fun and frivolity, summer can have a dark side, too. At a time when we’re all aware of the continuing toll taken by the pandemic, we should also keep in mind a different killer that targets our young people. It’s not a disease, but it takes the life of 7 American teenagers every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It is simply this: Dangerous driving. 

In fact, in 2021 alone, driving has become so dangerous that U.S. traffic deaths have jumped 10.5%, totaling 49,915 death. This marks the highest number of deaths in just one year since 2005 and the highest yearly increase since 1975. Traffic deaths significantly surged after the pandemic’s lockdown ended, rising 6.8% from the number of deaths during the lockdown and 18% compared to pre-pandemic driving. 

Summer, when young people rejoice at being out of school and enjoying time with friends, is the most dangerous time – causing the stretch from Memorial Day to Labor Day to be referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen driving.

Check out the AAA Foundation’s Traffic Safety Culture Index, which shows that a shocking 72% of drivers aged 16-18 admitted to having engaged in at least one dangerous driving behavior in the past 30 days:

  • Driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street (47%)
  • Driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a highway (40%)
  • Texting while driving (35%)
  • Running a red light (32%)
  • Driving without a seatbelt (17%)

The last thing Florida families need is to emerge safely from the pandemic, only to deal with the tragedy of a deadly car crash involving a young driver.

This summer, take a few moments to talk to your teens about safe driving. Let’s make sure their memory of the Summer of 2022 is that it was the 100 Happiest Days of their life.

Keeping Families Safe on the Road: Teen Driving Habits

Before your teen hits the road this summer, consider this … Teens are 10 times more likely than adults to be in a fatal car accident, and motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens.

Why are teen drivers at higher risk of being involved in a car accident? Let’s take a look. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, we want to remind families to teach teens about good driving habits so we can all stay safe on the road year-round. Your family should have a meeting to discuss safe summer driving, focusing on these key tips that can save lives:

Tip 1: Wear a Seatbelt

Other than not driving at all, nothing increases your chance of surviving a car crash more than this safety feature.

Tip 2: Put the Phone Away

Not just in a nearby cupholder, but out of reach. Any phone calls should be hands-free. Absolutely no texting, social media posting, emailing, or anything else that would cause drivers to take their eyes off the road.

Tip 3: Eliminate Other Distractions

Listening to loud music, trying to eat a sandwich, reaching for something in the back seat – all these are proven to cause car crashes. It’s so easy to safely pull over in order to scarf down a burger or get something from your jacket. Don’t risk multitasking at high speed.

Tip 4: Have a Designated Driver

Not one who drinks less – one who doesn’t drink at all.

Tip 5: Use Ride-Sharing Services

They are abundant, cheap, and the best way to guarantee a safe ride home if you’ve been drinking.

Tip 6: Slow Down

On a 10-mile trip, doing 60 in a 40 mph zone only saves a few minutes – yet the risk of serious injury or death goes way up. That could cost a whole lot more time. It’s just not worth it. 

If your teen is involved in a car accident, call the crash experts at 833-976-4792.

Due to their inexperience and tendency toward riskier behaviors on the road, teen drivers face higher odds of being involved in a car accident. 

Did you know that teens are 10x more likely to be in a fatal car accident than adults. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among U.S. teens.

Teens and Risky Driving Behaviors

  • Driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street (47%)
  • Driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a highway (40%)
  • Texting while driving (35%)
  • Running a red light (32%)
  • Driving without a seatbelt (17%)

What to Do If You’re Involved in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident

Florida is known for so many wonderful things – fabulous beaches, amazing amenities, bustling cities. But some negatives come with being a hub for tourists and commuters – Florida’s roadways can be extremely busy and dangerous. Statewide, Florida had 109,512 hit-and-run crashes in 2021, and in 2022 there were another 32,000 recorded in just the first five months of 2022. 

Jacksonville in particular has Florida’s highest number of hit-and-run accidents per capita. Those in law enforcement aren’t sure why Jacksonville has this dubious distinction, but it’s real. And 2022 is shaping up to be no exception – as of May, more than 1,981 hit-and-run crashes occurred in Duval County. That’s on the heels of the 7,845 that happened in 2021. That raw number ranks Duval County third in the state, but adjusted for population, Duval’s 667 hit-and-run accidents per 100,000 residents is the worst among Florida’s 67 counties.

It’s even more stark when you think of it as a daily event: Duval County averaged 21 hit-and-run car accidents per day. Actually “per day” is a little deceiving – according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, most hit-and-run accidents happen between 6 p.m and 5 a.m. In other words, while it’s dark. 

Make Sure You’re Not the “Run” in Hit-and-Run

Florida law says that anyone involved in a car accident must stay at the scene long enough to make sure everyone is OK and to “render to any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance.” The law also requires that those involved in the car crash make sure to exchange basic information, such as name, address, and insurance information.

If You’re Involved in a Hit-and-Run, Move Your Vehicle to a Safe Area

If you’re blocking traffic, move your vehicle into a safe area – there are far too many secondary car accidents that happen when people are in a daze or distressed after an initial car crash, and the last thing anyone needs is for someone to get hurt wandering aimlessly after being involved in an accident.

Call 911, and Take Notes While You Wait for the Police

A police report will help when filing with your insurance company. While you wait for the police to arrive, write down or type into your phone what you remember from the hit-and-run car accident, particularly about the person who fled the scene. Additionally, take photos and/or videos to show damage and how the crash happened. If there are eyewitnesses, encourage them to stay and give a statement to police. If they can’t or won’t stay, try to get their contact information for the police. You’ll also want to get contact information from all related parties.

Don’t Admit Fault at the Scene of the Accident

Often, recollections are hazy and those at fault may try to convince others to take the blame. This can even be true in a hit-and-run accident. Wait until after you have consulted a Farah & Farah attorney before making a judgment about who was at fault.

The same thing applies to contacting your insurance company. Wait until you’ve consulted an experienced car accident attorney before sharing any details. 

All of this advice is about safety – being aware of the risks of a hit-and-run car accident and what can happen after this type of car crash. Armed with this information, you can go back to enjoying all the great things about life in your hometown – just as Farah & Farah attorneys have for over 40 years.

Involved in a Hit-and-Run Car Crash? Here’s What to Do

  • Make sure you’re not the “run” in hit-and-run
  • Move your vehicle to a safe area to avoid secondary car accidents
  • Call 911 and take notes/photos while you wait for the police to arrive
  • Don’t admit fault at the scene of the accident
  • Call a Farah & Farah attorney at (833) 976-4792, here for you 24/7

Let’s protect our teen drivers this summer. Teach your teen safe driving habits. If your teen is in an accident, contact Farah & Farah right away.

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