GDL Programs and Parents to Help Reduce Risks of Teen Car Accidents in Boca Raton, Nation

Teens are one of the most common offenders of distracted driving — particularly when it comes to portable electronic devices and passengers in the vehicle. Still, the state of Florida fails to regulate this behavior for any age driver. In 2010, there are more than 3,000 people killed in distraction-related car accidents in Boca Raton and elsewhere. A new study is looking at yet another kind of distraction that’s leading to teen accidents across the state — passengers.

A recent study that was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health concludes that teenage passengers can be some of the most dangerous distractions to teenage drivers, according to Medical Press. When teen passengers are present in the vehicle, teenage drivers are more likely to overlook roadway dangers and are more likely to partake in dangerous driving habits.

Our Boca Raton teen car accident attorneys understand that there are a few ways that we can help to prevent these types of accidents. According to the recently published study, parent involvement and a comprehensive graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) program can help to get your teen on the road to safer driving. Currently, there are many states that limit the number of teen passengers that a teen driver can have in the vehicle through the different stages of the GDL program. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Florida doesn’t have any of these restrictions. Teens are allowed to drive with as many passengers piled in the car as they wish, which can drastically increase their risks for an accident.

Boy Drivers’ Reactions to Teen Passengers:

-Speeding.

-Illegal Turns.

-Riskier Behavior.

-Disregard for Traffic Devices.

-“Show off” behavior.

Girl Drivers’ Reactions to Teen Passengers:

-Looking at other passengers.

-Texting.

-Using cell phones.

-Playing around with makeup.

“One in five females and one in four males who were driving with friends were distracted by something inside the vehicle just before they crashed,” said Allison E. Curry, Ph.D., MPH, author of the study

Yes, Florida doesn’t have any laws on the books that limit the number of passengers that your teen can have in the vehicle, but there are ways that you can help. In recent studies it has been proven that teens who have parents who are actively involved in their learning process and driving habits are typically safer on our roadways. Teens with involved parents are more likely to drive cautiously, to abide by roadway laws and are less likely to drive aggressively or illegally.

Parents are asked to fill in the blanks where Florida laws fail to do so. Consider enacting a parent-teen driving contract between you and your young driver to lay out some ground rules as well as the consequences for breaking them. Parents are urged to stay involved with their young driver’s career behind the wheel to help to reduce their risks of an accident.