New program aims to teach young teens about risks of car accidents in Boca Raton, West Palm

When it comes to speaking to your teenagers about the dangers of West Palm Beach car accidents, parents can’t start too early. In fact, Safe Kids USA is launching Countdown2Drive, which urges parents to start talking about driving safety with young teenagers ages 13 and 14.

Our Palm Beach child injury lawyers are all too familiar with the high risks faced by teenagers on the road, whether or not they are yet old enough to drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers ages 15 to 20 as well as younger teens who are still anxiously awaiting their driving privileges.

Studies continue to show that frequent interaction with parents about driver safety can have a real impact. This latest program is designed for a captive audience.

“Our research shows teen pre-drivers are eager to learn, and they are focused on the freedom a driver’s license and access to a car can provide,” said Safe Kids CEO JOhn Formisano. “By preparing them to be good passengers, Countdown2Drive can help decrease the number of crashes and injuries that occur during their first and most dangerous year of driving. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens, with driver inexperience and distractions among the main causes of teen crashes.”

A 13 or 14 year old faces double the risk of dying in a car accident as the risk faced by a younger child. And that risk continues to grow throughout a motorist’s teenage years.

More than 5,000 teen drivers were killed in car accidents last year and more than 350,000 teens are injured each year. About 1 in 10 of those fatal accidents occurred in Florida, where 516 motorists died that year in car accidents involving young drivers.

Authorities remain particularly concerned about the high numbers of teens who admit to text messaging or talking on the phone while driving. As we reported, Florida is one of the few states that has not made it illegal for teenagers to text or use cell phones while driving.

“Texting and talking on cell phones may feel like second nature to a tech-savvy generation, but the truth is, no one can talk or text while driving safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Driving distracted is a dangerous and deadly practice, which is why we need to reach teens early on – before they get a permit and a license to drive.”

Parents can learn more about this latest program at Countdown2Drive.