The leading cause of death for teens in Florida is vehicular accidents. In fact, when compared to people over the age of 20 they’re four times more likely to get into a crash. This is especially true for the first 18 months after they receive their driver’s license. While part of this could be due to their immaturity resulting in dangerous actions behind the wheel there’s also a new report out that shows that another reason for these crashes is due to the fact that they’re driving older, smaller vehicles.
A researcher with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated that everything that’s known about young drivers and their risk of being in a car accident teens still drives unsafe vehicles. These small vehicles don’t protect them well when they crash. This is because older vehicles don’t have the necessary safety equipment.
The researchers looked at information from deadly car accidents that occurred from 2013 – 2017. In doing so they found that teen motorists were four times more likely to be killed when driving older model vehicles. About 70% of the teens who died in these accidents were driving vehicles that were more than 6 years old. Furthermore, most teens spend at least half of their time driving a vehicle that’s over 10 years old. These vehicles are typically lighter and smaller. What makes this so interesting is that only about 4% of teen drivers who were killed in a car accident were driving vehicles that were less than three years old.
While a parent’s reluctance to buy an expensive car for their teenage driver is understandable, what most parents seem not to understand is how unsafe these vehicles really are. If they were to understand this they’d probably realize this was a wise investment.
Why Older Vehicles Pose a Higher Crash Risk for Teen Drivers
The old adage “they don’t make them like they used to” may sound good but the truth is that today’s vehicles are much safer. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has discovered that you’re more likely to get into a fatal car accident when driving an older vehicle. This is partially due to the fact that older vehicles don’t have the same safety features that today’s vehicles are equipped with.
Keeping Teen Drivers Safe in Florida
One of the best ways to keep your teen driver safe is to buy them a newer vehicle. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that every family is able to afford. This is why approximately 85% of the vehicles that teens own are used. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports’ annual Safe Vehicles for Teens list most of the vehicles that teens are driving are either used or inexpensive – costing less than $5,000.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention talk to their children frequently about safety behind the wheel. They should also lead by example and take time to practice driving together. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) also has a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement that you can download from their website. This outlines the hazards and consequences that occur when you don’t drive safely. Herein your teen driver will be given the opportunity to state that they’ll always obey the rules. It also makes sense to review your automobile insurance coverage with your agent to ensure that your teen is adequately covered if they do get into a car accident.
If you’re in a car accident in St Petersburg and Palm Harbor, FL you’ll want to seek legal representation from the Blenner Law Group.
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