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Teen Driving Safety a Critical Issue in SWFL

A crash that seriously injured four teenagers in Estero is a sobering reminder of the risks young drivers and passengers face on the roads of Southwest Florida, particularly as we approach spring break and the height of tourist season.car accident lawyer

NBC-2 reports the four teens were seriously injured in a collision at the intersection of Three Oaks Parkway and Estero Parkway. The kids, ages 15, 16, 17, and 18, were in a Honda Civic that collided with a minivan, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Two of the teens were taken to Lee Memorial while the others were taken to Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Our Fort Myers injury lawyers have posted a number of articles about the dangers teens face on the roads, as well as a number of parental resources, including this guide on buying a vehicle and insuring your young driver.

Reducing Risks for Teens on the Road

Statistically, your teenager is more likely to be killed in a traffic accident than to die by any other means. In fact, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for all children over the age of 5.

But it is young drivers ages 16-20, followed by those who are 21-24, who are involved in the most traffic collisions. A driver has to be well into retirement before his or her risks begin to approach what they faced as a novice on the road.

Insurance companies understand the risks, and that is why you can expect to pay $200 a month or more for a basic auto insurance policy for a young driver. Your premiums may be much, much higher if you choose an expensive or high-performance vehicle for your teenager.

However, it’s not just the young driver who faces those risks, it is passengers in the young driver’s vehicle, as well as everyone else on the road. Even more alarmingly, a driver’s risk of a serious or fatal collision increases with each young passenger in the vehicle.

Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know there are things you can do to mitigate the risks:

  • Passengers: Limit the number of passengers your teen can ride with in a vehicle. While Florida’s graduated driver’s licensing program also places restrictions on the number of passengers a young driver can have in the vehicle, setting your own limits can reduce the risks.
  • Know the driver: In general, it is a good idea to limit who you permit your teenagers to travel with, particularly as it pertains to young drivers.
  • Car and insurance: Choose a vehicle wisely. Generally, larger vehicles of moderate age are your best bet. Newer traffic safety features should come standard on most vehicles less than 10 years old. Carry adequate car insurance, including vital uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage, which will protect you and your teenagers in the event of a collision while riding in another vehicle.
  • Curfew and expectations: The state’s teenage driving laws also place restrictions on night driving for your new drivers. However, setting your own curfew and expectations can improve the chances that your teen will arrive safe at home.

If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.