A new study has rated millennials as the most likely age group to engage in risky driving behaviors. While this is a concerning finding, Florida drivers should be cautious not to limit their defensive driving techniques to times when millennial drivers are on the road. Drivers of all ages can engage in dangerous driving habits which can ultimately cause an accident. Florida drivers should always be alert and cautious on the roadways and engage in defensive driving which allows them to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a traffic collision. When accidents do occur, consult with an auto accident attorney as soon as possible in order to protect your legal rights. The Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has over forty-six years of experience in fighting for compensation for injured Floridians.
The study consisted of a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In it, drivers were asked to self-report whether they had engaged in speeding, red light running, or texting in the past thirty days. Drivers aged 19 to 24 had the highest percentage of drivers who reported engaging in these dangerous driving behaviors. A whopping 88.4 percent of these millennial drivers admitted that they had. Drivers aged 25 to 39 had the next-highest rate at 79.2 percent. Interestingly, the rates progressively decreased as the age group increased.
It remains to be seen whether there is an inverse correlation between the age of a driver and the likelihood that he or she will commit a traffic violation. For now, it is enough to realize that younger drivers are more likely to do so. Furthermore, it is important to realize that even the oldest group of drivers surveyed (aged 60 to 74) reported engaging in these behaviors at the high rate of 67.3 percent. This means that, in general, significantly more than half of the drivers on the road at any given time have committed a traffic infraction in the past thirty days.
What Can Drivers Do to Stay Safe on the Roads of Florida?
The most direct and important step drivers can take to prevent accidents is to stop the behaviors that are likely to cause a car accident. Speeding, running red lights, and other traffic violations all increase the risk of collision. Other risk factors have only recently become a cause for concern. Distracted driving, for example, has increased significantly as navigation systems, smartphones, and in-vehicle entertainment systems become more and more common with each passing year. And while drunk driving has long been an area of social activism and media attention, drugged driving has become a prevalent problem as the opioid crisis moves to the roads of America. The Washington Post reports that 2015 was the first year in which drugged driving caused more traffic fatalities than drunk driving. And according to the American Journal of Public Health, the number of fatally injured drivers with prescription opioids in their system increased more than seven times between 1995 and 2015. The statistics remind us that impaired driving has much bigger and complicated causes than simply alcohol.
Unfortunately, it is not just enough to ensure that your own driving habits are safe. Drivers must also be prepared to react to unsafe driving behaviors from other drivers. Maintain constant awareness of your surroundings, and what other nearby drivers are doing. Allow yourself plenty of space between your vehicle and others in order to be able to react to obstacles in the roadway or other fast changes. Controlling your speed is one of the most important measures in preventing an accident. When speeding, a driver does not have enough time to react to a hazardous condition. By slowing down, a driver has many more options for safely getting out of a dangerous situation. Reducing speed has also been proven to reduce the severity of injuries which are sustained in an auto accident. The World Health Organization reports that an accident occurring at 80 kilometers per hour is twenty times more likely to kill an accident victim than one occurring at 30 kilometers per hour.
Helping Young Drivers Stay Safe
Parents can help reduce the dangerous behaviors of millennial drivers by instilling safe driving habits in their new teenage drivers. From the start, a teen’s driving privileges should be contingent on following family rules for roadway safety. Seatbelts should always be worn. Traffic violations, such as speeding or running red lights, should carry consequences sufficient to deter such behavior in the future.
Passengers in the vehicle are a particular problem for teen drivers. Research has demonstrated that the risk of having an accident increases with the number of passengers a teen driver transports. Because of this, many states have enacted passenger restrictions in their graduated driver’s licensing programs. In such states, a teen driver might be allowed to drive only with adults, or with no more than one minor relative in the vehicle. The Florida Legislature has chosen not to incorporate any such restrictions into the law. Nonetheless, it is a danger which parents should appreciate, and protect their teen drivers from. Friends and passengers should never be allowed to divert a teen driver’s attention from the task of driving.
Distracted driving is another common problem for teen drivers which their parents may not fully appreciate. Most parents did not have the distraction of mobile phones, text messaging, navigation systems, or in-vehicle entertainment systems when they were first learning to drive. Now, many teens have been using these devices for their entire young lives. This can lure them into a false sense of security about their ability to use a device behind the wheel. No matter how familiar a user is with a device, distracted driving dramatically increases the risk of causing a car accident. Parents should be very clear with their teen drivers about the use of technology in the vehicle. Again, violations of these family rules should carry consequences which are strong, and help the teen decide not to engage in distracted driving again.
The Right Legal Representation for your Car Accident Claim
The Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has over forty-six years of experience in protecting the rights of injury victims in and around the Clearwater area. Call (727) 451-6900 to schedule your free consultation with a car accident attorney today. Injury victims across southern Florida trust our professional staff, comprehensive legal expertise, and superior customer service. Learn how an experienced Clearwater personal injury attorney can protect your legal rights after any type of auto accident.
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