Teenagers are the most accident-prone of any age group, so it’s important for Florida parents to set restrictions when their teenage children obtain their driver’s license. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reminds parents that they have the power to do this. The question, then, is what restrictions to place.
One of the first limits to set up is regarding the number of passengers. In fact, the IIHS recommends that there be no teen passengers in the car. The reason is that teens can be rowdy and encourage the driver to take chances behind the wheel. Another important limit is in connection with night driving. Parents should set this limit in light of the state’s curfew for teen drivers. According to the IIHS, 40% of fatal crashes involving teens take place at night.
Other restrictions need no elaboration: no drinking and driving, no handheld phone use behind the wheel and no driving without a seatbelt. The IIHS notes that most teen drivers killed in crashes were not wearing a seatbelt.
It all starts with the parents sitting down with their teen for a serious conversation. Parents should make it clear what their expectations are and what the punishment would be for breaking the rules they set. Otherwise, the warnings will more often than not fall on deaf ears.
When teens cause motor vehicle accidents, they can be held liable for any injuries the other side incurs. Victims may be able to pursue a case under personal injury law unless their injuries are minor. In such cases, everything is settled with one’s own insurance company because Florida is a no-fault state. Assuming that there are grounds for a third-party insurance claim, though, victims might want to hire a lawyer for settlement negotiations and other crucial steps.