In a recent Palm Beach car accident, a 17-year-old driver died after he lost control of his Jeep, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Reports indicate that the young driver was heading east on Forest Hill Boulevard shortly before 9 a.m. when he lost control of his SUV, swerved off the road, slammed into a pole and crashed by the entrance of Okeeheelee Park. The young driver was a student at Palm Beach Central High School. After school the next day, students and faculty members placed balloons and flowers at the scene of the accident, according to News Channel 5.
“He’s in a better place now and, you know, looking down at all [of] his friends and his family,” said Harrison Fields, a classmate and class vice president. “My heart goes out to his family. He’s a smart kid. We’re going to miss him a lot.”
Our Palm Beach injury attorneys have recently been discussing the dangers that our young, teen drivers face on our roadways. These dangers and the risks for accidents increase significantly during Spring Break, especially during Spring Break in Florida. Each year, thousands and thousands of vacationing students make South Florida their Spring Break destination. With the Spring Breakers in town and the snowbirds finishing up their time in the south, our roadways will continue to be congested for just a little while longer. That’s why it’s still important for parents to keep an eye on their teen’s driving habits. Although 17-year-old drivers are allowed to navigate our roadways without a parent or guardian present in the vehicle, they are still are required to abide by rules of the state’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) program.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 17-year-old drivers in the state of Florida with a restricted driver’s license are prohibited from driving between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. You’d think that the state’s program would limit the number of passengers that these drivers can drive with. You’d be wrong. The state of Florida is one of the only states that doesn’t have passenger restrictions for these young drivers. As our Palm Beach injury attorneys have reported before, passengers greatly increase accident risks for young drivers.
For these reasons, we’re asking parents to step in and keep an eye on these young drivers. Law enforcement officials aren’t able to track down every young driver in the state and they’re definitely not able to ride along with each and every one of them to make sure their driving habits are progressing properly. Studies have concluded that parents are some of the most influential people in the lives of teens and in their driving habits. Create household driving rules. Create rules where you think the GDL program is lacking. Consider creating and enforcing a parent-teen driving contract between you and your teen driver to help lay down the rules and the consequences for breaking the rules. Enforce this to the fullest, especially during Spring Break and other various holidays.
If you or your teen driver has been hurt in an accident in Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, the South Florida personal injury lawyers at Freeman & Mallard can help you understand your rights and are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call today to set up a free and confidential review of your case, 1-800-529-2368.
More Blog Entries:
‘Move Over’ Campaign Helps to Reduce Car Accidents in South Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, March 8, 2012
Dangerous Intersections Causing Miami Car Accidents, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog February 23, 2012