It will soon be Memorial Day Weekend. You will be gathered with family and friends and getting ready to cookout. Then it hits you, we need ice, charcoal, chips, of whatever from the store. The problem is, maybe you have been “celebrating” a little early and probably should not get behind the wheel of your car.
Maybe your grandparents are there, or your teenage son or daughter happens to be around. Maybe a senior friend is over and offers a ride. Your youngest child, who just got their driver’s license and wants to practice his/her driving skills.
Your dilemma: Which driver do you allow to take you to the store, since you probably should not be driving yourself?
The Statistics: So far this year in Florida
• There have been 142,237 motor vehicle accidents (https://firesportal.com/Pages/Public/QuickStats.aspx)
• Of these crashes, 92,035 involved personal injuries
• 938 involved a death from a car crash
• Approximately 24%, almost one quarter, of these car or vehicle crashes involved drivers aged 15-24
• Approximately 15% of these car crashes involved drivers aged 60 or older
We all know someone who has complained that older drivers should not be allowed to drive – that they are not quick enough, they do not react quickly enough, of they cannot see too well. Still we hear from others that the younger drivers are too easily distracted, they simply do not pay attention or have little to no experience driving.
Who is Right?
If you judge based on the above numbers alone, the younger drivers – especially male teenage drivers – are the most dangerous drivers on the road:
• The automobile accident rate for drivers age 16 and 17 is about 9x that for middle-aged drivers.
• The crash rate for drivers over the age of 80 is about 5.5x that of middle-aged drivers.
• Drivers in their 60s have the same car accident rate as drivers in their 30s.
What Puts Teen Drivers at Risk?
Almost all parents can agree – putting their teenager driver behind the wheel makes them anxious and nervous until the teenagers get home safe and sound. Those feelings are somewhat justified.
• Teenage brains aren’t fully matured, which can translate into impulsive decisions and poor judgment.
• Combined this with lack of driving experience and the freedom and responsibility of a vehicle, and you have a recipe for danger.
• Teens are more likely to underestimate or not recognize dangerous driving situations.
• Teenagers are more likely to speed and allow shorter stopping distances between themselves and other vehicles.
• Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seatbelt use.
However Remember Car Accidents Can Happen at Any Age
There are good drivers and bad drivers in every age group. No matter how old you are, you should do everything possible to prevent car accidents. This includes following all traffic laws, always wearing a seatbelt, staying distraction-free, and never driving drunk.
So What Do You Do This Memorial Day Weekend?
Find a middle aged relative, ages 30-55 to driver you. They have some of the lowest percentage number of car crashes in Florida
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Florida, call the Cressman Law Firm today for your FREE consultation.