Teen Driver Accidents in Florida

Florida is a relatively dangerous place to drive. In 2017 alone, there were 402,385 crashes, which involved 686,590 drivers. Though this does place Florida as one of the most dangerous states for driving in the country, teen drivers are a different story.

teen driver and her mother

A total of 63,916 teenagers were involved in car accidents throughout Florida in 2017. These wrecks resulted in 15,718 injuries and 146 fatalities. Unfortunately, younger teen drivers are getting in more wrecks. However, older teens were involved in fewer accidents from 2016 to 2017.

Florida Teen Car Accident Stats 2015–2017

 

Florida Teen Car Accident Statistics 2017 – 2015
Year201520162017% Change 2016 to 2017       3 Year Average       
15-17-year-old drivers in crashes       15,169       16,124       17,065       5.84%16,119
15-17-year-old driver injuries3,4753,5543,7736.46%28,666
15-17-year-old driver fatalities262721-22.22%25
18-20-year-old drivers in crashes 46,30147,46746,851-1.3%46,873
18-20-year-old driver injuries11,99612,20711,945-2.15%863
18-20-year-old driver fatalities11011012513.64%115

 

Source: https://flhsmv.gov/pdf/crashreports/crash_facts_2017.pdf

Though these numbers may seem high, Florida is far from the worst state for teen drivers. According to a massive nationwide study, the worst state for teen drivers is Wyoming. The state is tied for the most teen driver fatalities per teen population and is also one of the worst for teen DUIs per teen population. Wyoming also has some of the laxest laws regarding teen drivers in the country.

By comparison, Florida ranks as the 12th best state in the country for teen drivers. Though the state’s relatively lax driving laws rank 43rd in the country, our safety ranking is 11th — meaning we’re the 11th safest state for factors like teen driver fatalities, teen DUIs, teen texting while driving, and other factors.

Of course, teens still get injured in car wrecks. If you or your teenage driver is injured in a wreck that wasn’t their fault, you have the legal right to compensation. At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, we have recovered over $1 billion on behalf of our clients. Give us a call at (800) 560-5059 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Florida car accident lawyer today.

What Causes Teenage Driving Accidents?

In total, nearly 2,400 teenagers across the country were killed while driving in 2017. In addition, about 300,000 teenage drivers received emergency room treatment for injuries caused by car accidents. Though teenagers aged 15-19 only represent about 6.5% of America’s population, they account for about 8% of the total cost of car accident injuries.

What’s more, the old adage is true: male teenagers are worse drivers than female teenagers. On average, teenage males died in car accidents at a rate twice as high as female teen drivers. As you may imagine, the risk of being in a car wreck is 1.5 times higher during the first months of having a license.

Why is the risk so high during the first few months of teens having a license? They are much less likely to understand or recognize dangerous situations, such as a puddle in the road that can cause hydroplaning or going around a curve too quickly. Teen drivers are also more likely to speed and not leave enough room between their car and the car in front of them.

Unfortunately, teenagers get behind the wheel after drinking all too often. In 2017, 15% of teenage drivers involved in fatal car accidents had a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08% (the legal limit for adult drivers). In addition, alcohol use was often paired with other unsafe behaviors like speeding or not wearing a seat belt to cause car accident fatalities.

What Happens If a Teen Driver Causes a Wreck in Florida?

As Florida car accident lawyers, we have seen our fair share of wrecks that were caused by teenage drivers. Unlike many other states, Florida doesn’t differentiate between teen drivers and adult drivers when it comes to personal injury lawsuits for collisions. In addition, insurance claims are treated the same.

This means personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policies will take care of a part of your medical bills and other expenses, no matter who is at fault. It’s worth noting that Florida drivers, on average, see the fifth-lowest premium increases in the country after adding a teen driver to your policy.

Under PIP insurance, your insurance company will cover 80% of your medical costs and 60% of your lost wages, up to $10,000. However, if your medical treatment was considered non-emergency, you are only entitled to $2,500 in medical expenses. If you have expenses above this $10,000 limit, you may be able to seek further compensation from the insurance company through a personal injury law firm.

Though teenage drivers in Florida will have to face the financial penalties and other ramifications, like potential jail time, of causing a wreck, the driver’s parents may also be held responsible in some cases. Mostly, parents may have to cover the financial responsibility of their teen driver if you sue the teenager for damages beyond what PIP insurance covers. However, if teenagers have their own insurance policies, parents likely won’t have any financial liability.

Why It’s Important to Have a Florida Car Accident Lawyer on Your Side

If you’re injured in a wreck in Florida involving a teenage driver and your medical and other expenses rise above $10,000, you may receive a settlement offer from the insurance company. This settlement offer will likely be lower than what you actually need or deserve, but you may be tempted to accept it because you may be up to your neck in bills. Yet the moment you accept the offer, you forfeit your right to seek greater compensation.

Before you accept any kind of settlement offer, call us to talk with a Florida car accident lawyer. We can review all of the details of your case and help you figure out all of your legal options. We may file a lawsuit on your behalf against the insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve. While we’ll try to negotiate a fair settlement outside of court so you get paid faster, we’re more than prepared to take your case to court if need be.

At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, we work on a contingency basis. That means we don’t get paid unless we win. So give us a call today at (800) 560-5059 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Florida car accident lawyer.