TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles marks its annual Delete Teen Crashes day.
Events are scheduled throughout the state to ensure that teens know to keep their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and mind on driving.
So far this year, teen crashes are up ten percent from this time last year. Increasing awareness among teenagers regarding the importance of safe driving habits will help delete these or future crashes involving teenagers.
According to Col. Gene Spaulding, Director of Florida Highway Patrol, "Teenagers have the highest crash rate of any age group in Florida. With more than 700,000 teen drivers in the state, each of these drivers must be aware of the sometimes deadly consequences that can result if safe driving behaviors are not followed while behind the wheel of a vehicle."
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor vehicles advises adults to take the time to talk with teenagers about the following precautions that can prevent crashes and save lives in the future:
•Seat Belts, Save Lives: Wear your seat belt EVERY TIME you get in a vehicle. It is the single best way anyone can protect themselves in a vehicle involved in a crash.
•Distracted Driving: Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on driving. Teen drivers have the highest percentage of distracted driving than any other age group. Whether it's texting, eating or tuning in your favorite radio station, a driver who takes their focus off the road for even a second is driving distracted and the end result could be deadly.
•Stop Speeding before it Stops You: Speeding is dangerous at any age, but it's especially dangerous for inexperienced teen drivers.
•Be responsible, don't drink and drive at any age. Teenagers may be too young to legally buy alcohol, but the fact is that teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes compared to any other age group.
•Keep passengers at a minimum: Extra passengers can be distracting for an inexperienced teen driver. Limit the number of passengers in a teens vehicle to help keep their mind on driving and to keep the level of distractions down.
For more information on what you can do to help teenagers remain safe while driving and delete teen crashes, visit www.flhsmv.gov/teens.