Summer is considered the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. The Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition (FTSDC) and FDOT conducted the second annual Leadership Academy to teach teens how to drive safely and help create safe driving campaigns for their communities. Students were selected from around the state and will carry the safe driving message and program back to their schools for peer education.
Safety belts, distracted driving, and impaired driving were among the topics discussed at this three-day event held in St. Petersburg at All Children’s Hospital. Presentations included the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s Drive with Care presentation as well as AT&T’s “It Can Wait” program on anti-texting and driving and its Street Smart program.
According to the National Safety Council, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S., and teens crash at three times the rate of more experienced drivers. Possible reasons for the spike in these crashes include:
- Summer driving tends to be more recreational and not as purposeful, such as driving to see friends rather than driving to
school or work
- Teens could be carrying friends more frequently and passengers increase the risk of a fatal crash involving a teen driver by at least 44 percent
- Teens may stay out later at night, when crash risk is higher
- With warmer weather and clearer conditions, teens may be tempted to speed
More drivers are on the roads. Americans drove more than 780 billion miles between June, July, and August in 2013, according to the Federal Highway Administration.