In the U.S., people as young as 15 have the right to apply for and get their driver’s license. This is necessary as young people start preparing for an independent life by taking jobs and getting to school and other places on their own. However, we cannot ignore the constant issue of teen driver accidents. A Boca Raton car accident lawyer knows that liability is often a sensitive issue in these cases.

Therefore, this article will tackle two key aspects: helping teen drivers understand how to prevent a crash and explaining accident victims who will pay for their damages.

Driving Skills Do Not Appear Overnight, So Safety Is Paramount for New Drivers

The number one cause of traffic accidents caused by teen drivers is lack of experience. The hours of training and driving under an adult’s supervision do not make up for hands-on experience, which comes after years of driving.

For this reason, the Florida Sheriffs Association recommends the following safety precautions to teenage drivers:

1. Always Wear the Safety Belt

The safety belt saves lives in case of accidents. It is also mandatory under Florida law. With proper restraint, your body can avoid suffering fatal injuries in various types of crash scenarios. Make sure that both you and the passengers in your car always wear it.

2. Minimize Distractions While Driving

Due to lack of experience, teenage drivers should be extra careful on the road. For this reason, they must keep all distractions to a minimum. This involves:

  • Not using the smartphone while driving – this is also illegal in our state
  • No eating, drinking or applying makeup while at the steering wheel
  • Do not try to multitask, such as interact with the SatNav or entertainment system
  • Do not engage in conversations with the passengers on the back seat

3. Limit the Number of Passengers

As the item above indicates, passengers in the car are a source of distraction. For inexperienced drivers, Florida legislators recommend only one passenger under the age of 18 who is not an immediate family member, unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

lack of experience is a key reason for car crashes caused by teenagers

4. Avoid Night Driving

Teen drivers are restricted from driving during the nighttime. However, a 17-year-old driver can legally operate a motor vehicle between 5 am and 1 am. This means that a teen driver can be on the road after nightfall.

However, until you develop driving skills, you should avoid this if possible. During the night, visibility is drastically reduced and the risk of being involved in an accident increases tremendously.

If you must drive, remember to reduce the speed and turn on the headlights.

Who Pays Damages after a Teen Driver Accident?

Florida law does not have specific conditions related to accidents caused by underage drivers. However, all drivers must carry liability insurance. There are several potential scenarios:

  • The teen driver is added to their parents’ insurance plan – the most common situation
  • The teen driver has their own separate insurance plan
  • If they were driving another person’s car, the car owner’s insurance will pay the damages

In special situations, an experienced Boca Raton car accident lawyer may identify other liable parties. For example, if the teenager was driving for work (courier service, food delivery, etc.) their employer may be liable to pay for damages.

Or, if the underage driver was under the influence of alcohol, under the dram shop law the establishment that sold alcohol to a minor can be held liable.

Consult with an Experienced Boca Raton Car Accident Lawyer!

Teenage drivers are often involved in distracted driving accidents, because their lack of experience prevents them from reacting quickly enough. This results in severe injuries to all the parties involved and in legal responsibility to pay for the innocent party’s damages.

If you were hit by a teen driver, you should always pursue your right to compensation in the correct manner – by talking to a skilled Boca Raton car accident lawyer.

We encourage you to contact Miami Lawyers 360 as soon as possible after your teen driver accident and schedule a free case review at 786-686-2857!

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