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Survey reveals steps parents take to reduce teen driving risks

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in Florida and around the country, and distraction is often a factor in collisions involving young drivers. A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan suggests that parents are aware of these risks and are encouraging teenagers to develop safe habits both when they are behind the wheel and when they are passengers. The researchers based their findings on a survey of 900 parents with children between the ages of 14 and 18.

The most common road safety concerns parents had were cellphone use, loud music and trips with two or more teens in a vehicle. Six out of 10 of the parents surveyed said that their children had at least one friend who was prone to distraction while driving. Half of the parents told researchers that they addressed this problem by placing limits on trips with two or more teens. Four out of 10 said that they lowered the risks by restricting highway driving.

Most of the parents also prohibited or limited driving at night or in severe weather. Driving with friends in heavy rain or dense fog was restricted by 68% of the parents surveyed, and 67% of the respondents said that they either did not allow or curtailed trips with friends after midnight.

The car accidents caused by distracted teens often occur at highway speeds and cause catastrophic injuries. In these situations, experienced personal injury attorneys may file lawsuits on behalf of accident victims against the teen driver's insurance provider and their parents or legal guardian. Driver's license paperwork in Florida must be signed by a parent or legal guardian when the applicant is under the age of 18. By signing the document, parents or guardians acknowledge their financial responsibility in the event of a crash.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control, Teen Drivers: Get the Facts

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