Newly licensed teen drivers are more dangerous on the road than teens with a learner's permit, says one study from Virginia Tech University and the National Institutes for Health. Drivers in Florida should know that the risk for a crash or near-miss with another car goes up eight months from the last three months that teens have their permit to the first three months that they have a license.
According to a Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, the presence of rain, snow or ice on the road makes a fatal car accident 34% more likely. Florida residents should also know that, according to a new study from the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, even a light drizzle raises the risk for a fatal car crash.
Many drivers in Florida and other states are aware that driving while distracted is something they shouldn't be doing. Yet, according to a study presented by an insurance company that rewards motorists for not using their phones when behind the wheel, many drivers still routinely drive and use their devices. In fact, drivers questioned admitted to using their devices while driving about 91 minutes per week.
Florida residents should know that crashes involving fire trucks, police cars and ambulances are common; they led to 37 deaths and more than 17,000 injuries in 2013. The trend continues with the first four months of 2019 already seeing the deaths of 16 emergency responders who were struck by vehicles as they helped others on the side of the road.
Since 2017, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been crash-testing modern two-row pickup trucks for both passenger and driver safety. Previously, it focused solely on driver safety. Florida residents should know that out of 10 pickups analyzed, eight received the highest rating of "good" for driver safety. Two, the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Frontier, received a rating of "marginal." These results are outstanding when compared to passenger safety.
The state of Nevada may introduce controversial new technology that can help law enforcement determine whether cell phone usage played a part in motor vehicle accidents. The New York legislature rejected a measure to use the technology in 2017, but the state is also considering it again. The first version of the proposal before the Nevada legislature allowed drivers' licenses to be suspended for 90 days if they would not agree to have their phones checked, but the proposal was amended to require a warrant if a driver refused.
Sleep deprivation has a strong potential to impair drivers in Florida. Traffic safety experts estimate that sleepy drivers contribute to as many as 20 percent of motor vehicle accidents. As part of its young driver education program, the Ford Motor Company has developed a "Sleep Suit" that simulates the effects of sleep deprivation.
Drivers in Florida should aim to sleep at least seven hours every night. Missing one to two hours of that within a 24-hour period, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, can nearly double one's chances for a car crash. This is why it's always critical to get enough sleep in preparation for daylight saving time.
Florida was among the states with high populations that recorded a collective 5 percent rise in pedestrian deaths during the first half of 2018. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association cited growing population as one source of the increase in traffic fatalities involving pedestrians. With more people crossing streets, the likelihood of accidents increase, but sport utility vehicles and smartphone distractions appear to be contributing to the problem as well.
Many Florida drivers will be involved in a motor vehicle accident at some time, and how they behave in the minutes immediately following a collision can have a great bearing on how their insurance claims are handled. The actions taken at the scene of a crash can also influence the outcome of car accident lawsuits. Experts say that the most important thing motorists can do after a collision is remain calm, but this can be difficult when nerves are frayed and tempers are short.