Getting a Florida Drivers License Is A Privilege, Not a Right!
Did you know that driving is not a constitutional right? Yes, it is a privilege and you do not want to lose it. You received your driver’s license after you reached a certain age and acquired the necessary driving skills and agreed to follow the road rules and signs. Therefore, you must continue demonstrating your ability to drive safely on any road. If you cannot demonstrate that ability, you may get traffic tickets, be involved in accidents or get your license revoked or suspended. You do not have any more right to the road than the other drivers. Therefore, when driving you need to operate your car in a courteous and safe manner.
Driving privileges and teen drivers
A driver’s license is likely to change your relationship with your teenage child. Access to a vehicle will also present some more opportunities to the teenagers to remain on the go. At first, they will be able to go to any place they want without your help. Your teenager will be driving him/herself to work, school functions or extracurricular activities. As a result, they will spend lesser time with the family. Failing to place sensible limits on your child’s schedule will definitely change the atmosphere in your home. Remain close to your teenager to ensure that he/she is making the right decisions, which enable them to get the rest they need and to spend enough time with the family.
The ability to get a driver’s license and start operating a vehicle independently, is a very big responsibility. You have to be sure that they are ready to start driving because statistics show that automobile crashes are a major cause of deaths among teenagers. In addition to having the mental and physical coordination to drive, a child also needs social and emotional maturity. This should help your teenager to understand their responsibility when guiding a vehicle on a road.
Here are some tips to consider when learning how to drive:
- Do not rush to grant your child driving privileges
Driving is not one of the constitutional rights – it is a privilege. Also, you should not grant it immediately the day your child is eligible for a driver’s license or a learner’s permit. Not every child is mature and responsible at that time.
- Insist on driver’s education
Before granting your kids the driving privilege, ensure that they have taken and passed formal drivers instruction classes. Even more, you may have to provide them with more driving skills than the minimum required. However, you should remember that many teenagers prefer to learn from driving instructors rather than their parents..
- Impose restrictions
After your child has received a driver’s license, you should impose some restrictions to ensure that they are safe. For example, you can prevent them from driving alone until you feel that they are ready. You can also limit them to certain routes like to and from school. There should also be a curfew time at night and a limit to the number of passengers allowed in the car. Many parents develop a Driving Contract for their child to sign that lists the requirements and expectations for the use of their vehicle.
- Set up a system for penalties
You might need the child to pay for the gas, maintenance and insurance expenses.They may be expected to run errands for the family. In addition to that, you have to remind them about the consequences for irresponsible behavior. They might need to pay for tickets and any increase in insurance rates that result. There may be times when the driving privilege is revoked due to driving incidents or behavior issues or school issues or grades. Parents should use this time as an opportunity to help their child to grow into a responsible adult.
Top Causes of Accidents for Teen Drivers in Florida
On average, six teenagers die every day in the United States due to road accidents. That number has made motor vehicle accidents the leading cause of teen deaths in the country. Here are the main causes of accidents for teen drivers in this country.
- Driver inexperience
During the first or second year, of driving, you are relatively new to the world of driving. You will not have gained all the skills that you need to drive in bad weather conditions or to drive at night. It will take several years before you feel completely comfortable behind the wheel. With adequate experience, a driver can handle every type of driving or road condition; withstand distractions from passengers and react fast. Fast reaction times result from experience and practice. Fast reaction time is necessary when facing dangers like sudden traffic stop ahead, animals entering the road or sudden changes in the road condition.
- Distracted Driving
Distracted driving affects all age groups, but it raises the risk of teen car accidents - because teen drivers are inexperienced. When we mention distracted driving, the things that should come to mind include eating and drinking, talking on a mobile phone, adjusting the radio while driving. Actually, use of mobile phones tops the list of the distractions. It involves texting, emailing, data entry and calling or receiving calls. The distractions account for around 12% of all road accidents – that is according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
- Intoxicated Driving
No one should drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs because that is one of the leading causes of deaths on our roads. People who make the bad choice are from every age group. However, impaired driving poses unique dangers to teen drivers. Alcohol affects your ability to drive, but inexperience heightens the risk. Teens participate in a lot in dangerous driving behaviors and do not shy away from boarding an intoxicated driver’s car. Of all teen road accidents involving teens, around a quarter of them result from intoxicated driving.
- Reckless Driving
Most teen drivers take part in reckless driving. Actually, most of them get several speeding tickets or have several accidents before learning their lesson. Adults speed, but the chances of a teenager speeding are very high. A study by the National Young Driver Survey (NYDS) showed that roughly 21% of all car accidents resulted from teen drivers traveling very fast, without considering the road conditions. Almost half of all car accidents caused by teens are a result of speeding. The most affected teen drivers are males because they are more likely to speed at any time of the day or night. The study also showed that both genders engaged in risky behaviors such as improper lane changes, tailgating and failing to stop at traffic lights.
- Distracting Passengers
One of the major distractions for teen drivers is their fellow teen passengers. The new drivers are inexperienced and therefore interactions with teen passengers put them at a great risk. A recent study that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted showed that around 15% of teen crashes happened because of teen drivers interacting with the passengers. The chances of an accident occurring are higher when the passengers in the vehicle are teenagers. Even more, the risk of being involved in an automobile accident triples if the number of teen passengers exceeds two.