TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has been promoting a public safety campaign recognizing National Teen Driver Safety Week, which runs until October 21, 2023, in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and public safety partners across Florida.
Teen drivers (ages 15-19) represent approximately 5% of licensed drivers in Florida, and more than 11% of crashes in Florida involve teens.“It is important for teen drivers to develop driving habits that keep them, their passengers, and others on the road safe,” said Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Dave Kerner. “National Teen Driver Safety Week brings to the forefront the responsibility that comes with a license and the safe practices that should occur every time they are behind the wheel so that everyone can arrive alive.”
“National Teen Driver Safety Week is a great time for parents and caregivers to remind their young drivers of safe driving habits,” said Florida Highway Patrol Colonel Gary Howze II. “Help make Florida’s roadways safer by educating your children on the dangers associated with speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving, and not wearing a seatbelt.”
According to data, in 2022, just over 23% (one in four) of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were cited for speeding and/or aggressive driving behaviors such as following too closely, running a stop light/sign, unsafe/improper lane change, improper passing or failing to yield the right of way.
Parents, family members, and friends of teen drivers are encouraged to communicate what safe driving looks like and how to practice it daily. Teens should be aware of their licenses’ limitations and the associated driving hours and rules.
FLHSMV is joined by its campaign partners this week to drive home the message of teen-driver safety:
“Safe driving behaviors are essential for all drivers, especially younger motorists who are still gaining valuable experience behind the wheel,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E. “Teenaged drivers are highly influenced by those around them, whether family members or other motorists, so the example we all set on the road has lasting impacts. FDOT encourages all drivers to practice safe driving habits while avoiding distractions to ensure everyone on the road can arrive to their destination safely.”
“One strategic plan goal of the Florida Sheriffs Association is to promote programs and services focused on youth, and the Teen Driver Challenge program is one exceptional tool that saves lives here in Florida. Through the program, many sheriffs teach safe driving practices, including how to handle vehicles in emergency situations. Florida’s sheriffs fully support the efforts of National Teen Driver Safety Week being promoted by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles,” said Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper, President Florida Sheriffs Association.
FPCA president Charles “Chuck” Broadway,” said, “Driving is a journey of responsibility. As the Florida Police Chiefs Association joins with our public safety partners to recognize National Teen Driver Safety Week, let’s empower our youth with knowledge, support, and positive reinforcement. Together, we can ensure every trip, including for Florida’s youngest drivers, is a safe journey for all.”
For tips on how to talk to teens about driving safety and other campaign resources, please visit FLHSMV’s teen driver webpage.