‘I’m a great driver, but my passengers distract me’ admits teen

July 5th, 2013 - by DKRPA

A teen driver in Florida is considered a new driver who falls between the ages of 15 and 19. In 2011, there were 28,176 of these teen drivers who were involved in car crash. A total of 91 of those drivers and another 63 of their teenage passengers lost their lives in that same year.

In the traffic safety realm, teen drivers have taken a lot of heat for distracted driving after the rate of these accidents caused by drivers with cellphones has drastically increased. Although necessary attention is paid to texting and talking while driving, this isn’t the only type of distraction. Distraction to a driver can come from eating while driving, changing the radio and even putting makeup on. In some cases it is not even the “what” that is the distraction, but the “who.”

For instance, an unrestrained pet or other passenger can be a very big distraction. Again, teens are the ones where the passenger distraction is most evident, in part because teens are already considered inexperience so any level of passenger chaos can cause distraction.

Even though teens admit to being distracted by their passengers, there are currently no restrictions placed on teen drivers in Florida when it comes to the number of passengers a new driver can carry. As with many other states, there is a graduated license program that keeps a teen’s license under an “intermediate” status with some restrictions, but number of passengers isn’t one of them.

For one 16-year-old Florida teen, he said that this time of year is especially distracting because school is finally over and he has a lot more free time to tool around with his buds — and he considers himself to be a “responsible driver.”

Source: News-Press, “Florida one of few states without restriction on teen drivers’ passengers,” June 30, 2013