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Is your teen a safe driver?

It's a fact that 16-year-old drivers have the highest rate of wrecks than drivers in any other age group. That alone is enough for Florida parents to want to put the brakes on their teen driver.

But that is not always the best solution. As over half of today's teens rely on Mom and Dad to teach them how to drive, a better idea is to equip them with the education and driving skills they need to be safe behind the wheel.

The following facts can be incorporated into their driving education:

-- In 2010, in the 13- to 19-year-old age group, one third of all deaths were attributed to vehicle crashes.

-- Fewer than half of all teens (44 percent) stated that they would say something to a driver whose driving was scaring them.

-- More than half (56 percent) of teens admitted to using their cellphones to converse behind the wheel.

-- Over 40 percent of teen deaths from wrecks happen between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

-- The rate of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths rose with the addition of each passenger.

-- Teen drivers whose parents remain actively involved in their lives wear seat belts twice as much as their counterparts with less involved parents.

-- The risk of wrecking for teen drivers increases incrementally with every mile driven in excess of the speed limit.

-- Cellphone usage behind the wheel doubles the chances of having an accident.

-- Talking on cellphones reduces a teen driver's reactions to those of a 70-year-old senior citizen.

-- One out of five 16-year-old neophyte drives will have their first accident during their first year of driving.

These are sobering statistics. If you have been injured in an accident with a teen or another at-fault driver, you have the right to seek compensation for medical expenses and other financial restitution.

Source: dosomething.org, "11 Facts about Teen Driving," accessed July 17, 2015

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