FHP aims to "White Out" teen driver crashes

12:06 PM, Oct 16, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida --  Many parents may say, "not my kid".  Sadly, families across Florida may have uttered the words before learning their teen driver was killed in a car crash.

Click: Teen Driver Safety: Tips for Parents

Vehicle crashes remain the #1 killer of teens in our country. In Florida alone, 260 people lost their lives behind the wheel in a teen driver involved crash. 144 of them were teenagers. 

Just like students use white out to erase mistakes on paper, the Florida Highway Patrol is aiming to "white out" mistakes on the road.

The National Highway Safety Administration says 75% of of teen driver related crashes are the result of three factors: lack of scanning for hazards on the road, driving too fast, and distraction.

Two proven killers on the road: cell phones and other teen passengers, according to NHSA.

Click: Takethewheel.net

Click: Teen Driver Safety Week: Teendriversource.org

FHP is hosting a driver safety event at Sickles High School in Tampa this morning to open up the dialogue about safe driving.

Students are encouraged to wear white today to show they are standing together to white out teen driver crashes, as part of National Teen Driver Safety Week.

FHP says the risk of a crash for a teen is greatest during the first six months of driving. Your teen's risk of a fatal crash doubles when there is one passenger in the vehicle with them and quadruples if there are three or more passengers, according to statistics from FHP.

Parents are encouraged to set rules for the kids before they hit the road. Rules include requiring they wear their seat belts at all times, and not drive with any passengers during the first six months of driving or first 1,000 miles. Parents are also encouraged to restrict night time driving while the teen is learning the rules of the road. Safe behaviors like no cell phones, no alcohol and no speeding are also to be encouraged.

Local stats from FHP: 2011 Teen Driver Crashes (fatalities: victims of all ages in teen involved crash)

Hillsborough County:

Crashes: 2,707

Fatalities: 9

Pinellas County:

Crashes: 1,390

Fatalities: 9

Pasco County:

Crashes: 818

Fatalities: 3

Polk County:

Crashes: 775

Fatalities: 14

Manatee County:

Crashes: 582

Fatalities: 4

Citrus County:

Crashes: 141

Fatalities: 1

Hernando County:

Crashes: 260

Fatalities: 4

Tips for Parents: Setting Rules (from raisingsafedrivers.com):

*Always use seat belt

*No passengers in the first 6 months or 1,000 miles of driving. After that, no more than one passenger for the six months following.

*No nighttime driving

*Practice safe driving behaviors: No alcohol, no cell phones, and no speeding.

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