Did you know that the state of Florida has more than 815,000 licensed teen drivers? It is very important for teens to practice safe driving, which is why the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has teamed up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to educate teens on the importance of buckling up, observing all speed limits, never driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and to always focus on driving.
This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week and today we highlight Teen Arrive Alive Day. FLHSMV’s We Arrive Alive campaign initiative provides teens with the tools to take ownership of their driving habits, from buckling up to focusing on driving.
Our Hernando County Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton remind you that the Wireless Communications While Driving law went into effect in July 2019, and states that motorists may be stopped and cited for texting and driving. We want to spread the word to everyone, especially Florida’s newest teen drivers, on why it is so important to never text and drive.
Driving is a Privilege, and you can lose it. Teens, you may not know this, but your parents have the authority to rescind a minor’s driver’s license. The parent or guardian who signs the Parental Consent Form can rescind responsibility for their minor’s driving and cancel the minor’s license.
If a teen gets six or more points on their license within 12 months, their license is restricted to “Business Purposes Only” for one year or until age 18, whichever happens first. If any additional points are racked up during this restricted period, the restriction is extended 90 days for each additional point.
If you are under 21, there is zero tolerance for drinking and driving. Drivers under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol level of .02 percent or more will have their license immediately suspended for six months. A second offense will result in a one year suspension. Refusal to submit to testing on a first offense results in an immediate suspension of 12 months, and 18 months on a second offense. On a similar note, if a teen under the age of 18 is convicted of possession of tobacco, they will lose their license for a minimum of 30 days.
A teen driver that receives a moving violation conviction with a Learner’s License, will have one more year until they can get an Operator’s License. If a teen receives a moving traffic conviction with a Learner’s License, the one-year period required to hold the Learner’s License will be extended for one year from the date of the conviction, or until 18 years old, whichever happens first.
Teens must be in good standing with their school attendance, or they will be ineligible to obtain or maintain their license. If not in compliance with school attendance, a teen’s driving privileges can be suspended until proof of attendance in school for 30 consecutive days has been provided.
Our Hernando County Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want everyone to be safe on the roadways. We encourage teen drivers to follow these safety tips:
Before you drive:
- Buckle up! Everyone in your vehicle should wear a seat belt, no matter how short or far the distance.
- Keep extra passengers to a minimum. Extra passengers can be distracting for an inexperienced teen driver.
- If you are going to a destination you are not familiar with, get complete directions and set your GPS before you go. Know your route before you put the car in drive.
- Keep your vehicle in proper working condition. Check your tires and make sure they are inflated to the right pressure according to your owner’s manual. Bald tires, a poor transmission, bad brakes, a dirty windshield or a bad engine could lead to accidents.
- Keep your car filled with gas. Do not drive around on empty, as you can end up stranded someplace unsafe.
- Do not drive or ride with anyone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
While you drive:
- Keep your eyes on the road, and focus only on driving. Do not talk on your phone, text, fiddle with radio dials, put on make-up, comb your hair or eat while driving.
- Follow the posted speed limit signs, stops signs, and traffic lights.
- Use turn signals to indicate your intention to turn or to change lanes so that the drivers behind you have enough time to react before you take action.
- Keep your music volume low. You don’t want to miss hearing a siren or a horn that could warn you of possible trouble.
- Keep a watchful eye out for motorcycles, bikes, and pedestrians.
- Stay alert when driving and be aware of the weather, traffic congestion and road conditions.