If you think you’ve been hearing about more young drivers being involved in accidents on Florida roadways, you’re right. And the numbers may be even worse than you imagine.
Statistics from the state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show that drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were involved in 63,591 accidents in 2016, an increase of 13.5 percent over 2014, when they were in 56,016 crashes. The increase was particularly alarming for drivers ages 15 to 17, whose accident numbers were up an eye-opening 18.1 percent over the same time period. Right here in Duval County, crashes for that age group jumped an appalling 26.7 percent.
Furthermore, the National Center for Health Statistics reports car accidents are the leading cause of death in the 16 to 20 age group, according to an article from the Insurance Information Institute. In Florida, the state’s figures show the number of younger drivers dying in accidents rose from 104 in 2014 to 136 in 2016. The number of fatalities among 15- to 17-year-olds more than doubled in those years, from 12 to 27.
The numbers are frightening. What is more frightening is there is nothing you can do to protect yourself or your loved ones when you are unknowingly sharing the road with teenage drivers. You may become the innocent victim of a young person getting behind the wheel with only a few weeks of driving experience. You may become the victim of an overconfident young driver who mistakenly thinks they are skilled enough to handle the same split-second decisions that more experienced drivers encounter with ease every day. Or you may become the innocent victim of a negligent young driver who is talking or texting on their phone instead of paying attention to traffic. The key in each of these situations? You are the victim.
All you can do is react. We can help.
Unfortunately, all you can do is react to the situation. No matter how much driving experience you have, an accident may be unavoidable because another driver lacked either the skill or the will to obey the rules of the road. Through no fault of your own, you could find yourself badly injured and out of work for weeks, if not months, perhaps even crippled for life. The police will want to know what happened. Insurance companies may be pressuring you to settle any claims before you feel like you are ready. It’s common to feel overwhelmed, to feel like you need to do something to protect your interests and your future.
Fortunately, the experienced auto accident attorneys at Pajcic & Pajcic have your answers. We’ve been handling cases – more than 9,000 – like yours since 1974. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident in Jacksonville - or the surrounding area - we are standing by to aggressively protect your rights. You can call us at 904-358-8881 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation. A teenage driver can cause you to lose control of your life. We can help you take it back.