PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — We are just a few weeks away from the start of school which means we will soon be seeing newly minted drivers on the roads and that means added risks.
Driving schools across Palm Beach County said they have been filling up since the start of summer. At Affordable Driving Traffic School, they said summer is when they see the most students.
“Since school’s been out in summertime, we’ve had a probably 50% increase and we have at least half a dozen to a dozen students in every class,” said Chenry Baughman, instructor at Affordable Driving Traffic School.
Baughman said he hopes his students learn how to be smart on the road while enjoying the freedom.
“You’ve got to know the rules of the road, you’ve got pay attention, and stay off that cellphone,” said Baughman.
According to American Automobile Association, new teen drivers are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in 2019, there were 1603 young drivers who died in traffic crashes and an estimated 205,000 young drivers injured.
“They are younger, they aren’t paying attention, and they’re looking at the phone,” said Mike Pike, attorney and managing partner at Pike and Lustig. “Keep in mind, these 16-year-old drivers, they are not driving on the road as long as we have. They are more apt to make mistakes.”
Pike said parents of new drivers also have to make safety choices.
“We want to make sure that it’s a safe vehicle and that it is insured,” said Pike. “Make sure that you have the appropriate coverages for your income base. You want to make sure that the insurance you purchase will cover you for any accidents that your child may have on the roads so make sure you have bodily injury insurance and make sure that you have uninsured motorist coverage.”
AAA wants new drivers to remember to R.E.A.D the road. R.E.A.D. stands for: Right speed, Eyes up, Anticipate, and Donut. Donut means keeping large amounts of space in front and on the sides of your car.