Accidents on Florida Rural Roadways Can Be Fatal for Teens

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Although there are not as many stop lights or traffic on rural Florida roadways, these rural roads can be just as deadly as Florida’s heavily populated highways and interstates. For example, Theodore Julius “T.J.” Radacky recently died while driving on a rural road on drizzly afternoon in Florida. Thera Nowacki, T.J.’s mother, believes he was texting or attempting to reach for his cell phone because there were no skids marks on the road where the incident occurred. Nowacki received a phone call minutes after the accident notifying her that T.J. had died beside S.R. 121 near the Williston Municipal Airport.
A recent report conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention Control revealed that teen drivers in rural areas die at a higher rate than those teen drivers in cities. For example, Alachua County, with a population of 22,345 residents between the ages of 15 to 19-years-old, had 27 fatalities in the past 5 years. Marion County has seen 40 deaths in its population of just 15,419 teenage drivers.
Below are some statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:
– There are 772,910 teenage drivers within the state of Florida.
– In 2009, 242 of those teenage drivers were involved in fatal car crashes.
– 35 of the 242 fatal accidents involved alcohol.
– 18-year-old drivers have the highest crash rate involvement (490 per 10,000 drivers)
– 17-year-old drivers have the highest right of fatal crash involvement (4 per every 10,000 drivers)
– Careless driving was the greatest cause of fatal accidents in 2009.
If you would like to read more on this story please see Rural areas in Florida prove to be more deadly to teen drivers than city highways.
Whether you live in the city or in a rural part of the state of Florida, parents need to educate their children on the basic dangers of driving. Teach your children to never speed or drive aggressively. Also, children should be taught to keep distractions to a minimum: do not talk or text on the cell phone while driving, do not have the music up to loud, and try to keep conversations with other passengers limited. Following these basic rules will keep your child’s attention and focus on the road, as well as make rural roadways safer for all.

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