Car crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among teens and the website Wallethub ranks Florida 33rd among all states for teenage drivers, which is below average.
Parents looking for ways to keep their kids safe behind the wheel may want to lead by example. A recent survey showed 78 percent of teens admitted to texting while driving and 59 percent said they saw their parents do the same.
Another tip...Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez says you should let your new drivers take the wheel with you in the passenger seat, even when the road conditions are not the best.
"I think a lot of times when it's raining out, when you know there's traffic...that's when parents tend to say 'I'll drive today!' But this is really when you should let your teen drive, you should be next to them in the car because these are situations that they're going to be dealing with without you very soon."
As for the rankings, the website used 21 metrics to come up with them, including texting while driving legislation, quality of roads, costs associated with driving and the number of teen driver fatalities.
Gonzalez tells us that our state didn't rank below average on all of metrics.
"We were looking specifically at the number of teen DUI's as under the age of 18 and Florida has the 4th lowest, and that's just looking at last year alone."
We also rank above average for the average cost of car repairs and the quality of our roads.
The site ranks Florida 42nd when it comes to the presence of distracted driving and texting while driving laws. Florida has a ban on texting behind the wheel, but Jill says it's not enough.
"The restriction is really a secondary enforcement in Florida, so that's one area where it could do a little bit better."
However, texting is also covered under the state's distracted driving law.
Here are some examples of how Florida ranked in a number of the metrics:
Teenage Driving in Florida (1=Best; 25=Avg.): ·
33rd - Teen Driver Fatalities per Teen Population·
4th - Teen DUIs per Teen Population·
21st - Avg. Cost of Car Repairs·
42nd - Presence of Distracted-Driving/Texting-While-Driving Laws·
25th - Premium Increase After Adding Teen Driver to Parent’s Policy·
7th - Provision of Teen Driver’s Graduated Licensing Program Laws·
25th - Vehicle Miles Traveled per Capita·
28th - Presence of Occupant-Protection Laws·
6th - Quality of Roads·
29th - Presence of Impaired-Driving Laws
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Photo: Tetra images RF