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Florida Health Encourages Responsible Teen Driving Habits

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

January 07, 2016

Jan. 7, 2016

Florida Health Encourages Responsible Teen Driving Habits

Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla. - The holidays have come to an end and students are returning to school. For many teens, this means arriving with new cars, cellphones and other driving distractions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers age 15-19 years old have the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use.

"I encourage parents to talk with their teen drivers about safe driving habits,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Responsible driving protects the lives of our drivers, passengers and pedestrians so that we can pursue daily activities safely and without incident.”

In 2013, Florida legislators passed 316.305, F.S., to help protect residents and visitors from the dangers of texting and using the phone while driving. Distracted driving can come in many forms, but today’s technology can be particularly hard to ignore. It is important for all parents and adults to act as role models for young people who are getting on the road.

Tips for parents and guardians to start the safe driving conversation:

  • Make a safe driving pact with your teen, have them sign a pledge to commit to distraction-free driving;
  • Set ground rules for your teen to follow at all times when driving;
  • Be a good example and remember that you are in charge of your teen’s driving privileges;
  • Don’t raise your voice and distract your teen more if you catch them texting while driving. Ask them to put the phone down until you arrive at your destination and can safely discuss their actions; and
  • Talk to your teen about Florida’s texting and driving laws, including the consequences of disobeying them.

For more information on how you can talk to your teen about driving, visit

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The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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