Articles Posted in Teen Accidents

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Our Broward Injury lawyers wish you and your family a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend.

fireworks1.jpgThis holiday weekend, people will be out in force celebrating our nation’s independence. Of course, the many beautiful beaches will be a huge attraction. People will be swimming or riding personal watercraft close to shore, while others head out in boats to fish and enjoy a nice day on the water. Those staying away from the shore may be enjoying family barbeques or hanging out at the pool. While all of these activities can be a lot of fun, you should be alert for certain dangers you may face this holiday weekend.

Over the holiday weekend, authorities are prepared for a higher than average number of car crashes. There are many reasons for this increase, including more people drinking and driving on the Fourth of July and more teens taking to the road now that schools are out.

Teen driving fatalities are higher this time of year than any other period. The National Safety Council calls the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. We are right in the middle of that period this holiday weekend. At the start of the 100 days, the Miami Examiner reported that South Florida ranks particularly high in terms of traffic accidents, and rates involving teen crashes are expected to climb even higher this time of year. In an effort to curb this, AT&T is asking all drivers, including teens, to take part in the “It can wait” movement, which is a pledge to never text and drive. As you may be aware, distracted driving is one of the major causes of car accidents and teens are among the most frequent texters. It may be a good idea to stay off the phone entirely while driving. While mobile apps and hands free devices can aid us in performing many tasks, research still suggests that this causes drivers to be distracted, resulting in car crashes.
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Car accidents are the leading cause of death for young drivers, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that drivers ages 16-19 are three times as likely to get hurt in a crash as compared with other drivers. In many cases, teens are more prone to accidents because they don’t know how to drive very well, are inexperienced or make bad choices to do unsafe things. 1066564_gossip_girls_1.jpg

Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys know that kids tend to mimic the driving behavior that they see from their parents. In fact, a study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Center revealed that parents have a significant impact on how their kids drive.

With parent involvement making such a big difference, it should come as no surprise that research from the Allstate Foundation revealed that the majority of parents both regretted not monitoring their teen drivers better and regretted not spending more time teaching their kids to drive.

Parents Express Regret on Failing to Provide Safe Driving Guidance
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the recent Allstate Foundation study revealed that:

  • Almost half of all parents responding to the survey wished that they had monitored their teenage driver more closely after the teen got a license.
  • More than half of teen drivers said they wish they had more driving time behind the wheel with their parents.
  • Two-thirds of parents wish they had spent more time teaching their teen driver how to drive effectively in high-risk situations.
  • Nine out of ten parents indicate that it is important for their teens to learn how to manage night time driving. However, one in three reported not covering this subject with their teen.
  • Around 30 percent of parents said they weren’t setting ground rules to prevent dangerous driving behaviors like night time driving or driving with too many other passengers in the car.
  • Most parents- around 75 percent- are not aware that driver inexperience is the leading cause of teen car wrecks. The majority incorrectly believe that risk taking is the major reason for auto accidents involving teens.
  • 64 percent of parents said they were looking for resources and help in managing their teenager’s driving experience.

To help parents and kids get on the same page and to make it easier for parents to be effective in teaching their kids driving safety, The Allstate Foundation and the National Safety Council have now launched the Drive It Home Initiative.

The Initiative will help parents to better educate their teenagers on safe driving by providing parents with important educational resources. The NSC website has tips for parents about safe driving and there is a Drive It Home Show coming to multiple cities throughout the United States including Fort Myers Florida.

Hopefully, the efforts of Drive It Home can help to prevent deadly teen car accidents that put the teenager as well as other drivers and passengers in danger.
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Teenage drivers are more likely to get into a deadly car accident than any other age group of drivers. These risks come along with their inexperience and their inability to comprehend dangers associated with poor driving habits.

According to a recent study that was published in the Journal of Safety Research. teen drivers oftentimes don’t understand the correlation between drowsy driving and fatal car accidents. The study, conducted by the National Safety Council (NSC), concludes that these young drivers understand the dangers that are associated with drunk driving, but not with drowsy driving. Both of these driving behaviors produce some of the same results — deadly car accidents in Sunrise and elsewhere.
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Drowsy Driving & Teen Drivers Study:

-Drowsy driving car accidents happen most often to teen drivers.

-Among drivers who take long road trips, those who are under the ago of 30-years-old are more likely to be sleep-deprived than other age groups.

-The effects of drowsy driving are awfully similar to the effects of drunk driving.

Teen drivers understand that drunk driving is wrong and they understand the effects that it can have on roadway safety. Unfortunately, the same recognitions weren’t present for drowsy driving.

“Drunk driving is universally viewed as dangerous, but young people especially don’t understand the very serious risks associated with drowsy and distracted driving,” said the NSC’s Janet Froetscher.

What safe driving advocates are working to do is to educate drivers of all ages, focusing on our young ones, about the risks that are associated with drowsy driving. As a matter of fact, about 60 percent of drivers, or about 170 million people, admit to driving while feeling drowsy at least once in the past year. About a third, or nearly 105 million people, say that they’ve actually fallen asleep at the wheel during this time, according to DrowsyDriving.org.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there are about 100,000 car accidents reported every year that involve a drowsy driver. These accidents result in nearly 2,000 roadway fatalities and another 70,000 injuries. Officers believe that the actual numbers are much higher as drowsiness isn’t always reported in an accident. And there is no test to determine sleepiness as there is for intoxication, like a “breathalyzer.”

Before school kicks off for another year, parents are urged to talk with their young drivers about the risks and the consequences of drowsy driving. Make sure your young driver is getting enough rest and knows to avoid driving whenever they’re feeling drowsy. Make sure that your teen knows to avoid driving while they’re sleepy. They should let another licensed driver drive during these times or pull over in a safe place to rest. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving! Being able to recognize drowsiness and knowing what to do in these cases can help keep your teen safe.
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If it’s about time for your teen to start driving, it might also be time to start helping them to look for a car. But where do you start? They want a speedy, flashy set of hot wheels and you want them to have something affordable and reliable. Unfortunately, they don’t always mix.

According to the Evening Tribune, more than 80 percent of parents and guardians put reliability above all else when choosing a vehicle for their teen. Parents want to rely on a car’s ability to not only hold its own, but to be able to protect their child in the event of a car accident in Stuart and elsewhere. After reliability comes a high safety rating and then the cost of auto insurance.
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“I can replace cars, but I can’t replace a kid,” says Lauren Fix, The Car Coach.

Our Stuart car accident attorneys understand that this decision may be one of the most important ones you’ll make for them. During their first few years behind the wheel they face the highest risks for accidents! You want to make sure that they’re provided with a vehicle that’s going to help to keep them safe and alive behind the wheel should they get into an accident.

Here are some simple tips to make sure that you and your teen settle on a vehicle that fits in the budget and helps to provide you with some peace of mind:

-Should I go new or used? Price may be better for used cars, but the older you go the fewer technological safe guards you have. It’s the newer cars that have the new technology to help reassure parents. Some of these features include front air bags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and even back-up collision intervention systems. You can always add tint and some cool seat covers to make a car look cool, but you can’t add airbags and ECS.

-Check out the USAA’s list of top cars for teens. This list looks at vehicles based on their affordability, their safety and their reliability.

-Look at each vehicle’s crash-test ratings before narrowing your choice.

-Once you’ve selected a vehicle, consider having a trusted mechanic check it out.

-Check out insurance costs. Remember, boys cost more than girls. Driving education, good grades and other positive factors help to bring down costs for your teen.

-Talk with your teen about basic car maintenance once the vehicle makes it to your driveway.
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There’s a new bill on its way to Florida’s House and Senate that is designed to keep parents in the know regarding their teen driver’s habits on our roadways, according to NBC2. With parents overlooking teen driving habits, officials feel these young drivers will be more conscious of their driving habits. Under the bill, parents can sign up to receive notifications regarding their teens’ driving habits, including tickets, warnings and car accidents in Wellington and elsewhere.
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“I think it’s a great idea, I think the more info you know about your children, the better,” says a South Florida parent.

Our Wellington teen car accident lawyers understand that parents could choose to sign up for the new program, if it passes the House and the Senate, and could receive text messages and e-mail alerts directly from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Parents would know when their teen driver got a speeding ticket, another traffic violation, got into a traffic accident or if their license had been suspended. Many officials think that this program will get teen drivers to pay more attention to their habits behind the wheel.

Parents would no longer receive these notifications once their teen driver turns 18. The bill is sponsored by Senator Greg Evers (R-Baker) and Representative Richard L. Steinberg (D-Miami Beach).

As we are in the thick of the holiday season, we’re seeing more visitors and residents out on our roadways. Millions are expected to make Florida their holiday destination. With this increase in traffic volume, our risks for car accidents will increase significantly. This is the ideal time for parents to sit down with the young drivers in their lives and talk about the importance of safe driving during this time of year. These young drivers possess much less driving experience than older drivers and are less able to handle the danger that accompanies holiday traffic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is here to offer parents with a few safe driving tips to discuss with their young drivers before the new year.

Teen Safe Driving Tips:

-Be sure to offer your teen plenty of supervised practice driving time on a variety of road and traffic conditions so that they’re better equipped to hand real-life driving.

-Make sure your teen drivers always wears a seat belt. Seat belts may be one of the best measures to help prevent injury in the event of an accident.

-Limit the amount of time they spend driving at night. Teen’s risks for an accident increase significantly during this time. Consider enacting a curfew.

-Restrict the number of passengers that they can have in the vehicle at one time because the more passengers in a vehicle, the greater the risk for an accident.

-Although teens aren’t old enough to drink legally, the sad truth is that many of our young ones drink and drive. Talk with your teen about the risks and consequences that are associated with drunk driving.
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A Palm Beach motorcycle accident has claimed the life of a teenager, CBS 4 reported.

The 17-year-old was eastbound on Wiles Road when his motorcycle collided with a Ford Escape that was attempting to turn into a parking lot. The accident sent the victim flying about 70 feet before he landed on the windshield of another vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver of the other vehicle was taken to Coral Springs Medical Center for treatment.

Our Palm Beach accident lawyers encourage parents to speak with their teenagers about safe driving habits as school lets out for summer. Car accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers ages 15 to 20, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2008, a total of 2,739 teenagers were killed in car accidents nationwide. In Florida, 195 young drivers lost their lives.

Florida motorists are at particularly high risk for being involved in a serious or fatal motorcycle accident. A total of 523 riders died in Florida motorcycle accidents in 2008, second only to California’s 537 fatalities.

The NHTSA offers resources for parents wishing to discuss safe driving habits with their teenagers. At a minimum, parents should establish clear rules with teen drivers, including:

-Absolutely no alcohol

-Seat belt use

-No cell phones or text messaging while driving

-Curfew

-Limits on number of passengers in a teen’s vehicle

Teens remain at increased risk for distracted driving accidents. The federal government’s website, Distraction.gov, reports that young drivers under the age of 20 have the highest rate of distracted driving accidents in the country.
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