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Distracted driving and child restraint key contributors to car accidents in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, West Palm Beach

Given the nature of our work, the West Palm Beach car accident attorneys at Freeman & Mallard frequently post reports about motor vehicle and highway safety tips and trends on our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney blog.

With this in mind, we share changes to the National Transportation Safety Board’s “most wanted” list of vehicle and driver safety improvements. Our goal is to educate and empower drivers and help keep them safe on the roads. Broward, Miami, and Palm Beach counties are the most dangerous counties in one of the top three deadliest states in the nation for traffic fatalities.

Concerns addressed on the NTSB’s “most wanted” list range from motorcycle safety (improved namely through universal, mandatory, helmet laws) to improved child occupant protection.

The NTSB would also like to see more drivers and passengers buckling-up before hitting the road and younger drivers more actively participating in graduated licensing programs.

While diminishing driver distractions – such as using a cell phone, eating, applying makeup, or disciplining the unrestrained family pet – are behaviors all drivers should avoid, younger drivers are much more likely to pay with their lives than older, more experienced, motorists.

With that said, Florida is one of just 19 states that have imposed no restrictions on cell phone use for drivers, young or mature, and is one of only three states without a booster seat law.

Both issues – driver distraction and seat belt use – are considered significant factors in serious and fatal South Florida car accidents.

According to the NTSB, on average more than 330 children aged 4 to 8 are killed each year in car accidents nationwide. Of those, about 45 percent were unrestrained. Of those who were buckled-up, most were injured or killed because they were using a lap belt or shoulder harness meant for an adult passenger.

In 2009, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that 50 percent of children aged 17 younger killed in a fatal Florida car accident were not wearing a safety belt or using a car or booster seat. Tangentially, there were 4 fatalities and 1,532 injuries linked to driver distraction.

Those numbers are woefully under reported. By some estimates, as many as one-fourth of the nation’s fatal accidents are caused by driver distraction.

The South Florida car accident lawyers at Freeman & Mallard understand the enormous trust a family places in us when we are chosen to represent a loved one who has been seriously injured or killed in a car accident. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368

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