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Teens not only victims of car accidents in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce

A recently released joint report from State Farm Insurance Companies and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) remind us all of the impact of teen driver crashes. These crashes affect the teen driver and their families but let’s not forget about their victims.

Our Fort Pierce accident attorneys encourage teen drivers to get as much education as they can on the dangers of driving. Studies continue to show parental involvement can significantly reduce a teen’s risk of being involved in a serious or fatal crash.

This is an issue we all need to care about, as illustrated by the statistics from 2008 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A total of 2,739 teen drivers were killed in traffic crashes; another 1,654 passengers in the teen driver’s vehicle were also killed. Additionally, 1,518 died that were occupants of other vehicles involved in teen driver crashes and finally 517 deaths were of non-occupants.

Added up, 3,689 lives were ended by teen drivers, affecting equally the same number of families with victims in these crashes. This doesn’t include the teen driver’s causing the crash.

In Florida, 195 teen drivers died in 2008, which caused the death of another 321 people that were either occupants of the teen vehicle, occupants of another vehicle or non-occupants.

Data for Miles to Go: Establishing Benchmarks for Teen Driver Safety was gathered from varied federal data sources and determined 11 indicators to assist safety practitioners and policy makers in assessing progress regarding teen driving safety.

Four key behaviors were the researchers focus. These behaviors included speeding, distractive driving, alcohol use and not wearing a seat belt. The report indicated that car crashes cause more teen deaths than suicide, homicide or cancer.

Inexperience is the leading cause of these crashes and could be greatly improved by stronger Graduated Driver Licensing laws. These laws allow young drivers to practice driving in low risk conditions with supervision, in stages, to gain experience. In 1996, Florida was the first state to have a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program. Statistics have shown that such programs can reduce teen crashes by up to 21%.

Though Congress established a National Teen Driver Safety Week in 2007 (annually held the 3rd week in October) teen driving education needs to take place year round with emphasis on the dangers of alcohol use, speeding, distracted driving and failure to wear a seat belt.

Recently the federal government’s Healthy People 2020 plan was expanded to include a 10% decrease in teen fatalities and increase seat belt use by 10%. This joint report will help greatly in monitoring the plan’s progress.

If you or someone you know have been injured in a car accident in West Palm Beach, Margate, Port St. Lucie, or the surrounding areas call 800-529-2368 for a free consultation.

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