Archive for November, 2014

West Palm Beach Teen Crashes Curbed With Parent Help

Teen Driver Safety Week, which occurs annually in October, has drawn to a close. During this time, parents were urged to participate in the “5 to Drive” campaign, organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The goal of the campaign was to get parents to talk to their teens about some of the dangerous driving behaviors that lead to teen motor vehicle crashes. 

A personal injury lawyer knows car accidents remain the leading cause of death for young people. Parents play a big role in helping to reduce the risk of accidents. Although Teen Driver Safety Week is over, parents need to continue to enforce rules to help ensure their kids don’t make dangerous mistakes behind the wheel. Parents and guardians should also ensure that they are setting a good example, as kids tend to mimic the behaviors that they see their parents engage in behind the wheel.

Parents Can Make a Difference in Reducing Teen Accidents

According to the NHTSA, 4,283 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were involved in deadly accidents and 44 percent of the drivers died in the collisions. In total, this is a loss of 1,875 young people between the ages of 15 and 20. Motor vehicle crashes are the top cause of fatalities, despite the fact that motor vehicle accident deaths on the whole have been declining in recent years.

The U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stressed the important role parents play in reducing the risk of teen accidents. Parents were encouraged to talk to their teen about a different important driver safety issue every day over Teen Driver Safety Week and to continue the conversation even after this week has ended. The issues that parents should be sure to talk to their teens about include:

  • Cell phone and texting use while driving.
  • Making sure kids do not have passengers in the car. Teens are 2.5 times more likely to engage in high-risk driving behaviors with one friend in the car and three times as likely when they have multiple teen passengers.
  • Driving at or below the speed limit.
  • Refraining from consumption of alcohol.
  • Always buckling up when behind the wheel.

The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published an article on teen drivers that also affirmed the importance of the role of the parent. Parents have multiple roles when it comes to teen drivers including:

  • Giving permission for teens to get a license.
  • Controlling access to vehicles.
  • Setting family rules and punishments for infractions.
  • Selecting the vehicle that a teen will drive.
  • Acting as a driving instructor and a supervisor.
  • Serving as a role model for safe driving.

Parents, however, are frequently unaware of high-risk driving behaviors by teens and they often place more restrictions on details like the destination or the time a teen comes home as compared with dangerous driving conditions like night driving with teen passengers.

Parents should be sure they are doing everything they can to reduce the risk that their sons or daughters will make high-risk decisions that endanger others while driving.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 or visit http://www.gonzalezcartwright.com/ to schedule a free consultation. 

Archive for November, 2014

Avoid Thanksgiving Crashes in West Palm Beach by Adhering to Safety Tips

The risk of a motor vehicle collision is significantly increased over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Drivers need to be aware there are many dangerous conditions if they are traveling over the holidays.

A personal injury lawyer knows that one issue is that there are many more people on the roads over the holidays. Drivers may also tend to get behind the wheel while impaired, which creates a significant safety risk. 

To make sure that you and your family get to your destination safely, you should follow some best practices for safe driving.

The Risk of Collisions on Thanksgiving Day

According to USA Today, Thanksgiving is the holiday with the third-highest number of motor vehicle accident deaths on U.S. roadways. The only holidays where more people get into deadly accidents are Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Between 2006 and 2011, a total of 15 percent of all of the traffic accidents during the month of November happened over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which extends from Wednesday through Sunday night surrounding the holiday. Between 2001 and 2008, there was a steadily increasing number of deaths during this time period. A record number of deaths happened in 2006, when there are 623 motorists who lost their lives.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also cautioned that Thanksgiving is a very dangerous time. In 2012, for example, there were 416 motorists killed over the Thanksgiving period.

In addition to the fatalities, there are also thousands who suffer injury. In 2012 alone, around 46,000 people got hurt in motor vehicle traffic accidents between the Wednesday and the Sunday around Thanksgiving.

There are lots of reasons for the high number of deaths. One issue is that there is a lot of traffic on the roads over the Thanksgiving holiday. According to AAA, for example, around 43.4 million Americans traveled a distance of 50 miles or more over Thanksgiving in 2013. In 2012, there were more than 44 million people who traveled at least 50 miles. More people on the roads means that there is a greater potential for collisions to occur.

Unfortunately, many drivers over Thanksgiving also make unsafe choices. The NHTSA indicated that around 42 percent of people who were killed in Thanksgiving crashes were in collisions that involved drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher.

To reduce the risk of becoming hurt or killed in a traffic collision over Thanksgiving, drivers are urged to follow some basic safety rules. For example, the NHTSA suggests that drivers should:

  • Ensure they buckle their seat belts at all times behind the wheel.
  • Use appropriate safety seats when traveling with children.
  • Avoid drinking and driving and refrain from getting into the car with anyone who has been drinking.
  • Pay attention to the roads and avoid driving while distracted.
  • Stay out of the “no zone,” which is the blind spot area around trucks and buses.
  • Plan ahead for rain and leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.

By following these basic safety tips, hopefully you can avoid getting into a crash and injuring yourself or others over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 or visit http://www.gonzalezcartwright.com/ to schedule a free consultation.