Car Accidents and Teens: When the Law Becomes Personal

teen car accident lawyerThe headlines are often grim:

  • Three Teens Hurt in Long Island Car Crash
  • Two Teens Killed In Long Island Car Crash
  • Four Teens Dead in Long Island Car Crash

No wonder we have mixed emotions when our teen gets a driver’s license. As parents, we understand our children are on the cusp of adulthood, but we also know they do not yet think like an adult. The granting of a driver’s license leaves parents walking a tightrope.

But the law makes no allowances for age. Though teens are more prone to underestimating dangers, they are still held to the same … Read the rest

National Teen Driver Safety Week Provides High Schools With Chance to Win Private Kelly Clarkson Concert and Cash

This week, October 18 – 26, is National Teen Driver Safety Week, which was established by Congress in 2007 after a series of tragic motor vehicle accidents involving Pennsylvania high school students.  As part of the event, State Farm sponsors a competition called “Celebrate My Drive,” where teens are encouraged to practice safe habits on the roadways.  All residents, whether they have a driver’s license or not, are encouraged to log on to the site, www.celebratemydrive.com, and make a commitment to safe driving. The more commitments in a particular school’s name, the better that school’s chances for winning cash prizes.… Read the rest

Parents Matter When It Comes to Teen Driving

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, killing more than 5,000 each year. More than 7,000 people nationwide were killed in crashes involving teen drivers in 2007, government data show. More than 3,000 of these deaths were teen drivers, and more than 250,000 teen drivers were injured. Two articles in the October 2009 edition of Pediatrics magazine offer advice to parents to help reduce teen driving accidents.

First, do not give your teen his or own car. Second, be involved and authoritative; give clear driving safety rules and offer support. The studies show that it’s not … Read the rest

Allstate Runs Ad Touting a New Years Resolution That Can Keep You From Losing Your Teenager

A print advertisement placed by Allstate in newspapers takes information from The Allstate Foundation Report on Teen Driving, 2005, and puts it in a form called “Parent-Teen Driving Contract”. The contract lists several topics with corresponding statistics from the Report. For each topic, there is a blank space for “Agreement” to be filled in, and another blank space for “Consequences” to be filled in. At the bottom of the contract is a space for the Teen Driver’s signature, and another for the Parent/Guardian signature. An interactive contract can be downloaded from the Internet.

The topics and their corresponding statistics include … Read the rest

Texting While Driving Is More Dangerous Than Drunk-Driving; Is Jail-Time Warranted?

A study by the Transport Research Laboratory, a British center for transport research, has suggested that texting while driving is riskier than driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Texting adversely effects drivers’ reaction times, steering control (ie. drifting out of the lane), and maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Motorists who use their mobile phone to send text messages while on the road dramatically increase the likelihood of collision – their reaction times deteriorated by 35 per cent.

In comparison, those who drank alcohol at the legal limit were 12 per cent slower, those under … Read the rest

New Suffolk County Law Sets $150 Fine for Texting While Driving

Starting September 21, 2008, Suffolk County drivers caught driving while text messaging will face a $150.00 fine under a new county law that is the first of its kind in New York State. Westchester and Nassau recently approved similar laws, but those measures have not taken effect. New York City is considering a similar ban. Four other states have such a law: Alaska, Washington, Minnesota and New Jersey.

County officials said they hope that the new law will encourage New York lawmakers to approve a statewide measure. In May of this year, State Senate Republicans passed legislation yesterday prohibiting drivers … Read the rest

Increasing the Driving Age Requirement = Increased Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a nonprofit, scientific and educational organization aimed at reducing loss on the nation’s highways, including deaths, personal injuries and property damage. Its research has divulged that in the year 2006 alone, 42,642 people died in motor vehicle crashes. In particular, they have found young adult and teen drivers to be at risk, especially drivers younger than the age of 18.

Teen drivers are at significant risk on the road because they lack both the judgment that comes with maturity and the skill associated with experience. In attempts of ameliorating this situation, the … Read the rest

Deaths on Dangerous Jericho Turnpike in Suffolk County Prompt Changes in Road Configuration and Speed Limit

The state Department of Transportation yesterday unveiled changes to a stretch of Jericho Turnpike, from Old Willets Path to Meadow Road, in Smithtown where three teenagers were killed last year in a car accident on their lunch break from school. A primary purpose of the changes is to slow drivers down by reconfiguring the roadway and by reducing the speed limit.

Although the posted speed limit is 55 MPH, New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) studies show 50 percent of drivers in the westbound lane drive 60 mph or faster. The speed on the westbound lane will be reduced … Read the rest

Seemingly Never-Ending String of High School Lunch-Time Car Accidents Fuels Debate Over Open Campuses

A fatal car accident involving students driving off of school grounds during lunch period has again focused attention on whether open campus is a concept that should be ended.

Following a crash on April 10, 2008 in which two West Hempstead High School students were killed and another seriously injured, New York State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) renewed his call to enact his bill that would ban all school districts in the state from permitting students to leave campus in vehicles during school hours. Assemblyman Gianaris introduced Assembly Bill A.9619 this past January.

As a result of the accident, … Read the rest