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Teen Car Accidents in Hollywood and Elsewhere Likely with Text Messaging

A teenage driver was recently ordered to one year behind bars after a car accident resulted from text messaging behind the wheel. The case was one of the first of its kind in the nation, as we reported on our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog.

District Court Judge Stephen Abany said that he sentenced the 18-year-old driver to do the time because he wanted to urge other young drivers to “keep their eyes on the road.” The teen driver was found guilty on charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle causing serious injury while texting as well as motor vehicular homicide. The driver had no prior record. His license has also been suspended for 15 years.

Abany says that he chose the sentence based on rehabilitation, public safety, punishment and deterrence, with his focus on deterrence.
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In the state of Florida, teens are allowed to text and talk on cell phones behind the wheel as they please. There’s no law prohibiting them from doing so. We’re one of the few states that has yet to enact such law.

In the state of Massachusetts, it was written into law back in 2010 that it was illegal to injure someone in the event of an accident because a driver was texting. In 2010, federal officials reported that there were nearly 3,100 people killed in distraction-related car accidents. Teen drivers are at some serious risks for these kinds of accidents. According to the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 2,000 teen drivers killed in car crashes on our roadways during 2010. Many of these accidents were the result of driver distractions.

Our Hollywood accident attorneys understand that there were nearly 200,000 teen drivers injured in car accidents throughout 2010. Many of these injuries could have been prevented if teens were a little more aware of the risks that come along with irresponsible driving habits. Unfortunately, these young drivers think they’re invincible on our roadways.

We’re in the summer season and that means that teen drivers can be found all over our roads, They’re out on summer break and they’re ready to have some fun! Unfortunately, the more time they spend behind the wheel, the greater the risks for car accidents. Be sure to talk with the teen in your life about the very real dangers that we all face on our roadways. The dangers and these risks can be easily minimized with some safe and responsible driving habits.

Safe Driving Tips from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV):

-Drive like you own the car, not the road.

-Be sure to obey all of the posted speed limits. Speed is one of the top causes of car accidents among teen drivers.

-Obey traffic lights and stop signs.

-Always use your turn signal to ensure that other drivers are aware of your intentions. Predictability helps to reduce the risks for an accident.

-Be cautious of the more vulnerable travelers on our roadways, like pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.

-Keep distractions out of the driver’s seat and keep the music down.

-Be aware of the road conditions, traffic congestion and the weather forecast.

-Be on the lookout for potholes, especially after rainy weather.

-Always be a safe and courteous driver.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida area, contact the Broward personal injury lawyers at Freeman & Mallard. Call today to schedule a free and confidential review of your rights. Call us at 1-800-561-7777.

Additional Resources:

Mass. teen gets year in jail for fatal texting crash, by Matt Hamblen, Computer World

More Blog Entries:

Text Messages a Top Contributor to Teen Accidents in West Palm Beach during 100 Deadliest Days, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, June 1, 2012

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