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Car and Truck Accidents in Pahokee and Elsewhere Killing More Teens in Florida

More and more teenage drivers are being killed in car accidents in Pahokee and elsewhere, according to a recent study from the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA). The GHSA study looked at teenage car and trucking accident statistics from the first half of both 2010 and 2011 and examined the trends involving these young driver fatalities. After combing through the stats, researchers concluded that there was an 11 percent increase in the number of driver deaths among 16- and 17-year-olds, despite a 1 percent decrease in overall fatalities reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Some of the most significant increases were in the state of Florida. During the first half of 2011, Florida saw 15 driver deaths in this young age group. Our state was the third-highest for these fatalities, behind Texas and North Carolina. In 2010 during the same time period, Florida authorities reported nine deaths in this young age group, illustrating a six-person increase. A lot of these teen driver fatalities were the result of car accidents involving large trucks on our state’s highways and interstates. Teens typically don’t fully understand the workings of traffic, vehicles and dangers on our roadways. For this reason, these young drivers are at extreme risks for accidents when driving around semi-trucks and tractor trailers.

Our Pahokee trucking accident attorneys understand that the GHSA report indicated that in the 16-year-old age group, the nation saw 80 driver deaths in the first half of 2010 and 93 in the first half of 2011. Among the 17-year-old age group, the nation saw 110 in 2010 and 118 in 2011. Through both of these age groups of drivers, that’s an 11 percent increase from 2010 to 2011, suggesting that more needs to be done to help save our inexperienced and vulnerable young drivers. These drivers need to be provided with more thorough education regarding travel around large trucks. To help to prevent a good number of these accidents, parents are asked to review safe driving tips and practices with teens. It’s important to focus on how to navigate our roads safely when large trucks are nearby.

Teen Driver Fatalities from 2010 to 2011:

-23 states reports increases.

-19 states reported decreases.

-8 states and the District of Columbia reported no change.

Williams says there are a few reasons as to why these numbers increased in a good deal of the country. He says that Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs aren’t enforced as much as they once were. He says officials need to review these laws, which have been on the books for quite some time, and focus on the ones that truly help our teen drivers. It’s those laws that need to be enforced better in driver education courses, by parents and by law enforcement officers. He says that the increase can also be attributed to the recovery of the economy. As the economy continues to grow, more teens are hitting our roadways more often. More time on the road equates to more risks for an accidents. With spring break quickly approaching, we can expect an increase in the number of teens on our roadways. Let’s prepare them now to drive safely on the roadways with big rigs, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers and semis.

“While it is not a surprise that these numbers are stabilizing or slightly increasing, states should not accept these deaths as something that cannot be prevented. More work can and should be done to save teen lives,” says Williams.

Teens and Trucks, Safe Driving Tips from Geico:

-Be extra attentive when driving near large trucks.

-Never drive aggressively.

-Never drink and drive.

-Be cautious of a truck’s blind spots.

-Never tailgate a truck.

-Never cut off a large truck.

-Minimize the distractions behind the wheel, but especially when traveling near large trucks.

-When passing a truck, make sure you can see the entire truck in your rear-view mirror before entering the lane it’s in.

-Never try to squeeze into a lane when a truck is making a turn.

-Make sure you can always see the truck driver.

-Always buckle up.

-Remember that trucks can take up to the length of a football field to stop.

Most car-truck accidents happen because of the driver of the car. It’s most often because the car driver isn’t paying attention at the wheel.

Troy E. Costales, Chairman of GHSA, notes that the number of deaths for motorists of all ages combined saw a decrease during the time of this study. It was just teens who saw an increasing, pointing out the need to stricter road laws and education efforts pertaining to newly-licensed drivers.

If you or your newly-licensed driver has been involved in a car accident in Pahokee, Delray Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Pompano Beach or in any of the surrounding areas, contact our South Florida personal injury attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-529-2368.

More Blog Entries:

Parental Involvement Can Prevent Teen Car Accidents In Delray Beach, Beyond, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, February 1, 2012

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