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GHSA Study Notes Spike in Teen Driver Deaths

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on February 27, 2012

A recent study by the Governors’ Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that inexperience and distracted driving are behind an increase in fatal accidents involving teen drivers nationwide. Deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers increased 16 percent in 2011 over 2010. Although the increases in individual states were small and some states saw decreases or no change at all, the overall numbers added up to more teenagers losing their lives in accidents since 1995.

Prior to this increase in deaths and serious injuries, the GHSA credited graduated driver licensing laws with decreasing teen driver accidents. Graduated driver licensing, which requires young drivers to meet several requirements, including a minimum number of required behind-the-wheel hours, provides needed experience that helps young drivers develop the skills they need to avoid serious accidents. Recent laws that prohibit or curtail texting and other cell phone use have also cut down on driver distraction, another major factor in teen accidents. Read the rest »

“I Brake for Animals” May Lead to More Accidents

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on January 11, 2012

An “I brake for animals” bumper sticker can be a cute way to express your love for our four-legged friends. But always braking or swerving to avoid hitting an animal can increase your risk of a serious accident, according to a recent article in The Washington Post.

If you don’t have time to check for traffic before you brake, try not to swerve, recommends the Washington State Highway Patrol. If you can swerve safely into another lane instead of hitting an animal, you should do so; but, if you can’t swerve safely or you don’t know if you can or not, it may be safer for you and for other drivers on the road to risk hitting the animal instead. This is especially true for smaller animals that aren’t taller than your car’s hood. Read the rest »

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