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Study Finds Teen Passengers Dangerous for New Drivers

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on May 14, 2012

According to a KTNV.com news report, a new study shows that teen’s risk of dying in an auto accident is significantly higher when others teens are in the car. The research study, conducted by the Automobile Association of America’s Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA), was based on an examination of 2007-2010 government data on teen automobile crashes. The study arrived at a conclusion most people, especially parents, are already aware of: teens driving with other teens or young adults is much riskier than when an adult is along for the ride.

The study found that, as compared to driving with no passengers, the risk of death per mile increased 44 percent when a 16 or 17-year-old driver had at least one passenger in the vehicle under age 21. In addition, the risk is double when the driver carried two passengers under 21-years-old and quadruples when three or more passengers were in the vehicle. On the contrary, if a passenger in the car was age 35 or older, the risk of the teen driver dying in a crash decreased by 62 percent. Read the rest »

NHTSA Considers Regulations for Brake-Throttle Override in Cars

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on April 17, 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently proposed new regulations that would make it easier to stop a “runaway” vehicle when the accelerator is stuck in place. The regulations would require all vehicles to be equipped with a “brake-throttle override” system.

Auto Accident Prevention SeattleThe override system would kick in whenever both the accelerator and the brake were pressed at the same time. Simply put, the system would instruct the vehicle to recognize the “brake” signal and to stop following the “accelerate” signal, slowing the vehicle down and eventually bringing it to a stop even though the accelerator is still pressed down. With the system in place, the driver of a car whose accelerator became stuck would be able to slow or stop the vehicle simply by pressing on the brakes. Read the rest »

Officials Concerned Over Sudden Increase in Teen Driver Deaths

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on April 3, 2012

The number of teens who lost their lives on U.S. roads in 2011 jumped up over previous years, when it had been steadily declining, according to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). The sudden spike has many traffic safety officials concerned, since it deviates from the norm and means that more teenage drivers are dying and possibly injuring others on the road as a result.

Overall, the number of teen driver deaths increased 11 percent in 2011 over 2010. The increase in deaths was the highest for 16-year-old drivers, followed closely by deaths of 17-year-old drivers. Twenty-three states saw their teen driver death rates go up, and eight states and Washington, D.C. saw no changes. Nineteen states saw decreases, indicating that teen driver safety and training programs in these states may be doing something that works more effectively to protect teens than other states. Read the rest »

Tips for Steering Clear of Bad Weather

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on November 21, 2011

Throughout the diverse terrain of Washington state, drivers may encounter any of a myriad of bad weather conditions on the highway, from fog and rain to ice and snow. However, a crucial part of preventing crashes is understanding dangers and minimizing risks. And who better to speak on that besides a former race car driver? Mac Demere, who once raced NASCAR and is now an auto journalist, recently penned a piece for the fall/ winter Geico Now offering safety techniques for drivers facing all types of treacherous conditions. Below are a few key ones.

  • In rain, never drive in the wheel rivets produced by other vehicles — rain collects in them which poses the danger for hydroplaning. In contrast, in snowy conditions using those tracks can provide traction.
  • The appropriate response to hydroplaning and black ice is the same: don’t brake. If you absolutely have to make turning adjustments, make them gingerly. Wait until you feel your tires grab the road again before you gradually apply the brakes (don’t slam on them). Read the rest »

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