Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Patrick A. Salvi II Alarmed By 19 Percent Increase in Teen Driver Deaths

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Attorney from Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. cites 12 teenage drivers’ deaths in Illinois during the first half of 2012 as a reason for parents, educators and law enforcement officials to renew their focus on educating young drivers.

Car accident lawyer serving Chicago and Illinois

Patrick A. Salvi II

[I]t’s important for teen drivers to know that their decisions and their actions behind the wheel carry serious consequences for themselves and others.

Chicago car accident attorney Patrick A. Salvi II says the 19 percent increase in teenage driving deaths reported this week by the Governors Highway Safety Association should spur action by parents, educators and traffic safety officials.

“The GHSA’s data show that Illinois was among the states with the highest number of 16- and 17-year-old drivers who died in car crashes, which is very alarming,” said Salvi, a partner at the leading Chicago personal injury law firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

“What’s more distressing is that the study shows a trend that is going in the wrong direction when it comes to the safety of young drivers,” he added.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) said this week that preliminary data supplied by all 50 states and the District of Columbia shows that the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths in passenger vehicles went up dramatically in the first six months of 2012. Overall, 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths increased from 202 to 240, a 19 percent jump.

The GHSA said 16- and 17-year-old drivers’ deaths decreased by almost half from 2007 to 2010, but this trend ended in 2011.

In the first six months of 2012, compared with the first six months of 2011, driver deaths among 16-year-olds in passenger vehicles increased from 86 to 107 (a 24 percent change), and 17-year-old driver deaths surged from 116 to 133 (15 percent), according to the GHSA.

The states with the highest numbers of deaths for the first six months of 2012 were Indiana and Tennessee (16), Louisiana (15), Texas (14), and Illinois, Kentucky and Alabama, with 12 teenage driver deaths each, the GHSA said.

“Illinois parents, as well as our state and local educators and traffic safety officials, should see this report as a wake-up call to renew and focus efforts on educating young drivers about the dangers of certain types of behavior,” Salvi said.

Salvi, whose firm investigates car accidents and other vehicle accidents in the preparation of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of victims, said certain kinds of negligent and reckless driving are more prevalent among teenagers.

“As studies and our law firm’s own experience shows, inexperienced teenage drivers are prone to speeding and distracted driving as well as driving after drinking alcohol,” he said. “Unfortunately, teens are also less likely to wear seat belts.”

Salvi said that it’s important for young drivers to understand that careless behavior behind the wheel puts more than their own safety at risk. They can also endanger the health and lives of their passengers, other motorists and pedestrians.

“No one sets out to cause a car accident and the injury or death that comes with it,” Salvi said. “However, it’s important for teen drivers to know that their decisions and their actions behind the wheel carry serious consequences for themselves and others.”

Salvi plans to speak with local teens to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving through a program developed by EndDD.org.

About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a leading Chicago personal injury firm with offices in Chicago (22 West Washington Street, Suite 1600, Chicago IL 60602) and Waukegan (218 North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Waukegan, IL 60085). In addition to representing clients in catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, aviation and product liability cases, the firm focuses on car and truck accidents, airplane and train accidents, construction injuries, birth injuries, brain injuries, unsafe properties and animal attacks. The firm has obtained more than $650 million on behalf of its clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including 195 multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements. For more information, call (312) 372-1227 or use the firm’s online contact form.

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