The most important step we can take is to constantly talk with teens about safe driving practices and the consequences they face if they speed or fail to pay attention when behind the wheel.
Toledo, Ohio (PRWEB) September 23, 2011
A recently released Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) study showing a high automobile crash rate among teens reinforces the need for parents and others to discuss safe driving practices with teen drivers, Toledo personal injury attorney Drew R. Masse said today.
The five-year ODOT safety analysis, issued last month, found that teens driving to school are nearly three times more likely to be involved in a car accident than other drivers.
The most dangerous time of the day, according to the study, is 7 a.m.
Between 2006-2010, early morning crashes involving drivers between the ages of 15 to 18 nearly tripled from the first week of August (42 crashes) to the last week of the month (118), when most Ohio high schools go back to session, the analysis revealed.
The study also found that, from August to October, teen crashes more than double, going from 296 to 615.
“When you combine a lack of experience behind the wheel with a rush to get to class on time, it can lead to poor decisions and a greater risk of accidents, injuries and deaths on the road,” said Masse, who has more than 25 years of legal expertise in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice and bad faith insurance claims.
Over the course of his career, Masse has represented numerous Ohio and Michigan auto accident victims, including motorists and passengers who were injured in crashes involving teen drivers.
“The most important step we can take is to constantly talk with teens about safe driving practices and the consequences they face if they speed or fail to pay attention when behind the wheel,” he said. “As this study found, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car wrecks involving young drivers.”
Parents and others should discuss what constitutes distracted driving, Masse said. Some of the examples include driving while talking to passengers, speaking on a cell phone, changing a radio station, texting, eating or drinking.
When a driver fails to pay attention, he said, it can lead to speeding, failing to stop at traffic lights, stop signs or yield signs, following other cars too closely, or losing loss of control of the vehicle.
“Teens need to be told – and told again – that when they are operating an automobile, they need to have their focus on the road,” Masse said. “It’s also important to discuss giving yourself time to reach your destination, so you aren’t tempted to speed, as well as always wearing a seat belt.”
A person harmed by a negligent or reckless teen driver, including a person who may have been a passenger in the teen’s automobile, should contact an experienced Ohio or Michigan car accident attorney to learn about their options for obtaining personal injury compensation, Masse said.
An attorney can work with the teen driver’s insurance company on reaching a settlement that can pay for the accident victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other related damages caused by the crash.
“If a settlement can’t be reached,” Masse said, “a victim will need to have a skilled and aggressive advocate by their side that will fight for their rights before a jury.”
About Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A.
Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. is a full service Toledo law firm that represents working men and women, individuals with disabilities and labor unions throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, including the communities of Toledo, Findlay, Bowling Green, Northwood, Oregon, Perrysburg, Sylvania, Lima, Defiance, Fremont, Sandusky and Waterville. In addition to a general practice, the firm assists clients in personal injury, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, labor and bankruptcy cases. The firm’s personal injury areas include construction injuries, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip-and-falls, farming injuries, defective products, medical malpractice and nursing home injuries. For more information, call Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. at (800) 352-1976 or use its online form.