Traffic safety tips for avoiding car accidents
Given the fast pace of today’s society, it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed at times with the challenge of keeping your children safe.
May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month. Our car accident attorneys believe that awareness and education are the keys to protecting your family.
With warm weather coming and the school year ending, I’d like to give you some information you can use to avoid auto accidents from occurring when your children get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the summer months are when car accidents skyrocket for young adults.
Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death in 2008 for children ages 3 to 14 and for 15- to 20-year-olds nationwide. In Michigan, car accidents are also the leading cause of death for children ages 0 to 15. Because of these statistics, National Youth Traffic Safety Month is now an annual campaign focusing on saving young people’s lives and promoting traffic safety during prom, graduation and throughout the summer.
The statistics are frightening, but there are precautions you can take:
1. Lead by example by wearing your seat belt and encouraging your children to wear one at all times. Wearing a lap-shoulder belt reduces the chances of serious personal injury by 70 percent and wrongful death by 50 percent after a serious auto accident
2. Put children younger than 7 years old or under 4 foot 9 inches in a car or booster seat. Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the effectiveness of child safety seats has found them to reduce fatal personal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars. Use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Child Safety Seat Inspection Station Locator to find a certified technician who will inspect your car seat, and show you how to correctly install it.
3. Slow Down! In 2008, speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent (11,674) of all fatal car crashes (37,261) nationwide. Today, we all seem to be in a hurry wherever we go. Remind yourself every time you start the car to drive at posted speeds – risking injury is not worth saving five minutes of drive time.
4. Children are also at risk as pedestrians and while riding bicycles. The most effective way to prevent bicycle injuries, especially traumatic brain injury, is by equipping your children with properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. Children walking to school or in their neighborhood should exercise caution crossing roads and obey all traffic signals.
My next blog will address the top five hazardous actions by teen drivers. Meanwhile, I wish you all safe driving.
– Steven M. Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts in serious car and truck accident injury cases and automobile insurance No-Fault litigation.
– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, from deanwissing
Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the state. We have law firm locations in Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Farmington Hills. Call (800) 777-0028 if you’ve been injured in an auto accident, and would like to speak to an attorney.