Archive for December, 2012

Talking To Your Teen Makes a Big Difference In Preventing Driving Accidents

Dec 2012

Most parents dread the day when their teenager gets his or her license, and with good reason. The simple fact is that young adults who are just starting to drive face a serious auto accident risk and a very real chance of becoming involved in a crash and hurting themselves or others. Sadly, the risk of a teen auto accident is exacerbated by teenage drivers who make unsafe decisions and take unnecessary risk.

Fortunately, as parents, there are things you can do in order to help keep your kids safe. Our Buffalo accident attorneys urge you to take the time to talk to your children about some of the dangerous driving behaviors that many teens engage in. We also urge you to take an active interest in supervising your child’s driving and in regularly going over safe driving rules and practices.

Does Talking To Your Kids About Driver Safety Matter?

When your teenager has started driving, you may wonder whether talking about safe driving and spending time going over the driving rules is really going to make a difference. After all, your teen is able to go out on his or her own and you can’t be there to supervise every minute. Fortunately, statistics show that talking to your teenager about safe driving really can make a lasting impact and can help your teenager to be safer.

According to a recent article in US News and World Report, for example, data provided by State Farm has revealed that kids whose parents are actively involved in monitoring their driving behavior are much safer than those kids whose parents do not take such an active role. In fact, kids who reported active parental involvement and discussions with their parents about safe driving were around half as likely to become involved in an auto accident.

Why it is Important to Talk About Safe Driving With Your Teen

Reducing the risk of auto accidents by half is very significant, especially in light of the frightening statistics on teen car wrecks. According to the New York State Department of Health, for example:

  • Car crashes are the primary reason for teens ages 15 to 19 to be hospitalized.
  • Car wrecks are the number one cause of death for teens ages 15-19.
  • Each year, around 73 teens are killed in fatal wrecks.
  • More than 40 teenagers ages 15 to 19 are treated in hospitals for car accident injuries each day.
  • Many teen drivers do not wear seat belts, although the risk of death in an auto accident is reduced by between 50 and 83 percent with the use of proper restraints.
  • The majority of crashes among those ages 16 and 17 are caused by speeding or going too fast for conditions; driver distractions including texting; tailgating; and lack of driver experience. Texting, especially, is a major problem among teenagers, as US News and World Report indicates that studies show 43 percent of teenagers text when driving. ┬áThe car accident risk is 23 times greater when texting than for those drivers actually paying attention to the road.

Because so many teen crashes are caused by behavior that teenagers engage in, parents talking to teens can make a big difference. So, this holiday season, take a few minutes to discuss driving rules with your kids. You might save not only their lives but also the lives of others who travel on the roads with them.

If you’ve been injured in Buffalo or the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of James Morris today for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-477-9044.

Winter Driving Tips Help You Avoid Auto Accidents

Dec 2012

As anyone who lives in Buffalo knows, there comes a time over the course of the winter when it just doesn’t seem like it could snow anymore. But it does. Of course, snow on the roads is only one danger that exists for drivers in Buffalo winters. Freezing rain, hail, fog and ice are all possible during the Buffalo winters and can all make the roads an unsafe place to be.

To help you stay safe and minimize the risk of becoming involved in a winter car crash, the Buffalo News has recently published some winter safe driving tips. Our Buffalo auto accident attorneys urge everyone to heed the advice published in the News in order to stay safe as winter weather approaches.

Winter Safe Driving Tips

The Buffalo News has provided details on how best to react during certain winter driving situations as well as some general safe driving tips. According to their article:

  • When you experience a loss of traction due to ice, you need to maintain eye contact with a safe spot where you want your vehicle to end up. You then need to remove your foot from both the gas and the brakes and turn the car towards the area where you want your vehicle to travel. Slamming on the brakes is the worst thing you can do in these situations, the News warns.
  • If you are driving in ice, you should make use of both your windshield wipers and your car’s defroster. You should be sure to keep a reasonable distance between yourself and other cars in case you can’t stop easily and you should be sure to use your signals to let other drivers know well in advance if you are going to be slowing down, turning or stopping. By using your signals, you give other drivers a chance to put on the brakes well before you do so they do not skid into you. If a skid happens on the ice, you should turn the car’s wheels into the skid. Slamming the brakes is also a bad thing to do in these situations.
  • Use tire chains if they are recommended or required. Tire chains help to give you more control and make winter driving safer.
  • Never use cruise control if you are driving under icy conditions. Using cruise control takes the control of the vehicle away from you, making it more difficult to maintain an appropriate following distance or to respond quickly in the event that you start to skid out of control.

Following these safe driving tips should hopefully help you to make it through the winter weather season without becoming involved in a dangerous auto accident. The Buffalo News also recommends that you practice winter driving techniques such as driving under icy conditions, responding when you lose traction and coping with a skidding vehicle. If you practice these conditions in an empty parking lot where there are no cars that you can hit, you will be more prepared if you encounter a dangerous situation in traffic that you need to respond to.

If you’ve been injured in Buffalo or the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of James Morris today for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-477-9044.