Oct 30 by Andy Gillin

Safest Cars for Teenage Drivers

There are so many safety factors to consider when your teenager begins driving. When it comes to teen brain development, distracted driving, and graduated license laws, parents have a strong role in assuring that their children stay safe behind the wheel. Great safety strategies include educating your teen about the dangers of distracted driving, and creating a teen-parent safe driving contract that rewards safe driving behavior. But there’s one aspect for new teen drivers that parents have complete control over: what car (if any) they will drive.

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Feb 28 by Andy Gillin

Distracted Driving: Not Just a Teen Problem

Modern life is increasingly full of diversions, and some have even crept into the drivers’ seat—phone calls, text messages, on-board video displays, fast food—all can cause accidents by…

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Jun 14 by Andy Gillin

Safe & Affordable Cars for Teen Drivers

For many parents, the idea of buying your teen a new car is frightening. If your son or daughter’s new drivers license wasn’t enough, buying them their own car grants an unparalleled freedom that is at times difficult to monitor. That’s why many families draft a parent-teen safe driver contract to assure safe driving decisions even when you’re not in the car. But it’s also important to research the safest cars on the market, to assure that your teen driver will stay safe even if something unpredictable happens. Over the past year, Consumer Reports has done a great job of highlighting safe cars for teen drivers, with a special emphasis on affordability. Their new list goes even further.

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Jun 13 by Andy Gillin

Teen Driver Safety Week & Summer Safety

This week is the National Safety Council’s Teen Driver Safety Week, and it comes right in time for summer, the most dangerous set of months for teens behind the wheel. Last week, we published the California Teen Driver Summer Safety Resource, which included daunting statistics about summer driving for teenagers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports, for example, that there are nearly twice as many car accidents between Memorial Day and Labor Day than the rest of the year combined. So to prevent car accidents this summer, pay attention to Teen Driver Safety Week and remember to drive safe.

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Jun 10 by Andy Gillin

Weekend Roundup: Bay Area Teen Safety

Teenagers generally drive more during the summer, and as a result, studies have shown the summer to be most dangerous for teen drivers. Earlier this week, for example, AAA reported that seven of the ten most dangerous driving days for teens fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and a total of 7,300 teen drivers were killed in summer accidents between 2005 and 2009. But summer has also proven more dangerous for teen cyclists and teen motorcyclists. Now that summer is here to stay, we wanted to highlight the week’s best articles and blog posts related to teen drivers and cyclists here in the Bay Area and across the country.

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Jun 07 by Andy Gillin

Parents: Summer Months are the Most Dangerous for Teen Drivers

Summer is great. The weather is warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, the water is (in some places) warm enough for swimming, and teens get a whole three months off of school. But it turns out summer is incredibly dangerous for teen drivers and motorcyclists. This week, AAA released a new report showing that seven of the 10 most fatal teen driving days occur the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. So in addition to enjoying to their summer, teen drivers can take the summer to improve their knowledge of driver safety and even study to take their California drivers license test.

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Jun 07 by Andy Gillin

California Teen Motorcycle Safety Information

Now that summer is here to stay, along with warmer weather and safer road conditions, you can expect to see more motorcyclists taking to the streets for long rides throughout California and across the country. Though a relatively small proportion of motorcyclists are under the age of 18, teens are often the most susceptible to motorcycle injuries and fatalities. If you’re a parent or a teen thinking of getting a motorcycle, it’s important to review the safety statistics related to teens on motorcycles. In addition to taking the safety courses required to get a motorcycle permit, all teens should obey all laws and wear the appropriate safety equipment. Most states, for example, have passed motorcycle helmet laws for all teen riders.

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Jun 06 by Andy Gillin

San Jose & Oakland Teens Top List of Bay Area Bike Accidents

As Bay Area news organizations and concerned residents continue to parse the information provided in The Bay Citizen’s fascinating bike accident tracker, the communities most vulnerable to bike injuries become more apparent. Last week, we wrote that the percentage of cyclists involved in bike accidents is nearly three times higher in Contra Costa County than in San Francisco County. In an even more troubling statistic, teenagers are the most likely to be killed or injured in Bay Area bike accidents. And matters are especially dangerous for teens in San Jose and Oakland.

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May 31 by Andy Gillin

California Teen Drivers Face Daunting Summer Safety Statistics

We’re constantly reminded that teen drivers are the demographic most likely to cause car accidents. Scientific studies on teen brain development show that the brain doesn’t even reach full maturity until the mid-twenties, long after most teenagers receive their license. But during the summer months (May through August), teen drivers hit the road much more often, and are more likely to engage in dangerous driving practices. So before school lets out, take a look at the summer accident statistics for teen drivers, and consider using the vacation to boost driving skills and study for the license tests.

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May 31 by Andy Gillin

California Teen Driver Summer Safety Statistics & Resources

Teen drivers throughout the country are faced with countless dangers on city streets and highways. Teens are the demographic most likely to cause car a accident, technology poses the temptation for distracted driving, and scientific studies have even shown that the teen brain may not have developed the motor skills and emotional maturity to drive safely. As California teens hit the road more during the summer holiday, they should take precautions to stay safe and aware at all times. And since California teens receive their restricted license at 16 and their unrestricted license at 18, they can take the summer to boost their knowledge of state driver laws and practice safe driving techniques.

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May 13 by Andy Gillin

National Youth Traffic Safety Month Prepares Teen Drivers for Summer Safety

As we’ve learned in past weeks, May is an important month for traffic safety nationwide. May marks National Bike Month, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and National Youth Traffic Safety Month. This mode of driver safety awareness comes at the perfect time, as teen car accident statistics spike during the summer months. As Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood points out on his blog, car accident deaths nearly double for drivers aged 15-19 during May, June, July and August. So do your part to reduce teen car accidents and pay attention to National Youth Traffic Safety Month.

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Apr 14 by Andy Gillin

Distracted Driving & Inexperience Are Top Causes of Teen Car Accidents

Now that I’ve written the above headline, it seems to confirm what I already suspected about teen driver car accidents. But regardless, a new study by the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia confirms that distracted driving and inexperience, and not reckless driving, are the leading causes of fatal car accidents involving teen drivers. The study found that of nearly 800 serious accidents 76% were the result of teen driving errors that likely could have been prevented with the help of additional training and distracted driving awareness programs.

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Apr 07 by Andy Gillin

Parents Rate Safest Cars for Teen Drivers

The discussion of what car to buy a new teenage driver is always touchy. Teens want something that looks cool and isn’t too slow, while parents want something affordable that won’t tempt dangerous driving behavior. But above all, parents hope to buy their teenager a car that is as safe as anything else on the road. Last month, Consumer Reports highlighted 8 of the safest cars for teens that wouldn’t break the bank. This week, the Wall Street Journal released its list of safest vehicles for teen drivers. Take a look, and share your teen driver stories in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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Mar 18 by Andy Gillin

Congress to Consider Federal Teen Driving Law

Teenagers here in California eagerly await their 16th birthday, that all-important landmark that means they can now drive a car. In South Dakota, the situation is much different, since teens earn their learner’s permit at the age of 14. If a new teen driver safety law imposing a national driving age passes through Congress, that could all change. A set of lawmakers have reintroduced the law that would impose the 16-year permit – and a handful of other safety measures – on teens nationwide. Proponents say it will reduce fatalities from car accidents, the number one killer of teenagers. Critics say it violates a state’s right to make its own laws.

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Mar 03 by Andy Gillin

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to Advocate Federal Distracted Driving Law

Like drunk driving and wearing a seat belt, avoiding distracted driving is becoming more and more of a no brainer. The Department of Transportation has reported that there were 6,000 deaths and half a million injuries caused by distracted driving last year alone, making it the number one killer of teenagers. But as technology becomes more advanced, the temptation to text, email, or talk on the phone while driving becomes even more of a problem. In a major story for its April edition, Consumer Reports has targeted distracted driving, its major opponents, and listed ideas for what regular people can do to end it.

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Jan 03 by Andy Gillin

“Glee” Star Jane Lynch Joins LG in Fight to Reduce Distracted Driving Accidents

Did you make any new years resolutions this winter? For the driving safety parent, cutting down on your child’s use of cell phones behind the wheel is a great resolution option. Each year, more than 6,000 teenagers are killed and nearly half a million are injured in accidents related to distracted driving. And safety advocates have said that many of these accidents can be avoided simply by raising awareness. Now, Glee star Jane Lynch has joined the fight against cell phone misuse in a series of videos produced by LG designed to help parents boost cell phone safety for their teens.

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Dec 08 by Andy Gillin

Insurance Industry Continues Opposition to Campaign Against Distracted Driving

The insurance industry is at it again. Addressing the fact that distracted driving causes more than 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries each year, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has made cutting down on the practice a top priority. But he has consistently run into knee jerk opposition from the insurance industry and anti-regulation advocates. This week, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reignited its opposition to such laws with the following tweet: “Nevada and Florida are latest states to discuss texting while driving bans – Meantime research shows no evidence of effectiveness.”

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Nov 04 by Andy Gillin

Teen Brain Development – The Frontal Lobe of the Brain is Essential for Driving

Although the brain is 80 percent developed at adolescence, new research indicates that brain signals essential for motor skills and emotional maturity are the last to extend to the brain’s frontal lobe, which is responsible for many of the skills essential for driving. This research suggests that emotional immaturity, not inexperience, is the primary reason that teenage drivers are responsible for far more car accidents than any other age demographic. Click through for our animated brain development infographic.

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Oct 27 by Andy Gillin

California Ranked Safest State for Teen Drivers

In it’s forthcoming November issue, US News and World Report has ranked California as the best state for teen drivers, placing second only behind the District of Colombia. California should be proud, as the list is based on nothing short of definitive. US News based its research first on road safety and vehicle death data from the federal government and second on dual assessments on a variety of safety issues by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The result was promising, leaving California at the top of an elite list of safe driving states.

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Oct 25 by Andy Gillin

Teen Driving Laws and Recession are Saving Lives

To round out National Teen Driver Safety Week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an optimistic study showing that car accident deaths caused by teenagers has dropped significantly over the past five years. The decrease has been attributed to tougher teen driving laws, and another unexpected cause: the economic recession.

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Oct 19 by Andy Gillin

Iowa Police Get Creative with Anti-Distracted Driving Message

In July, Iowa joined the 30 states that have boosted highway safety by enacting laws against distracted driving. Iowa police cannot impose fines on drivers who disobey the law until July of 2011, so until then, the Wall Street Journal reports, the state’s police have come up with a creative alternative: passing out neon bands with the words “TXTING KILLS” for drivers to wear on their thumbs.

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Oct 18 by Andy Gillin

Parents Are Focus for National Teen Driver Safety Week

It’s natural that National Teen Driver Safety Week would ignite discussions about teen safety issues related to distracted driving, reckless actions, and graduated licensing laws. What’s unusual about this year’s NTDSW is that it comes on the heels of an AAA study which puts some of the blame on some parents for their children not being prepared to drive unsupervised, especially in heavy traffic or rain. Although more than half of parents don’t consider their child prepared to drive after a yearlong learner’s stage, a third of those families allow their son or daughter to get their license within a month of being eligible.

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Jun 14 by Andy Gillin

Early School Start Tied to Increase in Teen Car Accidents

Is your teenager getting enough sleep? If not, he or she could be in danger of an early morning collision, says a new report by Eastern Virginia Medical School professors. Using data from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, the study compares crash rates for teenage drivers from two towns: Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. In Virginia Beach, where high school classes begin at 7:20 am, the crash rate was 41 percent higher than Chesapeake, where classes begin at 8:40 am.

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Jun 09 by Andy Gillin

GJEL Accident Attorneys: Take Away the Keys During Graduation Celebrations

Graduation can bring out the best and worst in freedom-bound high school students. Oftentimes, each productive achievement and accolade is met with a destructive antidote in the form of underage drinking. For this reason, GJEL Accident Attorneys encourages parents to take away the keys on graduation day to prevent potential drunk or impaired driving incidents.

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Jun 03 by Andy Gillin

GJEL Accident Attorneys Introduces Parent-Teen Safe Driving Contract

Just looking at the yearly statistics for auto accidents here in the United States, it’s clear that safety laws don’t go far enough. Last year, for example, more than 6,000 people were killed and 500,000 were injured by accidents related to distracted driving. The “epidemic,” as Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood calls it, is now the number one killer of teenagers nationwide, but barely half of the states have restrictions on cell phone use while driving. And while new states continue to jump on the anti-distracted driving band wagon each day, nationwide legislation banning the practice has stalled in Congress.

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