Save Our Teen Drivers

Advocating for driver's education changes. Educating the public on the problem. Finding a solution that saves lives.

Posts Tagged ‘crash’

The victim mentality

Posted by lapearce on October 3, 2010

We are a nation of victims.  It seems like it is always someone’s fault when something happens, there is always someone to blame.  Overweight? Blame Starbucks.  Alcoholic?  Blame mom.  Get in a car crash?  Blame the other person, the government organization that maintains the road, the company that made your car, the mechanic who replaced your brakes, the list can go on and on.

I’ve never liked calling a crash an accident because accident implies a lack of fault.  Yet even though people will call something an accident it won’t stop them from pointing fingers and filing lawsuits against anyone who may have money to pay out.  Recently Hyundai settled a lawsuit that stemmed from a fatal crash killed by a drunk executive, who was then helped out of the country by a fellow Hyundai employee.  In this case there was definitely someone at fault– Youn Bum Lee who chose to drive drunk then chose to flee the crash scene and chose to leave the country.  The company that employed him did not make Lee drive drunk, nor did they instruct the other employee to help him flee.  Many times though, fault isn’t so clearly delineated.

While there may be someone who is at fault for a crash, that doesn’t mean that the “victim” was helpless in avoiding the crash.  Last night I was making a left hand turn around midnight after seeing the movie Wall Street (wait for HBO).  It was a double left turn onto a three-lane road.  I was in the outside lane and another car was on the inside lane.  As a defensive driver, I allowed the other car go a head of me and stayed behind the car as we made the left hand turn.  Thankfully I did this because the distracted, teenage driver who was too busy chatting on her phone to pay attention to what she was doing, chose to turn into the far right lane instead of the inside lane that she was supposed to turn into.  Had I been next to her she would have hit me.  It would have been her fault (hard to prove in a sideswipe for your future reference) but just because it would have been her fault doesn’t mean that I was helpless to avoid the crash.  By driving defensively I kept my car in one piece.

I tell all my teen drivers to always assume the other driver isn’t paying attention and to anticipate their next move.  If the person behind you isn’t paying attention or has a bad habit of stopping late then change lanes and let them get in front of you.  That way if they fail to stop they won’t be crashing into your car.  When you stop in traffic, or at a light, make sure to always leave room in front of you and look for an exit.  If the car behind you doesn’t stop in time you at least have a way to reduce the impact.  And, before you go at a green light check for red light runners.

All of these defensive driving techniques will help you not become a victim.  And if you are involved in a crash don’t be afraid to ask yourself what you could have done to avoid the collision.  It will be a good lesson for the next time you are in a similar situation.

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Carnage in California: why can’t we drive in the rain?

Posted by lapearce on December 8, 2009

This happens about this time every year: Southern California gets its first rain in about eight months, the dirty roads get incredibly slick, and car-capades take effect as people slide around, apparently having forgotten how to drive on wet grounds since it has been so long since the last storm. Monday, Orange County had nearly 500 calls about crashes, compared to less than 150 last Monday when it was dry. Luckily,  no one was killed.

California drivers do deserve some slack when it comes to wet weather driving. First, because it rains so little each rain is like the first rain, and our roads are a lot slicker because a lot more oil has been allowed to accumulate in the road. Second: we often times get a lot of rain fairly quickly and our roads can’t cope with it, which leads to flooding and causes more crashes. Third: because it rains only a handful of times a year many of us don’t bother changing tires for winter, many of us will run on summer tires all year long– maybe not the smartest thing to do, but we do it.

All our excuses can’t forgive the truth of the So Cal roads in December. How I see is that there are two fundamental problem drivers out there: the drivers who drive as if it is dry, and the drivers who drive as if it is icy. When the reckless meet the over cautious you get crashes. Throw into the mix the average driver who has increased caution but not to the point where they are a moving road block and well… the whole thing is a mess.

People need to realize that while rain isn’t the end of the world, they need to adjust their driving for the weather. Whoa your speed down, but also important: leave more space between you and the cars around you and be observant. Traction and visibility are often impaired in the rain. This reduces your chances of seeing danger (adding to reaction time) but you can’t make up that lost time because guess what — your car won’t stop as far or won’t grip to the payment. Que the fender benders and spin outs. Instead of having this outcome, just leave more room! Give yourself a lot more space than you would in dry weather and also be watchful, for the people driving as if it wasn’t raining, the people driving as if the world is ending, and the people who are distracted or aren’t leaving the space they need. If everyone just slowed down a little, rainy roads would be a much better place.

Don’t get me started on So Cal drivers in the snow.

Collage of Car Carnage:

Ferrari spun out:

Driver was seriously injured:

Hey truck, you’re not supposed to be on your roof:

Car was hit by an SUV, causing it to spin into the pole:

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Speeding teen kills family of four in Somona, CA

Posted by lapearce on December 3, 2009

This tragic tale happens far too often. 19 year old Steven Culbertson killed a family of four on Saturday night as he ran a red light in his MINI Cooper at 70-90mph. Speed limit on the road is 55mph. His little car t-boned a Nissan minivan killing the family of four inside as they returned from the airport after a vacation in Hawaii. John and Susan Maloney and their children Aiden (8) and Gracie (5) were killed instantly in the crash, Steven died on Sunday due to his injuries. To add salt to the wounds, two deadbeats decided that since the family was dead they no longer needed their worldly possessions and robbed their house. The couple was arrested yesterday, ironically they were found out when the woman, Amber True, was arrested for driving without a license.

Minivan belonging to the Maloney family after being hit by a speeding teen

Steven had his license suspended for a year when he was 17 due to drunk driving. It is unclear at this point if alcohol was a factor in this crash, but an eye witness says he say him drinking two hours before the fateful crash, which, ironically, happened right down the street from Infineon Raceway, a place where people can go those types of speed legally and safely without having to worry about hitting minivans filled with children.

The MINI driver had aspirations of being a racer, and had taken his car to the track– the only place where one should drive like he was driving on Saturday night. Unfortunately, Steven could not separate track driving from road driving and it lead to his death and the death of four others. He made a big mistake, a mistake that could have implications for your teen.

First off, when ever a crash like this happens, the thing that stands out for everyone is the word teenager. Steven just dropped the credibility of all teen drivers by his mistake. Teens already have really low credibility as drivers due to their inexperience, and their propensity to make bad decisions. Teens do cause more crashes than older drivers, but that doesn’t mean that teens are always at fault for their crashes or that all teens will make the same mistake Steven did.

Secondly, when crashes like this happen the natural reaction of many is “change the laws/road so this doesn’t happen again”. People love blaming the road. The road didn’t do anything, it was just a strip of asphalt that accommodated the perpetrator of the crime. There is always something to blame with the road. There’s a rise in the hill that interferes with visibility, or the speed limit is too high, or there aren’t enough barriers, no matter what the case, the road will be blamed. Then people will look at the laws, and not the driver training laws, they’ll try to restrict teen drivers more. This just puts a band-aid on the problem and doesn’t fix anything.

Third: race car drivers or aspiring race car drivers can have their name tarnished. I’m a HUGE advocate of taking your car to the track. You learn so much about yourself as a driver and the abilities of your car when you push it to the limits. It makes you a better driver. It is also the only safe place to drive your car fast. I find that going to the track takes the need for speed away and that I drive calmer on the road for weeks after a good day on a race track. Most of the race car drivers I know drive very responsibly on the road. I don’t want anyone to look down at people who drive on the track, or keep their children from participating in track days, because of this crash. It is worthwhile and driving fast on the track does not mean you will drive fast on the road.
I really hope that one day we no longer have to read stories like this. I hope that one day better training means that drivers are more responsible on the road. Until that day: be safe, and keep it on the track!

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Teens still text while driving

Posted by lapearce on November 16, 2009

A car gets a flat tire in the passing lane of a freeway. The driver puts the hazards on, but five other cars still manage to hit the disabled vehicle causing a pile up. This crash wasn’t caused by text messaging, but the one a mile back in the traffic caused by the pile up was.

17 year old Laurie Cartwright was likely distracted by a text message when she hit the tractor-trailer in front of her that was stopped in traffic from the crash caused by the disabled car a mile up the road. The crash took Laurie’s life. In fact, last year nearly 6,000 people died from distracted driving, many from cell phone/texting.

Last year nearly 6,000 people died from distracted driving.

Screen shot from the gruesome UK PSA on texting while driving

Laurie’s story is one that is shared by many people across the United States. Yet despite personal experience, the wide-spread acknowledgment that texting while driving is dangerous, and even gory PSAs warning against the practice, a new study by the Pew Institute shows that one-in-three teens text while they drive. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Similar studies done in specific states such as Colorado and Texas have also shown even higher percentages of texting teens. If anything, the study should say “Texting while driving decreases among teen drivers.

A more disturbing fact found in the Pew study is that many teens confessed that they have seen their parents text while drive.  One teen said his dad drives “like he’s drunk. His phone is just like sitting right in front of his face, and he puts his knees on the bottom of the steering wheel and tries to text.” How can we expect our children to drive safely when this is the example we put before them?

The other problem here is the feeling of invincibility most teens have.

Try this experiment if you disagree with me. Ask any new driver how they think they compare to other drivers on the road. Chances are they will tell you that they are better than the average driver. You know, and I know, that based on the amount of experience they’ve had behind the wheel the chances of them being better than average are pretty slim, unless they are some driving prodigy. Despite this, most teens suffer from delusions of grandeur when it comes to their driving ability, and it shines through in the type of crashes they are involved in (typically caused by following too close, speeding and distractions.)

One teen in the Pew study said,  “I usually try to keep the phone up near the windshield, so if someone is braking in front of me or stops short, I’m not going to be looking down and hit them.” another said “it’s fine” to text and drive, and that he wears sunglasses while doing it “so the cops don’t see”

How do you overcome a false sense of skill and get it across to kids that what they are doing is bad? One thing to do is to show them how much texting does effect their awareness and reaction time. Unless you have professional driving instructors teaching this is best done outside of the car. Another option is to look at software that turns phones off while driving, such as Zoomsafer. Parents need to reenforce the dangers of this practice and set rules.

Here are some take aways from the Pew study:

  • 52 percent of teens ages 16 and 17 who have cell phones say they have talked on their phones while driving.
  • 34 percent of teens ages 16 and 17 who text say they have done so while driving.
  • 48 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 say they have been in a car when the driver was texting.
  • 40 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 say they have been in a car when the driver “used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.”
  • 75 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 have a cell phone, and 66 percent of them send or receive text messages.
  • Boys and girls are equally likely to report to texting while driving.
  • Many teens blame the need to report their whereabouts to friends and parents as the reason for texting while driving.

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Is it an accident or a crash? Who is to blame when your teen wrecks a car?

Posted by lapearce on August 25, 2009

Warning sticker about roll over risk, speed, abrupt manouvers and seatbelts in an SUV

Warning sticker about roll over risk, speed, abrupt maneuvers and seatbelts in an SUV

Many people in the auto safety industry refuse to call wrecks accidents. That is because an accident implies that no one was at fault. That everything just happened and the drivers involved could not have stopped the collision no matter what they did. Typically that isn’t the case. Even when vehicle failure causes a crash a lack of maintenance on the driver’s fault is the actual cause. Instead, we call wrecks crashes. It is more accurate as it doesn’t assume that no fault can be assigned.

Now that the word accident is out of your teen driving vocabulary, who is at fault when your teen crashes? Let’s look at the case of Brandon Hodges of Jacksonville Florida. He was driving a Ford Explorer with nine people in it when a tire blew out. He was unable to control the car and it flipped. Only Hodges was wearing a seat belt and four teens were tragically killed in the crash.

The families of Hodges and one of the victims blame the tire manufacturer for the crash. Bobbie Krebs, mother of one of the teens killed said,

“The person to blame is the person that made that tire. … I’m not going to let him [Brandon] take the fall for them.”

But is Brandon taking the fall for the tire company, or is the tire company taking the fall for Brandon? Brandon was fifteen at the time of the crash. He didn’t have a license and was allowed to drive. He was driving a car with more passengers than seat belts (not that it mattered much since no one was using those belts). He was speeding.

But Hodge’s lawyer says none of these things are a factor in the crash, that it is all the fault of Cooper Tire who made the tire. He adds that the case reminds him of the Firestone lawsuit nine years ago. That comment reminds me of a cop out and dollar signs.

A number of Ford Explorers rolled about a decade ago due to defective Firestone tires that suffered from tread

A tire defect PLUS underinflation caused Explorer roll overs

A tire defect PLUS underinflation caused Explorer roll overs

separation when the tire was underinflated.Yes, the tire was defective, but a driver who properly maintained his/her SUV’s tire pressure was immune to the defect. Fact is tires rarely blow out without reason. Typically they are under inflated, over inflated or bald. Sometimes they hit an object in the road causing damage to them. But even in the case of the Firestone roll over scandal owners were also at fault for the crashes they were involved in. They were not accidents, they were crashes. They were avoidable.

“When under inflated, all radial tires generate excessive heat,” Crigger said. “Driving on tires in this condition can lead to tread separation. Maintaining the proper inflation level will enhance the performance and lifespan of these tires.” –Firestone

Even if the tire on Hodge’s girlfriend’s family’s SUV was defective it doesn’t detract from the fact that he was unlicensed and speeding. Just because a blow out happens doesn’t mean a crash is inevitable as well. Proper driver’s training and experience give people the necessary skills to remain control after a blow out. As an unlicnsed driver, these are two things that Hodges definitely did not possess. Would it have been completely avoidable with a licensed driver? No. People panic and they react poorly in emergency situations. Is there a higher probability that the crash would have been avoided with a licensed driver? Yes. 100%.

What message do we send to teens when we blame others for their actions?

Teens all across Florida are learning right now that they aren’t at fault when something goes wrong with their car because of the actions of Hodge’s family and lawyer. Hodges did still break the law, regardless of what other factors went into the crash and he should be held responsible for doing so. In our litigious society where everyone sues everyone for everything we are constantly shifting blame. I think we are breeding a generation of people who will feel that they are not responsible for their actions and fail to own up to them or work to resolve them.

Should parents be held responsible for the actions of their teens?

By holding parents responsible you are shifting the blame away from the teen. Even though that is true, parents can still be held responsible for their teen’s actions and have an effect on what their young drivers do. From a legal perspective you are responsible for what your teen does up until the age of 18. Anything they do wrong behind the wheel can come back to you in the form of one of the lawsuits I mentioned in the last section.

I do believe that some crashes are partially caused by negligent parents. Parents control their teens driving. Parents who do not enforce graduated drivers license rules, or who do not take away the keys when their teen is being dangerous on the road have some responsibility in their teen’s actions. Parents need to remember that teen brains have not fully developed and they do not recognize risk the same way adults do. What is stupid and dangerous to us is fun to them. Parents need to watch over their teen drivers and not be afraid to take away the keys if their young drivers are not being safe.

Of course, Hodge’s family is just trying to keep Brandon out of jail and if that means throwing Cooper Tire under the bus that is what they’ll do to keep their sixteen-year-old out of the big house. I’m sure many parents would lie if it meant keeping their child out of prison. It is hard to blame them for the goal they are trying to achieve, but I criticize them for the methods they are employing.

Posted in advice, crash, law, parents, teen driver | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

“What were you thinking!?” They weren’t

Posted by lapearce on June 9, 2009

We’ve all been there. A teen does something irrational, risky, or just plain stupid and we yell “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?” What we get back in response is a blank stare, an “I don’t know” or a shrug. Infuriating, right? Well guess what mom and dad, they weren’t thinking.

Research on human brain development shows that the part of the brain that correctly evaluates risk doesn’t develop in females until around 23 and males until about 26. Why else would boys jump off ramps on dirt bikes? Because they don’t know that it is dangerous. In Steve Wickham’s research he found:

“The “higher road” of thinking is not well developed in adolescents so why do we expect them to reason, and analyse details well? They simply do not perceive and handle risks well. Careful, mature and sensitive supervision is critical.”

Wickham goes on to say that without supervision teens will often times take part in risky behavior, even if they realize it may not be the right choice:

Teens are often frustrated when required to make decisions based on odds or risk, and tend to do “things” anyway. Adolescents require quality, close supervision and mentoring for specialized tasks. If this is not forthcoming, they will have accidents and injuries.

This isn’t new news, but it is still important news for anyone who is struggling to teach a young driver how to be safe on the road. Simply telling them “don’t speed” doesn’t work, because they don’t correlate speed with risky behavior. Teen boys, especially, are more likely to engage in risky behavior while driving. For example, teen boys are the least likely to be able to navigate a sweeping turn than any other age group or girls who are the same age. They can’t properly identify the risk in these corners and often times take them too fast. This lack of ability to correctly evaluate risk and modify behavior for risk takes the lives of many young drivers.

Recently, Mark Motley and Zach Raffety, 18 and 17 respectively, were killed in my area attempting this exact maneuver. From the skid marks and the force of the impact it is obvious that Motley took the corner way too fast. When I explained to my father which turn the crash happened on this local road we frequent  he replied, “It happened there? How? That’s such an easy corner.” The corner is easy because it isn’t tight, it was just a gentle sweeping bend, but that means that it can be taken at a higher rate of speed, which means it can be very, very dangerous.

But how could Motley know that what he was doing was risky when he was eight years away from developing the ability to judge what risky is? It is hard to hold him responsible for the crash on a mental level because of this lack of brain development. He may have been physically responsible for the crash, but mentally, he simply didn’t understand that he was taking a risk.

So what is the solution to this problem? Obviously we can’t hold licenses until people are in their mid twenties, that’s not an economically viable solution. There are a few ways to try to overcome the mental shortcomings of new drivers.

  • First: monitor your new driver. The research shows that parental involvement, restrictions and monitoring reduce crashes. So talk to them about all of this, let them know what risky behavior is and why it is risky. Restrict night driving and driving with friends, as these two things greatly add to crashes and set up a parent teen driving agreement so there is no gray area about the rules.
  • Second: enroll your child in a car control clinic. These classes will allow your teen driver to learn through first hand experience why risky behavior is risky. Skid pad exercises, handing exercises, and exercises that utilize distractions all are very powerful in sucking the ego out of a new driver and revealing risks that they didn’t know existed.
  • Third: ask yourself if your child is mature enough to drive. If you don’t feel like your teen is ready to drive then don’t let them. They may hate you for it, but each year a driver waits to get their license, the more their chances of crashing decreases and the more their chances of surviving increase. This is directly related to mental development and maturity. You may be seen as the worst person in the world by your child if you tell them they can’t get their license, but when they have the maturity to look back on their teen years and see the stupid stuff they did, they’ll probably thank you.

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Airbag safety: getting the most out of this feature

Posted by lapearce on June 5, 2009

It’s been nearly 20 years since airbags became standard in cars. Today cars come with a myriad of the devices that turn the interior of a car into an inflatable bounce-house in an accident. Two decades later, however, and people are still not 100% sure how to properly use these safety devices.

How Airbags Work

The first step in airbag deployment is the actual collision. At this point in time, accelerometers in the car detect a sudden change in speed. This information is then sent to the inflater, telling it to inflate the bag.

The inflater then reacts sodium azide (NaN3) with potassium nitrate (KNO3), which creates nitrogen gas, to inflate the bag in .25 seconds at speeds between 180-200 mph. The inflation is basically a contained explosion happening right in front of your body, and it can pack quite a punch.

To demonstrate the force of airbag deployment I will use the video of this moron who thought it would be a good idea to put a skateboard over a car airbag, point it at his genitalia and deploy the bag. Luckily for the rest of us, I’m fairly certain he will be unable to pass those brilliant genes on to anyone else.

Airbag Myths

So you can see that people have good reason to be worried about airbags. A common mindset is that you should sit as far away from the airbag as possible. However, this causes problems in its own right. First, it won’t do you much good if you are too far from it. And secondly, sitting far back reduces your ability to control the car, increasing your chances for a crash.

I will prove that last point right now. If you would humor me, put your arms straight out in front of you as if you were holding onto a steering wheel. Your arms should be out far enough that the elbows are locked. Now, try to turn the steering wheel in your hands. You will find that you have a very limited range of motion, and also that it causes strain on your arms, back, neck, etc.

Bring your arms back in toward the body now, so that there is a  good bend in the arms and turn the wheel again. Do you see how much better that feels? There is no strain on the body, and you can turn the wheel more.

This change can be the difference between being in a crash and avoiding one. Also, when your arms are bent they can absorb the force of the collision better than if they are straight, where all of that force will go straight to your back and neck.

Proper sitting distance from an airbag

Proper distance from airbag

Proper distance from airbag

Airbags are most dangerous 2-3 inches from the steering wheel. The best distance to be from the bag is 10 inches. A good way to position yourself in the car is to sit with your back against the seat and set your arm on the top of the steering wheel. The wrist should hit the top of the steering wheel and your hand should hang behind it. Based on your own body dimensions you may need to tweak this a little.

How not to get hurt by this life saving device

First, always wear a seat belt. The SRS on your airbag stands for sublemental or secondary restraint system. The first system is the seatbelt. It takes a second to put on and it saves lives, so use it.

Secondly, adjust your seat as above to ensure that you are the proper distance from the bag. Too far is just as bad as too close.

Broken arms as a result of improper hand position on steering wheel

Broken arms as a result of improper hand position on steering wheel

Third, take a good look at the pictures above (especially the one with the dummy) and notice where the arms are. They are at 3 and 9, not 10 and 2, not at the top of the steering wheel or anywhere else. Like that gentleman with the skateboard learned, if you put something in between you and the airbag it will hit you at 200 mph. And it will hurt. Putting your hand at the top of the steering wheel is likely to break it, and/or send it into your forehead. 3 and 9 is the safest position for your hands if your airbag deploys. This also gives you the best control of the car to help avoid you needing to use it.

Forth, maintain the bag. Airbags should be serviced when the car reaches 10 years of age. If you get an airbag light indicator on in your car this means something is wrong with the system and that the bag may not deploy. It should be serviced ASAP to ensure that the bag is in proper working order. It doesn’t matter if your car has 10 airbags if a bad sensor means that they won’t deploy. The best airbag is a working one.

Here is some more information about seating distance and steering wheel position:

Steering wheel control

Steering techniques

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Pre-prom crash takes life of 16 year old

Posted by lapearce on May 31, 2009

There is nothing sadder than a child dieing. Especially when that child dies during a time that is supposed to be happy and joyous, like prom. This weekend in Los Angeles 16 year old Jennifer Perla was killed on the way to her high school prom after the driver, a fellow teen, tried to avoid another car and flipped the SUV he was driving. Jennifer was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car.

The vehicle was filled with happy teens on their way to their senior prom for Taft High School for what should have been a night of celebration. Jennifer had been invited to prom by a senior. She was a sophomore and just turn 16 a week before the crash. She loved to dance and wanted to be in the FBI. So many dreams cut short. The other occupants in the SUV, including Jennifer’s sister, were also injured. Lord knows the driver will never recover for what happened as well.

My deepest condollances for the friends and family.

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Dropped Cell Phone Leads to Fatal Crash

Posted by lapearce on February 14, 2009

I was just reading a report from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration today that sited that teen drivers did not see a link between distractions and crashes, even though many of them have accidents while distracted. The NHTSA actually recommended that: “If they can’t be talked out of multitasking they should be encouraged not to tailgate to avoid frequent rear-end collisions.” That mentality of treating a symptom and not a problem would not have saved Gladis A. Andrade-Zepeda today.

Gladis, 33, was driving early this morning on the 405 freeway with two passengers when she dropped her cell phone. As she looked for the phone, her car swerved across lanes and hit the center divider. Both Gladis and her passengers survived the accident, but then, she made the decision that cost her her life: she got out of the car.

Gladis was attempting to get her passenger in the backseat out of the car when another car, traveling at normal highway speeds, broadsided her vehicle, killing Gladis. Her car was completely dark since the lights were broken in the collision and she didn’t put her hazards on. The passenger still in the backseat survived both the initial crash and the secondary one with moderate injuries.

This tragic story reminds us of a few important considerations when driving:

1. Distractions kill. California’s new cell phone law does not prohibit the searching for or the dialing of a cell phone while driving. These are the most dangerous acts one can do with a phone while driving.

2. Put your hazards on after a collision. This will make your car visible to others to help avoid another crash. The same NHTSA study found that new drivers do not know what to do in an accident. I feel that better education in this area could have saved Gladis’s life.

3. Stay in your car. 4,000 lbs of metal around you offer better protection than your body alone.

My hopes and prayers go out to Gladis’ family and friends, and for the recovery of the other people involved in this tragic crash.

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Service workers hit by teen driver in Orange County

Posted by lapearce on February 14, 2009

Another strike on the already poor report card of teen drivers occurred today in Orange County, according to the Orange County Register. It reports: “Around 8:30 a.m., a 16-year-old boy was driving a Toyota 4X4 at Camino de los Mares at I-5 lost control of the vehicle, hit a center divider and struck two men performing roadside work.”

The men are very lucky that they had only minor injuries. And so is the boy, since no charges have been filed… yet.

The police may want to change their minds if this one post in regards to the crash is correct:

“I saw the accident happen this morning as I was waiting at a light near the freeway and the kid tried to run a yellow/red light and make a quick left-hand turn, where he lost control and nearly ran over the center divider into oncoming traffic. He then overcorrected and ran into an area where about 20 workers were but most of them ran once they heard the loud screeching of his truck. Then a few teen girls quickly got out of the car and ran off. I’m assuming 16 year-olds are not supposed to drive with other teens in the car with them for this reason. He is really lucky the accident didn’t turn out much worse since, from my vantage point, it looked like a lot more than 2 guys got hit. It was a brand new truck that some obviously spoiled kid did not deserve.”

If what this poster says is true, then the teen driver was driving too fast for the conditions and was breaking the conditions of the restricted license by having under age passengers. Both of these show a complete lack of respect and responsibility for the privilege to drive a car. He could have killed someone, and it is very fortunate that he didn’t.

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