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More Teen Drivers Education Would Reduce Springfield Collisions

Many parents concerned about teen driver safety are focused on whether their kids know how to respond in dangerous situations or how to drive defensively but not aggressively. In addition to concerns about basic driver safety, there are frequent worries about whether young people have enough experience to drive well and have enough insight to make smart decision like refraining from driving drunk. texture---tires---hdr-1031065-m

While all of these issues are serious matters, there is another concern about teen driver safety as well. A personal injury lawyer knows that many young people do not know how to maintain their vehicles correctly and would not recognize a problem with their vehicle that makes the car unsafe to drive. In particular, there are far too many teen drivers who simply do not understand the need to check their tires regularly or who do not know the process for ensuring that their tires are safe.

Teens Need to Learn More About Tire Safety

According to Health News Digest, only 16 states require a driver’s education curriculum to include information on maintaining tires. Only seven states require that a driver’s education curriculum include vehicle maintenance and tire information.

When teens do not learn about tires during their driver’s education programs, they may have no information or they may learn minimal details about tire care from their parents. In one survey, around 3/4 of teenagers said that they had learned how to take care of their tires from lessons that their parents taught them. Unfortunately, only around a third of parents said that they know about how to take care of tires and feel comfortable with their own knowledge of tire maintenance. This means you have parents teaching their kids something that they themselves frequently do not know.

A lack of understanding about tire safety is a big issue because a blowout could be deadly or could lead to an accident that causes serious injury. An estimated 12 percent of the 2.2 total motor vehicle collisions that occur in the United States involve some type of vehicle tire problem. This means that around once every two minutes, a problem with a tire contributes to causing a potentially dangerous motor vehicle crash.

If driver’s education courses provided better and more comprehensive information to teens, around 300,000 car crashes each year involving inexperienced drivers could likely be prevented. Unfortunately, it seems things are moving in the opposite direction from providing more driver’s education as some schools are cutting driver’s ed programs or reducing funding because of budget shortfalls.

The sad thing is, it would not take much to teach teens about how to effectively check their tires. One simple test is called the “penny test” and involves putting a penny into the treads of the car’s tires. If Lincoln’s head can be seen when the penny has been put into the tire, the tread is too worn and it is time to get the tire looked at and replaced.

Teens should also regularly check tire pressure to ensure it is within the manufacturer recommendations to reduce the risk of a blowout accident.

Missouri accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle and Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030. Serving  Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City, Joplin and throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri & Oklahoma. 

Springfield Drivers Need to Stay Focused in School Zones

With back-to-school season underway, the focus is once again on protecting children from getting hurt during their commute. Each year in the United States, around 25,000 children get injured when going to or from school. A personal injury lawyer knows that many of these children are involved in collisions with drivers who are not following safety rules. school zone

The law requires drivers to slow down in school zones and to stop for school buses that have flashing lights and an extended stop arm. Unfortunately, evidence indicates that fewer drivers are obeying the rules and being safe because too many motorists are distracted.

Distracted Driving in School Zones

A new national report from Safe Kids USA demonstrates just how many motorists are driving distracted through school zones. According to the report:

  • One in six motorists passing through a school zone is distracted.
  • Out of every 1,000 female drivers, 187 are distracted as they pass through a school zone.
  • Out of every 1,000 male drivers going through a school zone, 154 were distracted.
  • 98 out of every 1,000 drivers were using their cell phones or utilizing another type of electronic device when driving in a school zone.
  • 44 out of every 1,000 drivers traveling in a school zone were distracted by eating, drinking or smoking while driving.
  • 19 out of every 1,000 motorists in the school zone area were reaching behind them or looking behind them instead of focusing on the road.
  • Nine out of every 1,000 drivers in school zones are distracted by doing personal grooming tasks.
  • Three out of 1,000 drivers in school zones are distracted because they are reading.
  • Drivers in minivans, SUVs and pickup trucks were more likely than other motorists to be distracted when going through a school zone.
  • School zones without flashing lights had more distracted drivers than school zones with lights.
  • School zones with an average daily traffic volume of 10,000 or more cars had higher rates of distracted drivers.

When motorists are focused on something besides the road, young school children are at risk. Unfortunately, drivers also endanger children outside of school zones who are getting onto or off of school buses. Although the law makes clear that drivers must always stop for a school bus if the bus has its lights flashing and its stop arm extended, many drivers fail to obey this rule.

In fact, according to an NBC News report, around two million more drivers illegally passed by stopped school buses in 2012 than in 2011. NBC had a video of one semi truck driving on the shoulder of the road and narrowly missing a school girl because the driver did not stop for the bus. The driver turned himself in for his actions and indicated he was distracted at the time of the incident.

Drivers need to stay focused on protecting kids from injury or death on the commute to school. While distracted driving is never OK, motorists especially should stay focused on the road when in a school zone or near a school bus that children are riding on.

Springfield accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle and Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030.