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August a Deadly Month for Car Accidents

Aug 15, 2011 - Car Accidents by

The Alabama Highway Patrol reported a busy weekend — responding to at least three injury accidents on Sunday afternoon. Our Tuscaloosa personal injury lawyers remind motorists that August is traditionally the deadliest month of the year.

Accidents in Etowah and DeKalb counties were reported on Sunday, including an Alabama trucking accident on I-59 near mile marker 176. That accident occurred about 1:30 a.m. The 57-year-old driver was injured. Chicago car accident.jpg

Two teens from Boaz were injured on Alabama Highway 179. That accident involved a 16- and 17-year-old in a Mitsubishi. A third accident involved a 1995 Ford on County Road 163.

MSN reports that August is the deadliest month on the road. Nearly 3,000 motorists died on the nation’s roads in August of 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Statistics for last year are due out later this summer.

September is the second-deadliest month; July is third-deadliest. March is rated the safest.

“More people are out on the road driving more miles than other times of the year,” says Russ Rader, of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Students heading back to school also increase the risk as teens are the most at-risk drivers on the nation’s roads.

Saturdays and Sundays were deadliest; Tuesday were the safest. About one-third of the crashes happen in late afternoon or early evening.

“A large proportion of crashes happen in late afternoon and early evening in general, but especially in August,” Rader says.

Teen safe driving will be in the spotlight as our young drivers head back to school; many will earn their driver’s license this fall.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reports that car accidents are, by far, the leading cause of accidental death among Alabama teenagers. In fact, the department reports that Alabama is the second-worst state in the nation for teen driving fatalities. The three primary factors associated with fatal car accidents are alcohol use, failure to wear seat belts and distracted driving.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports 70 young drivers were killed in Alabama car accidents in 2009; a total of 142 people died in crashes involving young drivers.

Distraction.gov drivers home the risks faced by teenagers:

-1 in 6 young drivers involved in fatal crashes report being distracted.

-Teens have the highest proportion of fatal accidents caused by distracted driving.

-An estimated 20 percent of all injury accidents involve some form of distraction.

-The proportion of fatal accidents involving driver distraction increased from 10 percent in 2005 to 16 percent in 2009.

Various studies continue to show the important part parents play in shaping the driving habits of their teens. Lead by example. Spend plenty of time aiding the learning process in all sorts of driving conditions. Talk to your teen about the risks. Let them know what’s expected and consider entering into a teen driving contract that will outline the expectations and the penalties for violating the rules.

Being proactive just may save your teen’s life or the life of another young person this fall.

Additional Resources:

-The deadliest month on the road, by Gina Roberts-Grey, MSN Money

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