Texting teens may be influenced by their parents' driving habits

September 28, 2012

file1471245784726.jpgCar accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers in southeastern Missouri and throughout the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). What's more, 11% of teens who died in 2010 traffic accidents were distracted. And despite multiple campaigns aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, a striking number of teens are still using electronic devices when they're behind the wheel. In June 2012, the Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed teen drivers nationwide, and here's what they found:

• Approximately half of the drivers surveyed said they had talked on a handheld phone while driving within the last 30 days.

• Nearly 30% of respondents said they had texted while driving within the same time frame.

• About 8% admitted said they had used smart phone apps while driving within the last month, and 7% said they had used email or social media while behind the wheel.

Also, strikingly, nearly everyone surveyed "considered texting, using smart-phone apps, or accessing the Internet to be dangerous while driving; about 80 percent thought it was very dangerous. Also, 63 percent of those surveyed saw talking on a handheld phone while driving as dangerous."

So, why are so many teens still engaging in these behaviors? Another recent survey - this one from Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) - suggests that parents may be partially to blame:

• 59% of teens surveyed said they had seen their parents texting while driving.

• 91% reported seeing their parents talking on a handheld phone while driving.

"Kids begin to learn to drive long before we think they do," Dave Melton, director of Transportation Consulting Services at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, told the New York Times. "They go to the driving school of mom and dad for a long, long time. How can we expect them to do anything other than what we've taught them?"

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Cape Girardeau PD announces plans to escalate enforcement of underage drinking offenses

September 21, 2012

Thumbnail image for 565345_drinking.jpgThis week, the Cape Girardeau Police Department announced plans to step up enforcement of underage alcohol offenses. According to the Southeast Missourian, four agencies will collaborate to support this enforcement effort, including the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department, the Missouri Highway Patrol, the Department of Public Safety at Southeast Missouri State University, and the Cape Girardeau PD.

"I think we have an implied obligation as law enforcement officers to reduce these issues," said acting police chief Roger Fields. "It's really nothing new. We've enforced alcohol laws all along. We're just putting extra effort into it and working to raise awareness. Our goal is to reduce alcohol-related issues in young people's lives before they create real problems later on."

Fields says the effort will involve saturation patrols on local roads to help prevent drunk driving accidents. Officers will also conduct compliance checks and walk-throughs at drinking establishments in an attempt to prevent businesses from selling alcohol to patrons under age 21.

According to statistics provided by Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), about 72% of teens have consumed alcohol by the time they graduate from high school. And teens have a different physiological response to alcohol than adults do: they become intoxicated more quickly and they have greater difficulty recognizing their limits, which means alcohol can be especially dangerous, even deadly, for minors. Teen drinkers are also more likely to develop alcoholism and other medical issues as they age.

Students at Southeast Missouri State University are not allowed to drink on campus or at university-sponsored events. Doug Richards, director of SEMO's police department, told the Missourian he issued 15 alcohol violations in 2010, which included nine violations on campus and six violations in student dormitories. Richards did not have specific numbers for 2011, but he said there was an "uptick" in violations last year.

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Poplar Bluff bus driver pulled over, arrested while transporting varsity soccer team

September 13, 2012

276670_bus.jpgOn Friday, a Butler County school bus driver was arrested on an outstanding warrant during a traffic stop that happened as he transported the Poplar Bluff varsity soccer team to an Illinois game. According to the Southeast Missourian, 33 year-old Bobby Joe Tippit was pulled over for speeding on Interstate 57 near the Missouri - Illinois border, as the bus was en route to Anna-Jonesboro Community High School in Anna, IL. The speed limit on I-57 is 70 in Missouri, but it drops to 65 in Illinois. Tippit was reportedly driving 75 miles per hour when he was stopped.

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Department, the officer who stopped Tippit discovered an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a charge of drug paraphernalia possession. The warrant came from the mid-2000s, the Missourian reports, and it was issued in DuPage County, which is near Chicago. Tippit was taken into custody and remains incarcerated at the Tri-County Justice and Detention Center. His bond has been set at $6,000.

Law enforcement officials report that Tippit was cooperative and that he expressed concerns about the students on the bus. The Poplar Bluff soccer team waited with an assistant coach, and the Anna-Jonesboro school district sent another driver to retrieve the team. Poplar Bluff then sent a driver to Anna to bring the students back home.

Chris Hon, superintendent of Poplar Bluff Public Schools, says Tippit's warrant did not show up on the fingerprint background check that is required of all newly hired employees in the district. Hon says the district will investigate how the omission occurred. WSIL TV in southern Illinois reports that Tippit since has been fired. It's unclear how long he had worked for the district.

In Missouri school districts, effective 2005, bus drivers must pass a drug test and a background check before they are hired. Also, they must obtain a school bus endorsement on a commercial driver's license (CDL), which requires a separate written exam and driving test. Missouri law says that "No person shall operate any school bus owned by or under contract with a public school or the state board of education unless such driver has qualified for a school bus (S) endorsement and complied with the pertinent rules and regulations of the Department of Revenue." (Section 302.272, RSMo). Along with the CDL, the school bus endorsement must be renewed every six years for drivers under age 70 - drivers over 70 must renew their licenses annually.

Hon says Tippit met all of the applicable state requirements before he went to work for the district.

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Could you pass a driver's test if you took it today?

492545_multiple_choice.jpgLast year, one out of every five drivers who took the GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test failed. The lack of driver knowledge may be one of the main reasons for the alarmingly high rates of car accidents in southeast Missouri and elsewhere. These statistics illustrated that nearly 37 million American drivers should probably not be operating a motor vehicle on our nation's roadways.

Our Dexter car accident lawyers understand the implications of these test results. As far too many drivers failed to meet the basic requirements to get a driver's license, it is no wonder our nation sees so many fatal car accidents each year. This is a serious problem that needs to be corrected with stricter laws, more driver education and more responsible driving habits.

According to the Kansas City Star, Missouri ranked among the top 10 states with the most knowledgable drivers through the results of this written driving test. However, even so, the Missouri Highway Patrol reported that there were 151,353 car accidents in Missouri in 2010: 821 people were killed and 54,875 suffered injuries in these crashes.

"The GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test has become the benchmark for America's driving IQ," said Scott Eckman, GMAC's chief marketing officer. "All Americans need a refresher course when it comes to rules of the road and it begins with education. We're hoping this year's GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test results will inspire drivers to arm themselves with the knowledge they need to stay safe."

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St. Louis County police announce implementation of revised pursuit policy

1235172_bee.jpgThis summer, in response to public concerns, the St. Louis County Police Department announced plans to adopt a new pursuit policy. In the past, the department was only authorized to pursue a suspect if he or she uses or threatens to use deadly force. Effective August 1, officers will be allowed to pursue drivers who are suspected of property crimes or impaired driving.

"At a community meeting some of the residents were very upset with me and the police department because we had a policy that didn't allow us to chase for property crimes," St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch told KDSK.

Last year, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch decided to consider public opinion with respect to his department's pursuit policy. Under the old policy, officers only participated in about a dozen chases each year. However, following a string of copper thefts and vehicle break-ins in Pasadena Hills, Chief Fitch began seeking approval for the new rule, which states that officers are able to pursue suspects in both first-degree burglary and drunken driving cases. In both cases, the public seemed to support the new policy immediately, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

While some believe that more suspects should be chased on our roadways, others believe that officer chases are too dangerous and often result in serious car accidents, which can pose risks to innocent drivers on the road. Opponents of more liberal chase policies have expressed concerns that pursuing suspects on our roadways and engaging in more officer chases will only increase liability risks to drivers everywhere. Many residents don't believe that it's safe to let officers speed dangerously while attempting to catch less-than-serious criminals. For opponents, the choice is a serious one: it's either let someone go, for now, or pursue a suspect and risk endangering the lives of Missourians who just happen to be traveling nearby.

"First and foremost we are to do no harm, and we don't want to create a more dangerous situation by chasing DWI suspects at high speeds," Chief Fitch said last year.

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Preventing Child Injuries in Kennett: Drowning, Burns, Poisoning too Common

1134596_swim_time_.jpgRecently, a 2 year-old Missouri boy was saved from drowning by a political candidate who just happened to be knocking on his front door. It happened in St. Charles County: according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an O'Fallon parent had stepped inside his home for a moment, and when he returned, he found his young son unresponsive in a small rubber swimming pool. Luckily, just about then, state representative candidate Rod Hoffman approached the family's front door, and heard a scream. Hoffman ran to assist the child and immediately performed CPR. The boy survived and has since been released from the hospital.

Hoffman, a former assistant principal, said his former employer required CPR training. "I would sit in those meetings, and it would be pretty much the same stuff over and over, but I'm glad they made me go," he told the Dispatch. "I recall a couple of instances in the last four or five years that a co-worker, teacher or administrator saved a kid or two from choking. It has paid big dividends."

Drownings are the number one cause of injury deaths for children age 4 and younger. Every single day, at least three children die because of drowning. What's more, there are roughly 7.1 million children under age 16 who visit the emergency room each year for various injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a majority of child injuries are unintentional, like suffocation, burns, ingestion of harmful substances.

There are nearly 450 children under the age of 20 that are treated in emergency rooms for burns every day. Of these incidents, roughly two die every day. Young children oftentimes acquire these injuries because of steam or hot liquids, while older children experience more of the burns as a result of direct contact with fire.

Children are also commonly injured in non-fatal accidents like falls. This type of accident is the number one cause of non-fatal injuries for those under the age of 20. There are approximately 8,000 children sent to emergency rooms in the U.S. for fall-related injuries every day - which means roughly 2.08 million kids are treated every single year.

Finally, it's prudent for parents to monitor their children's access to dangerous chemicals.Children can be poisoned from a number of products, not just marked products in your home. The most common dangerous chemicals that your child can be exposed to are medicines and household cleaners. Nearly 400 children under age 19 are taken to emergency rooms every day. About two children die every day from unintentional poisoning.

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Cape police chief retires from department; accepts position as director of SEMO's Law Enforcement Academy

685439_police_5.jpgCarl Kinnison, former Cape Girardeau Chief of Police, will serve as the new director of Southeast Missouri State University's Law Enforcement. KFVS reports that Kinnison, who retired from the police department on July 31, will also teach criminal justice and sociology courses at the university. At present, Assistant Chief Roger Fields has been named interim chief, and he will serve the department while the city searches for Kinnison's replacement.

Kinnison spent 33 years with the Cape police department, serving the last seven years as its Chief. During his tenure, he made auto accident prevention a priority. Last year, Kinnison discussed the hiring of two additional officers in an interview with the Southeast Missourian, and he said the move was made in response to an increasing number of Cape crashes. "Our goal, our mission in life, is to keep those numbers down, and, more importantly, injuries and fatalities down," he said. "That's what we're trying to do."

In 2007, budgetary restraints caused city leaders to reduce police funding. This in turn forced the Cape Girardeau PD to eliminate two positions in the department's traffic division. Kinnison maintained that fewer traffic officers meant fewer tickets issued, which ultimately caused an increase in crashes: between 2007 and 2010, the number of traffic citations steadily declined, while the number of traffic accidents, including fatal car crashes, increased. In 2011, after reviewing Kinnison's data, the Cape Girardeau City Council restored funding to the police department, which allowed the department to hire the new officers.

Is there a connection between traffic citations and auto accidents?

On the surface, a decline in traffic citations might appear to be a good thing. After all, no one likes to get a ticket. In an ideal world, a drop in the number of tickets issued would simply mean that fewer drivers were breaking traffic laws. But in Cape, the numbers told a different story. In 2006, Cape Girardeau police officers issued 8,900 traffic citations. In 2010, they issued 5,587. Over roughly the same time period, traffic accidents rose by 4.5%.

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Boating while intoxicated increases injury risks on Missouri waterways

Thumbnail image for 548713_boat_wake_2.jpgAugust is upon us, and many Missourians are hitting our state's waterways to enjoy the last days of summer. With so much traffic on the water, safe boating is paramount: the Missouri Highway Patrol is calling for the public's assistance during these last few weekends of summer fun. To promote safe boating on Missouri's rivers and lakes, the Patrol wants to remind boaters of the dangers associated with boating while intoxicated (BWI).

"The Missouri State Highway Patrol continues to ensure that Missouri's waterways are safe and enjoyable to the public," said Capt. Juan Villanueva, Troop D's commanding officer, in a news release. "Boaters are reminded that designating a sober skipper is always the safest bet if alcohol is going to be included in their boating experience."

Since Memorial Day, state troopers have conducted several boating sobriety checkpoints at various locations, issuing numerous tickets and warnings and arresting BWI offenders. During a recent enforcement effort that focused on the Niangua River and Table Rock Lake, four people were arrested for BWI and 15 minors were cited for possessing alcohol.

In terms of the law, a BWI offense is similar to a charge of drunk driving. And like drunk driving, boating while intoxicated can lead to dangerous accidents with serious ramifications. According to the American Boating Association (ABA), boating while intoxicated is the leading contributing factor to fatal boating accidents.

In Missouri, if your blood alcohol content is above .08%, you are legally intoxicated - and therefore, you are unable to operate a motor vehicle or water vessel safely. A first-offense BWI is a Class B misdemeanor, a second offense is a Class A misdemeanor, and a third offense is a Class D Felony. In addition, impaired boaters who cause injury to others can face additional criminal charges and legal consequences.

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15 dead after pickup truck loaded with 23 passengers runs off road, hits tree

921217_crashed_car.jpgOn Sunday evening, a truck accident in southern Texas left fifteen people dead and nine others seriously injured. NBC News reports that 23 passengers were crammed into a Ford F-250 when the truck ran off the road and struck a twin-trunked tree on U.S. 59 in Goliad County. Federal officials believe the occupants of the vehicle were illegal immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. However, officials have not yet identified all the passengers in the vehicle because many were not carrying I.D.

The accident happened about 150 miles northeast of the Mexican border: authorities say this stretch of highway is a popular route for illegal immigrants trying to travel north. "We suspect at this time it is going to be illegal immigrants that were in the vehicle, based on the way they were traveling," Lt. Glen Garret of the Texas Department of Public Safety told Reuters. The incredibly large number of passengers in the pickup contributed to the severity of the accident: five or six passengers rode in the cab, while the rest were lying on top of each other in the truck's bed. Many people were ejected from the vehicle upon impact: one passenger was found nearly sixty feet from the truck.

Many emergency responders were shocked by the brutal aftermath of the wreck, according to My San Antonio. "It's certainly disturbing when you walk up and see the yellow and blue blankets that you know are covering victims, and realize that there are still five or six bodies in the vehicle because it's so badly damaged that they can't get them out," said Goliad County Judge David Bowman, who pronounced 11 people dead at the scene, including the truck's driver. Four more passengers have since died as a result of their injuries, and the others remain hospitalized, many in critical condition.

Investigators believe that a tire problem - specifically, front right tire separation - played a key role in the crash, causing the driver to lose control of the truck and leave the roadway. Speed is also a likely contributing factor: the pickup was traveling at an estimated 70-75 miles per hour when it struck the large tree.

Of the dead, eleven men and three women were found to be citizens of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. The driver of the vehicle was born in Mexico, but had become a naturalized citizen of the United States. The truck's owner, however, was not in the vehicle: he has been notified, and claims to have sold the truck. At present, investigators are focused on identifying all the occupants of the pickup.

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Illinois family members file wrongful death lawsuit against excavating company for employee's role in fatal crash

file000956395960.jpgOn Tuesday, a family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against an Illinois construction company in connection with a fatal crash in June 2011. The lawsuit, filed this week in Cook County Circuit Court, claims a driver employed with Martin & Company Excavating was negligent when he failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with another vehicle, killing three of the occupants. The lawsuit names the driver, 34 year-old Nathan Merrill, and Martin & Co. as defendants.

The crash happened in Lee County last summer. Merrill was traveling south on Harmon Road in a Martin & Co. semi-truck, while 25 year-old John Parrett was eastbound on U.S. 30 in a Dodge Intrepid. According to the Lee County Sheriff's Department, Merrill ran the stop sign at Harmon Road and struck the driver's side of Parrett's Dodge.

Three occupants of the Dodge were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, including Parrett; his 14-month-old daughter, Inara; and his mother, 51 year-old Kim Gregorich. In addition, Parrett's fiancée, 22 year-old Elizabeth Johnson, was injured in the crash. Merrill was treated at a local hospital and released the same day.

The accident investigation revealed that Merrill was going too fast to stop; that his truck was between 2,501 and 5,000 pounds overweight; and that the tread on his tires was less than 2/32 of an inch deep. However, investigators also determined that Parrett was "using an electronic communication device" to "command or request an internet site" when the accident occurred, reports SaukValley.com. In addition, Parrett's autopsy revealed that he had "more than trace amounts of marijuana at the time of the crash," and did not take any action to avoid the collision. On September 2, a grand jury opted not to indict Merrill on any criminal charges associated with the accident.

Now, three of Parrett's family members - Tiffany Parrett, Jeramie Morris, and Elizabeth Johnson (Parrett's fiancée, who was injured in the crash) - have filed suit against both Merrill and Martin & Co. The three allege that they have lost the "comfort, society and valuable services" of their loved ones because of the crash.

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2 men charged with vehicular homicide following road rage crash death

263198_traffic_jam_siam_square_bangko.jpgRoad rage has become so common that it's expected: in fact, it's almost socially acceptable. However, the consequences associated with aggressive driving and road rage behaviors can be extremely serious.
Many drivers aren't aware that anger and aggression regularly contribute to car accidents, but the unfortunate truth is that many crashes begin with road rage.

On July 1, two drivers were charged with vehicular homicide in connection with a road rage incident on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. Witnesses reported that a Honda Pilot and a Chevrolet Trailblazer had been driving erratically, making dangerous lane changes, speeding, and tailgating each other when both vehicles merged onto an exit lane. At that point, the Honda attempted to pass the Trailblazer on the right, which caused the Honda to lose control, run off the road and strike a guardrail. The vehicle was then propelled back into traffic, where it overturned and smashed into the side of the Trailblazer. The Trailblazer then ran into the guard rail. During the crash, a female passenger in the Honda - 63 year-old Annetta Billingy - was ejected from the vehicle. Billingy was airlifted to a nearby hospital, but she later died as a result of her injuries.

Could this kind of crash happen in southeastern Missouri?

A fatal car accident is a possibility anywhere there are aggressive drivers on the road. Recently, an aggressive driver in Kansas City pulled a gun on another motorist, eventually leading police on a pursuit that ended in a crash: thankfully, no one was injured in that incident. And in June, in O'Fallon, a grandfather shot and injured a motorcyclist after being punched during a road rage dispute.

Aggressive driving behaviors include the following:

• Following too closely
• Weaving in and out of traffic
• Slowing down or stopping abruptly in front of other drivers
• Edging into adjacent lanes trying to push other drivers out of the way
• Running red lights and ignoring other traffic devices and laws
• Speeding up to keep another driver from changing lanes
• Racing or driving faster than surrounding traffic

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Personal injury claims: Basic information for car accident victims

68916_law_education_series_2.jpgThe period of time following a serious car accident can be extremely stressful. From medical bills to insurance coverage, you want to make sure your rights are protected and that your expenses are covered. That is where a personal injury lawyer can step in to act as your advocate, explaining your options and guiding you through the process.

Personal injury is a legal term used for an injury suffered to your body, mind or emotions, as opposed to property. A personal injury lawsuit alleges that an injury was the result of someone else's negligence or intentional wrong-doing. (For more information about personal injury visit LawInfo.com.)

What are the benefits of hiring a lawyer?

Hiring a lawyer can be an intimidating process, but doing so can be beneficial for many accident victims. A lawyer can handle your case in a professional, objective manner. They are familiar with both the laws and how insurance companies handle claims and benefits. Consulting a lawyer gives you a chance to find out whether you have a viable case and how much compensation you may be entitled to receive. But most importantly, a personal injury lawyer can answer your questions and explain what you can expect to happen next.

What can I expect from an attorney?

We can't speak for all attorneys, but at Aaron Sachs and Associates, our attorneys do the following:

  • Focus on your rights and interests.

  • Apply the most recent statutes and case law to your case.

  • Handle all communications with the court, other attorneys, insurance companies, and the medical staff and administration for medical bills.

  • Collect and preserve case evidence.

  • Interview witnesses.

  • Hire expert witnesses as necessary.

  • Obtain a fair settlement or take your case to trial.

  • Apply the formulas to ensure you receive financial compensation for the damages you've suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, lost benefits, and pain and suffering.

  • Reduce your stress and take the burden off of you so you can focus on healing and getting your life back on track.

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Highway Patrol announces plans for sobriety checkpoint and DWI saturation efforts in southeastern Missouri

707642_police_motorcycle.jpgThe Missouri Highway Patrol will conduct a sobriety checkpoint and DWI saturation enforcement operations sometime during the month of July, according to a recent news release. The sobriety checkpoint will be in Butler County, and the DWI saturation enforcement operations will be in Butler, Cape Girardeau, Scott, Stoddard, Dunklin, Pemiscot and New Madrid counties.

This important highway safety operation will be conducted by the MSHP in cooperation with other local law enforcement agencies. The proposed checkpoint will be a static operation on a specific highway: its purpose is to check every driver who passes by to ensure they are sober. The DWI saturation is "a mobile operation in which troopers saturate a specific area in an effort to arrest intoxicated drivers," the news release says.

In addition, Troop E officers will participate in the 20-Mile Trooper project on Tuesday, July 3 and Sunday, July 8: troopers will be posted every 20 miles on Interstates 55 and 57, and on a few selected secondary roads. This project aims to "place a trooper in close proximity of motorists who may need assistance and to aggressively enforce all traffic violations which may contribute to unsafe traveling conditions." In particular, officers will be on the lookout for drunk drivers, since Troop E reported a 9% increase in car accident fatalities during the 2011 July 4th holiday travel period.

The effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints in reducing alcohol-related car crashes

According to a review from the CDC, fewer alcohol-related crashes occur when sobriety checkpoints are implemented. CDC scientists and other experts reviewed the results of various scientifically sound studies from around the globe, and each study came to the same basic result: sobriety checkpoints consistently reduced alcohol-related car crashes, by an average of 20%.

Interestingly, the results were similar regardless of where in the world the study took place, or how the checkpoints were conducted. Whether the checkpoint was done as a "short term blitz" like the upcoming Cape Girardeau effort, or conducted in the same place continuously over several years' time, researchers found significant reductions in auto accidents and their resulting injuries and fatalities. These results suggest that the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints does not diminish over time, even though residents are aware the check point is there.

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Recent Auto Accidents Involving Missouri Teens Demonstrate Increased Summertime Risks

file8181245785200.jpgUnfortunately, Missouri is beginning to feel the impact of the summer months on teen accident rates. In early June, two teens were killed near Poplar Bluff when an Amtrak train struck their vehicle, according to the Southeast Missourian. Meanwhile, in Greene County, the Springfield News Leader reports that a total of five pedestrians have died since April. Of those five fatalities, three were local teenagers.

Then, on Wednesday, two people were killed near Festus in another crash involving a teen: the 17 year-old male ran a red light and struck the passenger side of a vehicle passing through the intersection. The occupants of the vehicle - 75 year-old Raymond McLean and his 70 year-old wife Carolyn - were pronounced dead at the scene. The 17 year-old driver was airlifted to St. Louis with serious injuries. KDSK reports that the Missouri Highway Patrol will investigate the accident and determine whether to bring charges against the teen.

Auto accidents remain the leading cause of death for American teenagers: over 5,000 teens die each year in crashes throughout the country. In 2010, drivers under 21 were involved in 15.1% of all fatal Missouri accidents, but this age group made up only 9.3% of Missouri's licensed drivers, according to data from the Missouri Highway Patrol.

And the months ahead are particularly dangerous, since summertime typically brings an increase in teen fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), May, June, July, and August are the deadliest months of the year for teens. "Each month in the summer, we lose the equivalent of an entire high school class on America's roads," Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, NHTSA Administrator. "Young inexperienced drivers spend more time behind the wheel in the summer, often with tragic results."

With school out of session, more young drivers are on the road, increasing the already-high risks to those drivers, their passengers, and the motorists traveling near them. It is imperative for parents and guardians to regulate and enforce safe driving practices. Sadly, all too often, adolescents make rash decisions which put themselves - and others - in danger.

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Summer Traffic Means More Car Accidents Expected, Reports NHTSA

768180_urban_traffic.jpgOur Jackson car accident lawyers would like to warn motorists about the increased numbers of car accidents that our area typically experiences during the summer months. As a matter of fact, MSN Money reports that August ranks as the deadliest month of the entire year on our roadways, with September ranking second and July a close third. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) records continuously report that more Americans are killed because of car accidents in August than during any other month out of the year.

According to NHTSA, August has a death rate of 1.09 per million miles traveled. That number takes the top spot for deadliest month on our roadways. In second place is September with a death rate of 1.08. March may be your best time to hit the road as it ranks as the safest with a death rate of 0.94. In addition, the deadliest holiday weekends also take place during the summer months: the top three are Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

An average of 93 people were killed every day in U.S. traffic accidents in 2009, meaning a life was lost every 16 minutes.

Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that August is the deadliest month as well. The government reports that, from 2005 to 2009, seven of the 25 deadliest driving days were in the month of August. Officials believe that the high death rate for this month is directly related to the increased number of roadway travelers. This month is typically a time when people are hitting the road and covering more miles than any other time during the year.

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