St. Louis Car Accidents with Minors This Summer

Summertime means that high school students and college students are home and excited to drive around town with their friends. Although our hope is that they practice safe driving all year round, the reality is that students are more likely to be reckless while driving in the summer. In fact, The Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) reported that in 2011, the majority of accidents involving young drivers occurred during the months of May through October. MODOT also reported that 85.2% of the crashes involving young drivers occurred when the roads were dry. The warm weather may prompt them to stay out late and drive late at night, take road trips or be tempted to drink and drive. As experienced St. Louis car accident attorneys, we know how important it is to keep young drivers safe.

Parents can help increase the safety of young drivers on the road by urging them to follow these tips:

1.     Follow the Speed Limit

Speeding is one of the most popular reasons behind car accidents. Young drivers can be impulsive, engage in risk taking behavior or try and show off while operating a vehicle. Speed limits are in place for road traffic safety and to reduce the probability of being involved in a crash.

2.     Refrain from Distracted Driving

Young drivers are notorious for being technologically savvy, however they must be reminded that engaging in such conduct while driving can be dangerous. Distracted driving can include driving while texting, using a smartphone, eating and drinking, reading or even watching a video. It has been reported that 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 were reported as distracted while being involved in a fatal car crash. Educating young drivers about the risks posed by distracted driving can help keep roads safer.

3.     Always Wear a Seatbelt

According to the National Safety Council, teens are less likely to use seatbelts. Yet a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of injuries sustained from a crash by 50%. Additionally, Missouri law requires drivers of motor vehicles to wear a seatbelt. Thus, young drivers should be warned that not only is the failure to wear a seatbelt a safety risk, but it is also against the law.

4.     Never Drink and Drive

Drinking and driving not only impairs a young driver and puts them further at risk of being in a car accident, but it poses a grave danger to other vehicles on the road. Any young driver who drives a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 % or more is subject to a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge. Young drivers are not always aware that depending on their size and tolerance, driving a vehicle even after having one drink can put them over the legal driving limit. The best advice is to avoid driving a vehicle after any consumption of alcohol.

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, first seek medical attention and then contact a St. Louis car accident attorney right away.

Joseph D. Klenofsky  |  St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney

The Klenofsky Law Firm, LLC