Alcohol, drinking and driving can ruin high school graduation celebrations

Every spring high school students across the United States and in Florida celebrate high school prom and high school graduation. While some believe that these steps towards adulthood should be celebrated with alcohol even if it is supervised, the addition of drinking can easily turn a celebratory social function into an event to mourn a lost friend.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the peak months for proms and graduation are also the peak months for car accidents caused by drinking and driving. The peak months for alcohol-related car accidents are April, May and June. To further demonstrate the dangers of underage drinking during graduation celebrations, the number one cause of teenage death is car accidents and nearly 40 percent of teenage car accidents are caused by drinking and driving.

Some people believe the dangers of underage drinking can be mitigated by parent supervision but alcohol consumption by teenagers can have long term health effects. The part of the brain that controls risky behavior is not completely formed until age 25 and according to the National Institutes of Health, heavy consumption of alcohol by teens can harm brain development. Further, teens who begin drinking at age 15 are four times more likely to develop a dependence on alcohol than individuals who wait to drink until age 21. Teenagers who begin drinking at age 15 are two and one half times more likely to abuse alcohol too.

It has been shown that regular and open communication between parents and teenagers has a positive influence on teenage decisions. Teenagers are more likely to meet their parents’ expectations and are less likely to engage in dangerous behavior if regular and open conversation exists, according to most lauderhill, fl car accident lawyers. To ensure that the celebration continues past graduation for everyone let us help the teenagers in our community make positive choices.



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Distracted driving laws proven to work

Like the rest of the country, distracted driving is an issue in Florida, but some groups have argued against the passage of handheld phone and texting while driving bans. Those groups have said that distracted driving laws do not reduce car accidents caused by distraction, but instead increase the risk of such accidents. The results of two distracted driving pilot programs may help change those assertions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration two distracted driving programs entitled “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other” have greatly reduced texting and cellphone use while driving in Hartford, Connecticut and Syracuse, New York; the two locations where the pilot programs were initially tested. The pilot programs were conducted during four, one month time periods over the last two years.

After the completion of the program, handheld phone use dropped nearly 60 percent and texting while driving declined by 72 percent in Hartford. In Syracuse, handheld phone use and texting while driving declined by over one-third. The declines were measured by the observations of researchers and by surveys completed by the public.

The programs borrowed successful techniques used in national campaigns to raise awareness about seat belts and about the dangers of drunken driving. The programs employed a public education campaign and a highly-visible enforcement campaign to reduce distracted driving levels.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety previously released a report that showed handheld phone and texting bans do not reduce car accidents and may increase crashes.

The success of the pilot programs suggests otherwise and has led to the development of a future statewide project in an as of yet undetermined state, according to grand rapids car accident lawyers.

Pedestrian accident occurs on beach; beachgoer run over

Last week we wrote about a pedestrian accident on Miami Beach that involved a former police officer’s early morning ATV ride. Over the weekend another pedestrian accident occurred on the beach in Florida. This time the accident occurred in Orlando and involved a lifeguard operating a Beach Patrol pickup truck. According to police officers who investigated the accident, the lifeguard from Volusia County had not taken a required beach-driving safety course.

On Sunday morning a lifeguard with Volusia County was in charge of an area of beach and was informed of some broken glass near the Dunlawton Avenue beach ramp. The lifeguard was using a pickup truck to patrol the beach and turned around when he was informed of the glass.

As the lifeguard turned the pickup truck around, the right front tire of the truck ran over a 33-year-old, female beachgoer who was lying on her stomach outside of the beach-driving lanes. The beachgoer was taken to the hospital and is fortunately in good condition as of Monday. The lifeguard had been given a safety manual on beach driving but had not completed the 16-hour beach driving safety course.

The course goes through specific beach driving techniques like watching for sunbathers in the blind spots of the vehicle. The course is required of patrol officers but not of lifeguards; however, lifeguards do drive trucks to patrol the beach.

There are 16 miles of drivable beach in Volusia County. There have been almost 50 pedestrian accidents on the beach involving injury or fatality since 1995. Two four-year-old children were killed in separate Ohio pedestrian accidents on the beach last year. So far this year, five beachgoers have been injured.