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Targeted safety efforts could reduce serious and fatal Phoenix car accidents, traffic accidents nationwide

Six people a minute are injured in car accidents on the nation’s roads and a motorist dies every 8 minutes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Our Phoenix Injury Lawyers agree with the report’s findings that concentration in four main areas would help reduce the risk of serious and fatal Arizona car accidents and accidents throughout the nation: Improve child passenger safety, improve teen driving, reduce drunk driving and increase seat belt use.Each year the nearly 40,000 motorists die and 270,000 are hospitalized at a cost of $99 billion.

Child Safety

More than 1,300 hundred children are killed in accidents each year, making motor vehicle crashes the leading cause of death. Lawmakers should strengthen child safety laws, increase educational programs and provide financial assistance to those in need.

Drunk Driving Accidents

Someone dies in a drunk driving accident every 45 minutes — or about 12,000 times a year. The increased use of ignition interlock devices for convicted drunk drivers could substantially reduce repeat offenses. The minimum drinking age saves more than 700 lives per year and should be maintained. Sobriety checkpoints are another valuable tool to combat drunk driving and programs should be continued or expanded throughout the country.

Teen Driver Safety

Car accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers ages 15 to 20, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2008, more than 5,800 young people were killed in car accidents. States without strong graduated driver’s license programs should make improvements; those with the strongest GDL programs have experienced a 40 percent average reduction in fatal and nonfatal accidents involving new drivers.

-Additionally, teens should be limited to one teen passenger unless an adult is along to supervise and should be restricted from driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Increase Seat Belt Use

Primary seat belt laws, which allow law enforcement to pull drivers over and ticket them for not wearing a safety belt, are more effective than secondary enforcement laws, which only permit ticketing if a driver has been pulled over for a separate offense. Seat belt use saves an average of 13,000 lives a year and increasing compliance to 90 percent nationwide would save more than $5 billion a year.

States that have upgraded to primary enforcement laws have seen a 14 percent increase in seat belt use and a 7 percent decrease in traffic deaths.

If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact the Phoenix accident lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (602) 819-5191 today.

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