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Advocacy Group and Local Teen Fight for Safer Roads to Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Tennessee and Elsewhere

According to a recent report, “The 2012 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws,” Tennessee is one of the country’s 18 safest states. Still, the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that there were more than 1,030 traffic accident fatalities here in 2010. The 2010 statistics also illustrate an increase from the 986 who were killed in 2010. While our roadways may have been voted as some of the safest in the country, the number of roadway fatalities is in fact increasing.

According to KnoxNews, a teenage driver in the state is working to spread the word about the importance of safe driving habits to avoid car accidents in Knoxville and elsewhere. Joe Polakiewicz, the new advocate, is choosing to speak up about the dangers teens face on our roadways. The effort for safer roads came after Polakiewicz’s October 2010 traffic accident in which he reached down in his vehicle while traveling along Big Springs Road. He unknowingly swerved off of the road, over-corrected his vehicle, spun out and slammed into a tree on the other side of the road. This accident almost took his life. But he survived and now believes it happened for a reason: to promote teen driver safety.

Our Tennessee teen car accident lawyers have read the recent report, “The 2012 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws,” was conducted by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety in which researchers took a look at 15 road safety laws of all states. During the evaluations of each state, researchers looked at how well the state was able to adhere to the safety group’s grading scale. Through these ratings, Tennessee came out as one of the top 18 as it had followed 10.5 or more of the safety group’s 15 suggested laws.

The more safety laws a state has for its roadways, the safer motorists are. This is a good time to remember how beneficial these laws can be for teens who are just learning to drive. It’s vital to reiterate to our newly-licensed drivers the importance of keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Polakiewicz’s accident was completely preventable. But with his dedication to spreading the word of safe driving skills, safer roadways may be in the near future.

“I just feel that Joe’s survival is a miracle and maybe he survived for a reason,” Nancy Polakiewicz, the teen driver’s mother, told a reporter. “I need to tell his story to prevent others from going through that.”

Road Laws Evaluated in the Report:

-Three different laws to limit drivers’ ability to pack in the passengers.

-Having seven complete elements of a graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) program.

-Four drug and alcohol-impaired driving laws, including one requiring ignition interlock devices for convicted offenders.

-A ban on text messaging for all drivers.

Some of the worst-ranked states were South Dakota and Arizona, with 4 and 4.5 points, respectively.

Parents are reminded that these laws can be useless without adult enforcement. Parents should remain actively involved in their teen’s driving career long after they’ve graduated to an unrestricted driver’s license. Parent involvement can be one of the most beneficial factors in the fight against teen car accidents in Tennessee.

If you or your teen driver has been injured or killed in a car accident in Knoxville or elsewhere throughout Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Maryville accident attorneys. Call (865) 524-5657.

More Blog Entries:

Tennessee Teen Institute Camp Focuses on Teen and Drunk Driving Car Accident in Tennessee, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, July 6, 2011

Teen Driver Dies in Tennessee Car Accident, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, June 6, 2011

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