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San Jose personal injury attorneysAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 years old are at a higher risk for a car accident than those in any other age group. In facts, teenage drivers are three times more likely per mile driven to be involved in a fatal accident that drivers over the age 20. Some teens, of course, are very conscientious drivers, but unfortunately, accidents still happen. A recent study suggests that that monitoring levels of a certain stress hormone may help predict how likely a teen is to be involved in an accident.

Testing Cortisol Levels

The study found that newly-licensed teenagers who produced lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol were more likely to be involved in an accident or near-accident. According to Dr. Dennis Durbin, co-scientific director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, this may indicate that people who experience heightened emotions in stressful situations use those emotions to learn more quickly when behind the wheel. Dr. Durbin did not conduct the study, but he did co-write an editorial that was published along with the findings.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec and involved newly-licensed drivers from the state of Virginia. Each of the drivers was 16 years old and had received their probationary driver's licenses less than three weeks prior. Saliva samples were tested while the subjects were subjected to increased stress during a timed math test. The teens' vehicles were then fitted with technology to record accidents or near-accidents for the next 18 months. Those who had the highest levels of cortisol had the lowest crash or near-crash results.

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Ensuring that children are safe is one of a parent's highest priorities, whether the children are elementary school age or teenagers. Others, such as school teachers and coaches place a high value on safety as well. However, accidents of all types can happen, including school bus accidents.

An 18-year-old driver was recently involved in an accident with a school bus in Lake Elsinore. The 18-year-old's car was wedged partially under the bus, and the driver had to be cut from the wreckage. He has been hospitalized with serious injuries. The bus driver also was examined at the hospital. The bus was carrying three dozen middle school students on their way to Canyon Lake Middle School, none of whom were injured in the accident.

At the time of the accident, the bus driver was at an intersection, preparing to turn. The bus driver did not properly judge the speed of the teenager's approaching car, according to the California Highway Patrol. The teen driver was unable to avoid the bus by stopping in time.

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Distracted driving is a plague in California and throughout the country. And it isn't just teens who engage in the reckless driving behavior of, for example, sending text messages behind the wheel. Even experienced, supposedly responsible drivers are often guilty of driving while distracted.

Now that we are about a week into April, it's time to alert drivers to the fact that this month is Nation Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The California Highway Patrol is participating in the nationwide safety effort by providing warnings and education to the driving public.

It all began with a focus on California teen drivers this week. Young drivers are not only inexperienced but generally more attached to the conveniences of their cellphones. Therefore, starting by alerting them to the proven dangers of distracted driving is a strategic plan. Traffic accidents are a primary cause of teen deaths in California and the U.S. and cellphones contribute to the danger all too often.

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Our last few posts have really focused on the issue of teen drivers and distracted driving, but for good reason. Teen drivers, as a group, are at the highest risk of car accident because of their lack of driving experience, and distracted driving is becoming as much of a road safety menace as drunk driving. When the two are combined the risk of getting into a crash dramatically increases and so does the danger for other drivers.

Recently, a Massachusetts teenager was found guilty for his role in a deadly car accident caused by texting and driving. While the case is outside of California, it demonstrates how quickly distracted driving can turn deadly and how cellphone records can be used against a driver suspected of fault.

In February 2011, the teen driver, who was 17 years old at the time, was texting when his car cross the center line and hit another car head-on. The 55-year-old father driving the other vehicle was killed during the accident and two of his passengers suffered serious injury.

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A couple posts ago we wrote about the frequency with which teen drivers use their cellphones while behind the wheel. Although more than half admitted to texting while driving, the majority also recognized distracted driving as a danger while driving. According to a different survey, peer pressure may, in part, be responsible for the growing recognition of car accident risk.

A new survey conducted by Consumer Reports may demonstrate that the presence of teen passengers may discourage teen drivers from picking up their cellphones while driving. Parents are already well in tune with the dangers of peer pressure for a teen driver, but that same peer pressure may reduce one form of teen driving safety risk.

According to the survey, about half of teen drivers say when there are friends in the car that they are less likely to text or talk on a cellphone, and almost half of the surveyed teens said they had asked a friend to put down his or her cellphone while driving for safety reasons. Therefore it seems that using a cellphone while driving is holding less and less appeal among teenagers.

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In its role as a top wireless phone provider in the country, AT&T has started a campaign to end texting while driving by all drivers with an emphasis on teen drivers. The program has been christened "Texting & Driving . . . It Can Wait."

"Many people don't realize how big a risk they are taking every time they take their eyes off the road," said Ken McNeely, President of AT&T California. "But the reality is, they are risking not only their own lives, but the lives of others, every time they send or read a text while driving. It is a serious issue that has a simple solution: just don't do it."

May 14, 2012 AT&T released results of a poll that they conducted among teen drivers in the United States. The results are of great concern.

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One of the things that California teenagers look forward to is the day that they can get their driver's license. Turning sixteen is typically marked with the rite of passage which gives teenagers a little more freedom to go where they please. But like many teens in other states, California teenagers are given a restricted license when they turn sixteen.

These types of restricted licenses are intended to reduce the number of car accidents that teens can get into. New drivers are statistically more at risk of getting into an accident; younger drivers also increase the risk. But new research is raising some questions about these graduated driver licensing programs and the effectiveness that they are intended to have.

The GDL program in California boasts some of the strictest restrictions when compared to other states. Hopeful drivers must pass a driving test and then adhere to rules that ban them from driving at certain times at night and prohibits them from driving around friends without an adult in the car. After a certain period of time, the driver can get a full license barring any issues.

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Getting into a car accident can have far reaching implications, sometimes permanently changing the course of one's life. If the injuries are severe, the car accident victim may have to deal with the injuries for a long time. The impact can be even greater if the accident was fatal.

Because of the concern regarding teenagers in car accidents, the California State Automobile Association is focusing efforts on teen driving this summer. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that more than 7,000 teenagers were killed in car accidents during the summer over the course of five years. And now that school is out, there will be more young drivers out on the road again.

Statistics also show that the number of fatal car accidents involving teen drivers is greater in the summer months than during the typical school year. To address these high numbers, the NHTSA has identified several factors that attribute to teen driving accidents:

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