The Florida Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill prohibit cell phone use by teens holding a user permit to drive. It’s not a bad idea given the fact that these young drivers are learning how to drive and don’t need added distractions. However, why focus on this one group of drivers? We’ve all had the frustrating, sometimes scary experience of driving alongside someone engrossed in a phone call. The driver switches lanes without a signal, speeds up and slows down erratically, and is generally not paying attention. What about these drivers? As is often the case in Tallahassee, there’s more light than heat in this bill.
If there weren’t enough health risks associated with being overweight, along comes another one-maybe one you wouldn’t have thought about. If you’re male and obese, you’re at a significantly greater risk to die as a result of a car crash according to a Milwaukee based investigation. The study cites various factors leading to this increased risk: obesity reduces the body’s ability to recover from injury, the actual effects of momentum in the crash itself, and body shape.
Some good advice printed in the San Jose Mercury News:
There is some encouraging news. New SUVs are being built lower to the ground, decreasing their chances of rolling over and improving safety when SUVs collide with cars. It’s not the weight of the SUV that poses a risk to people inside cars; it’s the height difference.
Driving an SUV is much more dangerous than driving a car, and safety advocates recommend the following tips for driving one:
The late winter/early spring in central Florida brings snowbirds and visitors alike to Florida for vacations and spring break. It also brings a rash of early morning car crashes. The combination of early morning fog, slick roads, and drivers new to Florida roads can lead to a spike in auto accidents. The Florida fog can linger into the mid-morning hours reducing visibility and increasing the chance for a mishap. Headlights should be used until this fog burns off completely and drivers should operate vehicle with more caution and lower speed to make up for these hazards.
In January, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the U.S. subsidiary of the German luxury car company a temporary exemption from U.S. automobile safety standards, allowing it to sell as many as 5,000 vehicles over the next two years that include brake lights that flash during emergency stops.
The Florida Legislature is considering raising the minimum driving age from 16 to 17 years old. Citing the high incidence of crashes for 16 year olds, HB 975 would raise the age one year.
It’s been a little less than two months since a new, but little publicized seat belt law went into effect in Florida. The new law allows police officers to stop drivers and occupants of vehicles who are not using seat belts. The catch is that they have to be under 18 years old in order to be stopped. This law is aimed at preventing teenagers and children from dying in accidents because they’re not wearing seat belts.
I’ve lived in Florida now for more than 25 years. One thing you notice quickly here besides the weather is the number of elderly drivers. According to 2002-03 statistics, there were almost 15 million drivers in the state of Florida. Out of that 15 million, over 2.2 million were between the ages of 65 and 74. Approximately 250,000 drivers were over the age of 85. At least 20% of this 250,000 suffer some form of dementia.
By the time Ocoee Florida police Sgt. William Wagner had looked in his rearview mirror after calling off a high speed pursuit, all he could see was a fiery explosion.
Sponsored by Partners for Child Passenger Safety, a new study led by Dr. Dennis Durbin determined that SUVs are no more safe than cars in the protection they afford children, due to their increased rollover rate.