Thursday, August 27, 2009

PEMCO: Texting While Driving Rate Up

PEMCO Insurance issued a news release, August 25, that reveals more Washingtonians are texting while driving. The PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, conducted by FBK Research, shows that of those who use electronic devices, more of them – 18% – admit to reading or sending text messages while driving than in February 2008, when only 6% said they did so. Ironically, the same poll found that increasing numbers of drivers are concerned that texting while driving is a dangerous distraction.

Under Your Influence, a website dedicated to parents of teen drivers maintains the following:
They'd probably never tell you this but your teen really does look up to you. Under the layers of music, school activities, problems with friends, rebellion, struggles, and joys is your teen, and they need you to guide them in what they should and should not do. It's pretty clear that car crashes are the number one cause of death among teens, and if we all just ignore the problem, it's not going to go away.

Moral of the story? Monkey see, monkey do. It's still dangerous for you, even as a parent, to be texting while driving. It's even worse to do it in front of your teen.

Under Your Influence also gives these practice tips on driving with your teen:
  1. Don't be pushy
  2. You are in control
  3. Set some basic ground rules
  4. Pack your patience
  5. Don't talk down to your teen while you're teaching them how to drive
  6. Be sure to give specific praise to your teen while they drive
  7. Set a specific agenda for each time you take your teen out to practice
  8. Keep your conversations focused on driving
  9. Set a time limit that both you and your teen can agree on
  10. Keep a driving log while you practice
  11. Don't stop talking to your teen after they get their license

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Teenage Driver Guilty of Murder, Facing 15 Years to Life

Last Thursday, 18 year old Milad Moulayi (an unlicensed driver) had been warned not to drive, hours before a fatal crash, by a juvenile court judge. He was also told by several friends minutes before that he was too drunk to drive after an evening of rum shots.

His classmate, 16 year old MacKenzie Frazee, who lived about 2 miles away and was not wearing shoes at the time, allowed Moulayi to drive her home. Minutes later she was killed in a high speed crash. Moulayi was taken to a nearby hospital for minor injuries.

Orange County District Attorney Investigator Wes Vandiver, an accident reconstruction expert, stated that evidence shows Moulayi lost control of his mother's Mercedes Benz while driving in speeds of 100+ MPH, crossed over the center median, knocked over two road signs, and then laid down over 500 feet of skid marks before hitting a concrete pole which sliced the Mercedes in half.

Deputy District Attorney Susan Price argued that Moulayi, who was prosecuted as an adult, should be convicted of second-degree murder rather than vehicular manslaughter because he knew that driving while intoxicated was dangerous to human life but he decided to do so anyway.

Price later added that she hoped the verdict sends a message to young people that "you don't get a free murder just because you are young. … If you choose to engage in drinking and driving, you face serious consequences."

Thank you to OC Register