Joliet car crash attorneysLearning to drive is not just a rite of passage for teens; it is also a necessary skill that they must learn before they leave home. Sadly, driving also places them at serious risk for death or injury. In fact, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teens, and 34 percent admit to driving distracted in the past month. Being that distraction can increase their risk of an accident by as much as 400 percent, parents are encouraged to use every strategy possible to reduce the risks of driving distractions for teens. The following tips can give you a place to start.

Start by Setting a Good Example

In a survey from TeenSafe, 40 percent of teens stated that they had been a passenger in a vehicle where the driver was using their smartphone. Sadly, some of those users may have been the teen’s own parent. In such situations, the double-standard can cause a teen to completely disregard the rules of safe driving. In contrast, setting the example can reduce your teen’s risk of driving while distracted. At the very least, seeing you mute, put away, or turn off your phone while driving may weigh on their conscience heavily enough that it encourages them to change their own poor driving behaviors.

Continue Supervised Driving Practice

Although distracted driving is an obvious cause of teen crashes, their lack of experience is actually a bigger factor in their high risk of an accident. Even when they are driving responsibly, someone may pull out in front of them, or they may have an animal run in front of them. Because they are still learning to drive – and therefore, how the vehicle responds to sudden motion or when pushed to its limits – they may overcorrect, under-correct, or even cause the vehicle to topple over.

Thankfully, parents can reduce the risk of such incidents happening to their teen by continuing their supervised driving practice, even after they receive their license. This time in the vehicle encourages them to act more responsibly, even when you are not there, and it gives them more time to practice and learn with an experienced driver in the car. These positive effects can ultimately decrease your teen’s risk of an accident, even when they are driving alone.

Hold Your Teen to a Safe Driving Contract

While applications and other forms of technology can give you information about your teen’s driving habits, they cannot enforce safe driving practices. Only you – the parent – can do that. Start by ensuring your teen knows the rules of the road. Even better, write out a contract, have them review it, sign it, and return it as a “binding document.”

If your teen breaks the rules of the contract, you can easily deliver the pre-determined consequence. If they object, just remind them that they did sign the contract. Studies suggest that parents who do this are significantly decreasing their teen’s risk of an accident because, clearly, they want to drive. By having clear consequences for breaking the rules of the road, parents encourage teens to drive safely so they can maintain their driving privileges.

Was Your Teen Injured in an Accident?

When teens experience auto accidents, they are often seen as the negligent driver, but this is not always the case. In fact, teens may have been acting responsibly, only to encounter a negligent driver they were not experienced enough to avoid. Protect them from denied and reduced claims in these situations by contacting an experienced attorney for assistance.

At Tedone & Morton, P.C., we aggressively protect the rights of auto accident victims. Seasoned and knowledgeable, our Joliet car crash attorneys will not let someone else’s pre-determined notions about teen drivers stand in the way of fair compensation. No matter what the circumstance, we pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Start by scheduling a personalized, no-obligation consultation. Call 815-666-1285 today.


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Joliet family law attorneysWhen parents are faced with the decision of divorce, they often consider the well-being of their children. While, in many ways, this is a positive thing, it can convince parents to put off an inevitable divorce for the sake of their children. Sadly, this could end up doing more harm than good. Learn more about the risks associated with delayed divorce when you have kids and discover how an experienced attorney can assist you in taking the next step.

Study Shows Conflict is the True Cause of Maladjustment

Research has long shown that kids can be negatively affected by divorce. However, as science learns more about how the brain develops, they learn that it may not be divorce itself causing the negative effects in children. Instead, it could be contention (and the stress that may result from it).

In a recent study, scientists examined data on more than 19,000 children and their families. What they found was that about 50 percent of the non-cognitive “child skill gaps” was caused by a conflict between the parents – not divorce. In fact, divorce seemed to have only a “marginal impact” in the development of these skill gaps, which included behaviors and maladjustments such as dropping out of school, difficulties in the workplace, emotional problems, and poor or tumultuous intimate relationships. This information not only challenges the common belief that divorce negatively affects children; it nearly blows it out of the water entirely.

Should You Stay or Go?

Only you can decide for certain if divorce is the right path for your family. However, there are some indicators that could help you in making that determination. If you are willing to continue working on your marriage and find that your spouse is just as willing, counseling could be worth a try. If you can manage to get along but just are not sure if staying together is the right decision, a legal separation may give you the time and space you need to make a final decision.

In contrast, if you and your spouse struggle to even be in the same room together and find yourselves constantly arguing, you may be causing your children more harm than good. To make matters worse, you and your spouse are probably making one another miserable! So, if you strongly believe that you would be happier apart, have a contentious marriage, or are experiencing abuse, divorce may be the most appropriate path for you.

Whatever you decide, know that Tedone & Morton, P.C. is here, prepared to help you move forward. Dedicated and experienced, we take a personalized approach in every case. Whether you plan to mediate, litigate, or just legally separate, our Joliet family law attorneys can help. Schedule your initial consultation by calling 815-666-1285 today.


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Joliet child injury lawyersStatistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that some 435,000 children sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. While a large percentage of them do ultimately recover, there is also an alarmingly high percentage of young people that experience lifelong deficits after a brain injury. Science now believes there could be a physiological reason. Learn more about what researchers have discovered about traumatic brain injuries in kids and see what it could mean for your child’s personal injury case.

Study “Predicts” Long-Term TBI Problems

In a preliminary study from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, researchers analyzed the brain scans of 21 children who had suffered a brain injury and compared them against one another shortly after injury and again a year later. The scans were then again compared, this time against a control group, which included the brain scans of 20 healthy children.

During their analysis, researchers noticed that some of the children had a slight delay in the transfer of information from one hemisphere of the brain to the other. Researchers also found that these children had widespread regions of white matter disorganization and progressive loss of white matter volume. The result of that was both heartbreaking and astounding.

Examining the Reason for Long-Term Complications

While one group of children experienced a delay in the transfer of information, there was yet another group that did not experience a delay, despite also experiencing a brain injury. Researchers do not know why this group recovered better than the other group, but they suspect that it could have something to do with an alteration to the brain’s structure. The current hypothesis is that the changes are caused by inflammation, but further studies will need to be done before any sort of definitive reason can be given.

Obtaining the Support Your Child Needs After a Head Injury

Although the new study shows promise for predicting which children may need more support and treatment after a brain injury, there is little evidence or information out there for parents who need to determine where their child stands today. Sadly, this can be a massive disadvantage for those that have the right to pursue compensation since there is no reliable way to predict how long the child may be disadvantaged after an injury.

Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help. Dedicated and experienced, we strive to protect your child’s best interests and well-being. No matter what the circumstances, we aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible in each case. See what you may be owed and obtain the seasoned representation you deserve. Call 815-666-1285 and schedule a personalized consultation with our Joliet child injury lawyers today.


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