empty red child safety seat in car

If you knew something was taking the lives of young people, you would do something to stop it. No one wants to see our children or teens taken from their families and friends. Yet, this is happening on our local roads on an almost monthly basis. The Tampa Bay area has been rife with traffic-related deaths in the last year. Sadly, many of those deaths have been of victims under the age of 18.

Since June 2023, 11 minors died as a result of vehicle collisions, either as pedestrians or as passengers (or drivers) of one of the vehicles in question. Gage Rogerson, Brandon Arcadipane, Andres Martinez, and Jaxon Crabtree are just a few of the innocent victims of these preventable accidents.

Why are so many young people dying on our local roads?

Circumstances vary among car accidents. However, there are some key factors contributing to the deaths seen in Polk County since last summer. We must identify why these accidents are happening so we can stop them and save lives.

More Distractions

It’s no secret that drivers are more distracted than they used to be. This is especially true when discussing young drivers. The development of the smartphone, wifi built into vehicles, navigation panels in the dashboard, and on-demand music at our fingertips are just a few distractions faced by teens behind the wheel. More distractions automatically increase the likelihood of an accident.

Drug and Alcohol Usage

Substance abuse is at an all-time high among all ages. In Florida, the number of overdoses, drug arrests, and substance-related fatalities continue to rise steadily. Naturally, more substance abuse means more DUIs on our local roads. Unfortunately, this increases the chances of pedestrians and other vehicles being hit by intoxicated drivers.

Speeding and Weather

Speeding is a common problem among all drivers, regardless of age. The dangers of speeding are heightened when road conditions are poor due to bad weather. Heavy rain is common in Tampa Bay, and wet roads are a recipe for disaster at high speeds.

Lack of Education and Awareness

While our local schools do provide courses on road safety and responsible driving, we need to do more in our communities. Education about safe driving starts at home before your child is old enough to get behind the wheel. Are you modeling responsible driving? Is road safety a routine topic in your household?

It’s time for change.

To create change, we have to tackle the problems mentioned above. Talk to your kids and teens about:

African American father holding keys and preparing to teach his teen son how to drive.

Change starts with us! Partner with us in educating young people about road safety.

  • rules of the road and staying safe when on foot or their bicycle
  • buckling up when in the car (and keeping little ones in age-appropriate safety seats)
  • following the posted speed limit
  • adjusting their driving to fit the weather conditions – slow down, use caution, pull over if necessary
  • refraining from drug or alcohol use
  • never get into a car with someone who has been using drugs or alcohol (even if the driver is an adult, family member, or close friend)
  • put down the phone, turn down the music, and limit distractions

Conversations are the first step in educating our young people about staying safe on the road. By partnering with classroom educators we can create change that will impact young people throughout our communities and keep them safe on the streets.

Brooks Law Group is passionate about protecting our young people. Our own team members have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, sisters, and brothers who are on Polk and Hillsborough County roads each day. We care deeply about changing the startling statistics about the deaths of children and teens due to vehicle accidents in our area.

That’s why our lawyers are committed to providing top-quality legal services to families of victims like these young ones. We walk beside their loved ones, fighting for the justice and compensation they deserve. We never charge these families up front, operating on a contingency fee basis. What does that mean for you? It means you don’t pay unless we win. Even your first consultation with our team is free. YOU are our top priority.

If you or someone you love has been impacted by a car accident in or around Tampa Bay, call us to discuss your case. Victims who want the best always Look to Brooks.

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.