Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving the Stockton and Petaluma California Regions
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Keeping Kids Safe from Petaluma Car Crash Injuries

As a friendly and close knit community, personal injury attorneys at Sette law share a desire to foster safety in Petaluma. Car accident injuries are among the most common cases our Petaluma injury lawyers encounter in our legal practice. We know the pain and expense a car crash injury can cause, but when children are the victims, our car accident attorneys are particularly concerned. Like parents throughout Petaluma, personal injury lawyers at Sette cannot bear to see a youngster in pain. So, as the school year commences, we will devote this Blog to information about how to keep our young people safer from Petaluma car accidents and injuries.

With frequent exposure to the details of car crash injuries, our attorneys have concluded that many are preventable and would not have occurred if motorists had been adhering to traffic laws in Petaluma. Personal injury lawyers know that just one lapse of a safety regulation can change a life forever with tragic car accident injuries. Our lawyers know that a neglectful driver can never ‘take back’ a moment of carelessness, and regret may last a lifetime. Here are some very basic (but important) traffic regulations to help keep children safer from Petaluma car accident injuries.

Our attorneys start with our youngest – babies and toddlers. To protect these tiny passengers from car crash injuries the State of California requires drivers transporting children under the age of eight to ride in an approved car seat or booster seat secured in the back seat. Petaluma injury lawyers say that nationwide data shows that car seats do, in fact, prevent car crash injuries. As local personal injury attorneys we are pleased to observe this rule seems to be followed by drivers transporting children in Petaluma.

Car Accident lawyers add that the state does allow for some exceptions to this rule, such as a medical condition prohibiting a child from riding in the back seat, of if the restraints in back seats do not work. Parents are advised to check DMV regulations regarding exceptions for children in Petaluma. But personal injury attorneys urge drivers to follow the letter of the law to keep their youngest passengers safe from serious car accident injuries. Lawyers recall that drivers may occasionally think a short trip to, say, the grocery store, might not pose a risk of a serious car accident. But attorneys are well aware that most accidents do happen within a few miles of a driver’s home.

Yet another threat to young passenger safety is the nation’s newest scourge – distracted driving through use of electronic devices. Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys regularly observe drivers checking cell phones and texting while driving, though these practices are clearly forbidden by law. Talking on a cell phone is, of course, permitted if the driver has hands free technology. However, experienced car crash lawyers know that many studies have shown that any use of a cell phone while driving raises the risk of a car accident. Lawyers say the texting rule is very specific and includes prohibition of reading texts, writing them and sending test messages. Our Petaluma personal injury lawyers add that sending emails and instant messages is also against the law. Furthermore, teen drivers are specifically prohibited from use of any electronic devices, including hands-free calling.


To end this dangerous distracted driving in Petaluma, our injury and car accident attorneys say the job must be done as a matter of community conscience. Fines for distracted driving are not very high, so personal injury attorneys say that financial loss may not be a big motivator.

Another risk to young people is young drivers themselves. According to national statistics, teen drivers pose the most risks in Petaluma. Car accident lawyers say the high incidence of car crash injury caused by teenage drivers is no mystery. The human brain (including the capacity for judgment) develops well in the 20s and our injury lawyers point out that most teens are not yet equipped to make driving decisions. Fortunately, relatively new state regulations help prepare teens to drive more safely in Petaluma. Personal injury attorneys report that a program called Graduated Diver Licensing in now in effect for teen drivers. This involves driver education and training, along with requirements that prevent teens from swiftly moving from permit to license in Petaluma. Car Accident lawyers remember when simply passing a few tests was almost sufficient to get a full-fledged license at the age of 16. Now, our personal injury attorneys say that law has paired up with science and accident data to make roads safer in California and in Petaluma.


Car crash injury attorneys say that cars can pose a danger to children even when they are not moving in traffic in Petaluma. Our injury lawyers recall the tragic deaths that have occurred when drivers left young children in a locked car in the summer’s sun. Current California state law prohibits drivers from locking children, age six or less, inside a car in hot weather or if a car’s engine is running. Petaluma accident attorneys wish that common sense would prevail and such laws were not necessary. But, as personal injury attorneys we have seen the harm done to children when adults fail to be responsible.

Yet another common sense protection cited by our Petaluma car accident attorneys is a prohibition against smoking in automobiles when a child is a passenger. Smoking, of course, may not present an imminent danger to passengers, but our personal injury lawyers are well aware of the potential health effects with repeated exposure to second-hand smoke.

Keeping young people safe on the streets and roadways is a goal that our personal injury attorneys feel is attainable. As adult drivers we have the ability to make sound judgments to protect the youngest and most vulnerable in beautiful Petaluma. Our car crash injury lawyers strongly urge the drivers in our community to follow the letter of the law when it comes to traffic. Our experience as car accident attorneys makes us keenly aware that just one lapse in attention can prove to be a deadly decision.



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