Florida Car Accident Lawyer Blog
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Pedestrian accidents in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas have been a concern for some time. The city’s Las Olas Boulevard has especially been the site of a number of traffic accidents. A new initiative in the area is supposed to crack down on the number of pedestrians injuries – but does it send the wrong message about roadway safety?

The latest program asks pedestrians at the intersection of Las Olas Boulevard and Southeast 13th avenue to make eye contact with the driver when crossing the street and to wave one of the neon-orange flags provided at the intersection. The program is part of a test to see whether the flags will improve safety.

So far, only the one intersection in Fort Lauderdale has the flags and instructions on how to use them, but the flag system has been tried in other parts of the country. In two U.S. cities, communities eventually got rid of the flags after deciding that they were not helping prevent collisions.

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Tire problems cause truck and car crashes in Coral Springs and other communities, often leaving behind evidence in the form of torn pieces of rubber and other debris. For both passenger cars and big rigs, tires are an essential system. While many tire problems – such as blowouts – seem to happen out of the blue, safety experts agree that in many cases these accidents can be prevented.

Trucks place extra pressure on their tires due to their weight and as a result there are many rules in place to prevent tire-related crashes. Tractor trailers and big rigs are expected to take extra steps to keep their tires safe. Before sending trucks out onto the road, trucking companies and truck drivers are obligated to comply with a number of federal and local regulations, including:

  • Making sure that tires have a safe amount of tread on them
  • Driver inspection of tires before driving the truck
  • Recording visual inspections of the tires in the log book
  • Using the correct tires for the type of vehicle and the weight load
  • Properly installing, rotating, and adjusting the tires for maximum safety
  • Replacing tires that have low tread
  • Keeping tires correctly inflated

While passenger car drivers are not subject to the same rules, they are also expected to maintain their vehicles. If a passenger car motorist is found to be negligent in some manner, they can be held liable if their recklessness leads to an accident or an injury. In addition, the manufacturers of both truck and car tires are expected to produce a safe product. If they are reckless and their product is unsafe, manufacturers may be pursued in a products liability claim in Coral Springs or another community.

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In April, the Consumer Watchdog launched an investigation into melting dashboards in some Toyota, Mazda, Dodge, Chrysler, Nissan, and other cars. Since that time, driver complaints about the apparent problem have quadrupled. According to customers, some cars have dashboards that overheat and melt. When they do, the dashboards develop a shiny and sticky surface that reflects on the windshield and affects visibility. Some motorists say that they cannot see pedestrians and other cars when this happens.

Accidents Related to the Dashboards

There have already been four car accidents reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) related to the melting windshields. One customer had a car accident in Pembroke Pines and claimed that the glare from the melting windshield led them to crash into an embankment. A motorist in Orlando also claimed that the glare also led to a collision. Two drivers in Miami also reported collisions related to the possible defect. So far, no fatalities and no burn injuries in Pembroke Pines or other communities have been linked to the dashboard issue.

In addition to the four accident-related complaints, there have been 514 dashboard-related complaints to the NHTSA since 1999. Many of these have been centered in warmer climate states, such as Florida, Texas, and California. Florida has the largest number of dashboard-related complaints overall (190 between 2004 and 2014 alone). Many of the complaints seem heat-related, with customers reporting that their dashboards are sticky or hard to clean. Some customers claim that the dashboards levae behind a residue on their hands on hot days.

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There are many research studies showing that drunk driving is dangerous and leads to car crashes. There are also studies showing that some drugs are dangerous and can cause collisions. The research about marijuana, however, seems to be less clear. Now that Florida residents are considering Amendment 2 and other states are considering legalizing medical marijuana or decriminalizing marijuana, the debate has gained new ground.

Opponents of Amendment 2 have stated that legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana would lead to drugged driving. According to one coalition, Don’t Let Florida Go To Pot, one fourth of all fatal motor vehicle collisions can be linked to marijuana. The statistic comes from a 2011 White House Office of National Drug Control Policy report based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The data is based on fatal accidents between 2005 and 2009. According to that research, there were approximately 127,000 fatal car accidents across 50 states between those years and about 78,000 motorists were tested for drugs in these collisions. The research at the time showed that drivers who tested positive for marijuana use increased between 2005 and 2009, rising from 22.6% to 26% before declining to 25.3% in 2009.

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There many things that could influence your risk of being in a car accident in Homestead or your community. For example, newer drivers, older drivers, and drivers with serious medical conditions may have an increased chance of being in a car accident. Your ability to drive and your ability to focus on driving can have a big impact on how safe you are behind the wheel. Of course, your sobriety also has an impact. But could your job also play a role?

According to a new research report by Moneysupermarket.com, the answer may be yes. The website analyzed more than 2 million insurance claims and found that healthcare-related professions have a higher rate of car accidents than other workers. In fact, according to the analysis, general practitioners and surgeons had the highest rates of car accidents among all professions. Of the top 10 professions for insurance claims, nine were health-related. Probation officers were the only exception, coming in at number seven when it came to the number of car crash claims by occupation. In contrast, office workers have the lowest rates of car crash claims. Fair employees and car wash attendants also had low rates of car accident claims.

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Pedestrian accidents are an umbrella term for any collision in which a pedestrian is struck by a larger vehicle – such as a truck or car. In reality, however, there are many types of pedestrian accidents, each with their own unique risks and legal issues:

1) Hit-and-run accidents.

Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents in Hollywood and other Florida communities are all too common. Often, they are caused by panicking drivers who are on the road illegally or who do not have insurance. For pedestrians, these types of accidents can be deadly. A pedestrian may not get medical help in time if the driver leaves the scene of an accident. Without a driver, the pedestrian may also have a hard time securing compensation and insurance money for their injuries.

2) Intersection accidents.

Intersections in Hollywood and other cities are dangerous because pedestrians must share the road with many other types of vehicles, and many of those vehicles are turning or driving in different directions. All it takes is for one driver to be distracted or to miss a pedestrian in their blind spot, and an accident can occur. Intersection collisions also often involve speed, so that that brain injuries, amputation, fatalities, and other devastating losses are quite common in these types of high-speed crashes

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Now that kids are heading back to school, it’s time to think up strategies for keeping them safe from pedestrian accidents in Homestead or your community. While walking to school is a great way to encourage exercise and time outside, kids who want to walk to school oftem have to contend with morning and evening traffic. To prevent them from being injured, you will want to:

1) Encourage your child to walk home (and to school) with a friend.

If your child is too old to be walked to school by a parent, encourage them to walk to school with older kids or with friends. Children are easier to spot when they are in a group, so motorists may be more aware of groups of children rather than a lone child walking along. An older friend can also help teach a younger child about pedestrian safety.

2) Walk and plan the route together.

If your child is old enough to walk to school alone or with friends, walk the route with them in the morning and afternoon so that they can see how to get to school safely. Along the way, you may want to review basic pedestrian safety rules. A few “trial runs” also lets you see how well your child handles walking through intersections. If your child is not careful when with you, you may want to find another option for getting them to school safely.

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The last few weeks of summer often mean extra social events. There’s the final weekend of the summer, going-away parties for high school grads, closing-up-the-cottage barbecues; as the weather cools, people will take just about any excuse to host a get-together. All of the extra events can mean more opportunities for alcohol to be served, though, and that can mean more drunk driving collisions in Coral Gables and Florida. To avoid being involved in a drunk driving accident during these last few weeks before autumn, you will want to:

1) Make an agreement with a friend.

Positive social pressure can be a good way to prevent drinking and driving. Have friends looking out for you at a party or hand your car keys to the host to ensure that you have someone else helping you make a safe decision. The reality is that after drinking most people find not only their driving ability but also their decision-making ability impaired. Driving home after you have been drinking may not seem like a “big deal” to you if you are affected by alcohol, so having someone else looking out for your well-being can be invaluable.

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Labor Day weekend is coming up, and for many people that means end-of-year barbecues and parties. For police authorities in Hollywood and other Florida communities, however, it means extra vigilance. Unfortunately, DUI accidents in Hollywood and across Florida are quite common during the Labor Day weekend, and these preventable accidents claim far too many lives. To protect yourself and your loved ones this holiday, you will want to stake steps to prevent drunk driving. To do that, you will want to:

1) Have a plan, even if you don’t intend to drink.

Sometimes, people make bad decisions about drinking and driving because they don’t plan to drink. Even if you have every intention of not drinking, though, you may end up accepting a beer or may realize too late that the punch you have been drinking was actually a sangria with plenty of wine in it. Having a plan in place to get home safely if you have been drinking is important, no matter what your plans are.

2) Have at least two back-up plans.

Now is the time to decide how you will get home safely from any Labor Day activities, but it’s not enough to have just one plan. Plans change. Your designated driver may end up drinking after all, or you may not be able to find a taxi when you need one. Make sure that you have a few options to avoid drinking and driving, so that you are never tempted to get behind the wheel.

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If you have a new driver in your home this year, your teen may well want to drive to school when classes start next month. It can be intimidating to consider your child taking on the morning commute, but there are a few ways to keep your teen safe:

1) Make sure that your teen’s driving skills are up to the task.

If your child has gotten their driving license recently, they may not have developed the skills and experience needed to face driving to school each day. In that case, consider getting your teen some extra classes with a driving instructor or practice driving together. In-class practice is a good way to build skills and confidence, although you may also improve your child’s skills by signing them up for defensive driving classes or even racing school. Both will further hone driving ability and will make sure your teen works with a qualified instructor.

2) Take a look at your child’s car.

Is the car your teen will be driving to schools safe? All too often, teens buy their first used car with their savings, and in some cases these older cars may have maintenance issues or trouble with major systems (such as brakes or tires). A car that is in good repair may help your child avoid a motor vehicle collision in Homestead or your community, so take your child’s car to the mechanic for a full tune up.

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