April 15, 2014

Drunk Driving Accidents in Hollywood and Other Cities May be a Greater Problem Than Suspected, New Studies Reveal

A new study led by Ralph Hingson of the U.S. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs and has found that drunk driving fatalities across the country may be underreported. Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and death certificates to check the blood alcohol levels of those who had been killed in traffic crashes between 1999 and 2009.

Researchers found a discrepancy. While data from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that 21 percent of those killed in collisions had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, only 3 percent of death certificates cited alcohol or drunk driving as a cause of death.

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Part of the reason may be that it can take several days to get blood-alcohol tests completed while death certificates are usually filed within five days of a fatality. Another reason for the discrepancy may be that states have different rules about checking for drunk driving. Only about half of states automatically require checking blood alcohol levels after a fatal crash.

The research is interesting since it raises a question: are we underestimating the number of drunk driving accidents in Hollywood and other cities? If it takes some time to get blood alcohol testing complete, how accurate are reports about the number of serious DUI car accidents in Hollywood and other cities? Would more strict testing of all motorists involved in traffic collisions yield a more accurate picture about the real number of DUI car and truck collisions in Hollywood and across the state?

The researchers of this most recent study have stated that the underreporting is significant, since it can impact the number of prevention and educational campaigns created to combat drunk driving. If legislators knew how many young people were dying in these types of accidents, for example, this could change policies and DUI awareness campaigns as well as public focus on the issue. With accurate numbers, researchers say, it would also be easier to track how much DUI accident rates change over time.

In recent years, the focus has really been on distracted driving in Hollywood and across the country. However, this latest study suggests that the fight against drunk driving is still ongoing, with far too many motorists still ignoring the fact that drunk driving kills.

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April 10, 2014

How Big a Threat are Car Crashes in Homestead and Across the State to Our Residents?

Car accidents in Homestead and across Florida are a leading cause of injury and death. They are also a leading cause of child injury in Homestead and other cities. Car crashes cause many catastrophic injuries, including:

•Paralysis
•Head injuries
•Amputations
•Internal injuries
•Whiplash
•Fatalities
•Burns
•Soft tissue injuries
•Fractures
•Spinal cord injuries
•Crushing injuries
•Disfigurement and facial injuries

These injuries cause devastation as well as financial distress. Safety experts agree that driving is one of the most dangerous things we do most days. In fact, even though fear of flying is far more common than fear of riding in a car, aviation accidents in Homestead and other cities are far less common than car accidents. Bus accidents, public transportation accidents, and taxi accidents are also less common than car crashes. In fact, statistics show that the odds of being fatally injured in a car accident are about 1 in 5,000 while the odds of dying in a plane accident are about one in 11 million.

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According to the National Safety Council, there are an average of about ten million traffic collisions across the country each year, ranging from minor fender benders to serious accidents. According to car insurers, average drivers file for collisions every 17.9 years and the average driver has about three or four car accidents that necessitate filing a claim over a lifetime. Most drivers, in other words, will be in a car accident at some point.

However, traffic collisions are not the only dangers present with cars. According to a study by MIT, each year about 53,000 Americans die in premature deaths related to car pollution, compared to about 34,000 fatalities caused by car crashes. The study concluded that one in five Americans were in danger from car pollution, especially those residents living near roadways.

In addition, there is anecdotal evidence that cars may cause deaths and injuries in other ways. For example, when car components overheat or fail to act as expected, they may cause burns and other injuries. In addition, some research has suggested that some components in new cars – even in car interiors -- may actually be carcinogenic.

Car crashes caused by drunk driving, distracted driving, and other forms of negligent behavior cause far too many tragedies on our roads. In addition, cars themselves can be a danger and a hazard to drivers and other road users.

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April 8, 2014

A Safer Morning Commute: Reducing Your Risk of a Traffic Crash in Hollywood or Your Community

Your morning commute is filled with unseen dangers. The distracted driver next to you worrying about a morning meeting or your own fatigue combined with heavy traffic can all conspire to cause a serious traffic collision in Hollywood or your community. To stay safe on the roads as you head to work, try these tips for a safer drive:

1) Use public transport. Public transportation accidents in Hollywood and other Florida communities are far rarer than car collisions. Even switching to public transport part of the time can reduce your chances of an accident by giving you a break from a harrowing commute.

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2) Car pool. Just as with public transport, having someone else take care of the driving some of the time gives you a break and lets you rest. It is also better for the environment.

3) Take care of your health. If you’re dragging yourself to your car every morning because you’re tired, you’re putting yourself (and everyone else sharing the road with you) at risk. Fatigued driving in Hollywood and other cities is a leading cause of trucking and car crashes. If you feel unwell or tired, don’t drive to work. Take public transport or choose another option, and visit a doctor to make sure there isn’t a health concern that needs treatment.

4) Take care of your time with proper time management. Being overwhelmed and exhausted makes you an ineffective worker and a dangerous driver. Cross off some things from your to-do list and delegate others so that you can get everything done in a reasonable time frame and not end up so distracted that you cause a collision.

5) Drive defensively and focus only on driving. Put away anything that may distract you. Your morning commute is not the time to go over the notes for the big meeting or the time to review your to-do list for the day. Focusing on the road and on your driving is especially important during the morning and evening rush hours, due to the traffic.

6) Vary your route. It may be harder for your mind to wander if your morning commute varies slightly. You don’t want to get so comfortable on your morning drive that you don’t notice what’s going on around you.

7) Exercise before you drive. A few stretches or some low-impact exercise can wake you up and can make it easier for you to focus on driving.

8 ) Do your homework. Your morning commute can be a lot less stressful if you prepare ahead of time. The night before, pack up anything you need for work as well as anything your children need for school. Consider making breakfast ahead so that you can grab a quick but healthy morning meal without needing a lot of time. In the morning, check the weather forecasts and traffic reports quickly to make sure that there are no surprises on the roads.

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April 3, 2014

Your Morning Commute in Homestead or Your City: Are You at Risk of a Collision?

Your morning commute could put you at risk of a car collision in Homestead or your city. Each morning, T-bone accidents, broadside collisions, and rear-end crashes occur in Homestead and across South Florida as people hurry to get into work. Studies show that besides weekends, mornings and evenings have higher instances of crashes, and some studies suggest that your morning commute could put you at risk of a crash.

There are many things that contribute to car accidents during the morning commute:

1) Traffic. When everyone in rushing to get to work for business hours, there is a usually more traffic. In turn, the risk of accidents increases, as does the risk of chain reaction crashes because there are more cars on the roads. When traffic increases, some motorists are also more likely to lose their tempers, which can lead to crashes.

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2) The morning school run. Parents dropping off children at schools increases traffic around area high schools and elementary schools and can increase the risk of a pedestrian accident or other traffic collision. Parents can reduce the risk of this type of accident by using school drop-off zones to reduce traffic and to keep children safe.

3) Distracted driving. Mornings can be hectic and many drivers may be thinking about the day ahead and all that needs to be done rather than about driving. Some drivers get to work after their morning routine that they don’t remember the drive in. Driving defensively and making an effort to focus on driving can help prevent distracted driving. Delegating tasks and practicing better time management can also be a big help. Some motorists find it useful to vary their morning commute so that they do not drive on “auto pilot” each morning.

4) Fatigued driving. Many drivers feel exhausted by the workweek or not fully awake by the time they hop in their cars. Fatigued driving is a major risk factor for early morning accidents. Getting a proper night of rest is the best way to prevent this hazard. If you frequently find yourself fatigued, it is important to get medical help, since sleep disorders or other conditions could be resulting in fatigue and a greater risk of car accidents. The most important way to prevent fatigued driving in Homestead and other communities, though, is to change attitudes. Drivers need to take fatigued driving as seriously as drunk driving, since researchers have shown that fatigue affects response times and judgment similarly to alcohol. If you are tired, take an alternative form of transportation to work and skip the morning commute. Do not get behind the wheel of the car if you are too tired or too distracted to focus properly.

There are other things that you can do to prevent a serious morning traffic accident in Homestead or your community. For example, you could try carpooling, which allows you to sit back some of the time and let someone else drive. You can also take public transportation to and from work at least part of the time, if it is possible. Not only is it more eco-friendly, but it is far less risky. There are far fewer train and bus accidents in Homestead than there are car collisions.

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April 1, 2014

Dealing with Disfigurement or Scarring After a Car Collision in Hollywood or Your Community

Being involved in a serious traffic crash in Hollywood or your community can be a devastating experience. You may suffer serious injuries, including whiplash, head injuries, spinal cord trauma, fractures, and other types of injuries. Some of these serious injuries can affect your ability to live your life fully and return to work.

One type of injury that few people discuss is disfigurement and scarring. While not life-threatening in and of itself, scarring and disfigurement can be an extremely difficult injury, and this type of injury may happen in conjunction with other traumatic injuries. For example, if you have suffered serious burn injuries as a result of a car or trucking collision in Hollywood or your community, you may need physical therapy and you may suffer mobility issues as well as severe pain. In addition to all of this, you may need to deal with the challenges of serious scarring.

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Scarring and disfigurement can be extremely traumatic. In some cases, patients who have suffered severe injuries feel so self-conscious about their appearance that it affects their self-confidence and their relationships. In some cases, patients with severe scarring can have difficulty leaving their home or may struggle with serious depression. Patients may find that strangers and even people that they know react negatively to their appearance, creating even more challenges.

These types of injuries can include:

•Lacerations
•Scarring
•Burns
•Facial injuries
•Dental injuries
•Eye injuries
•Disfigurement

Unfortunately, patients who have sustained these types of injuries often find that they have a hard time getting the support and assistance they need. Insurance money, for example, may not fully cover the expensive treatments needed to heal scarring. In some cases, car insurance and health coverage providers may argue that so-called cosmetic treatments are not covered by a plan. In addition, patients may be made to feel that scarring is somehow less serious than other types of trauma.

This is simply not the case. Scarring and disfigurement can be debilitating and if your injuries were caused through someone’s negligence you should not have to pay for someone’s recklessness. Scarring can be a tremendously debilitating issue and one that is emotionally very difficult. If you are facing this type of injury, you deserve support and assistance.

If you have suffered your injuries in a car or motorcycle accident in Hollywood or another Florida community, contact a personal injury attorney to find out what legal remedies may exist in your case. You may be able to pursue a legal claim so that you can recover money that can help you pay for the treatments you may need.

There are treatments available for scarring and other types of injuries, but these can be expensive. You may need to visit a cosmetic surgeon for skin grafts, fillers, or other treatments. If you have sustained many types of injuries, you may need extensive medical treatment and your scars may require multiple treatments as well as months of healing time. Seeking fair compensation can help you afford quality medical care, improving your chances of a better recovery.

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March 27, 2014

Wrong-Way Car Accidents in Hollywood and Florida

In early February of this year, wrong-way car accidents killed eleven people in two separate accidents in Florida and California. Unfortunately, deadly wrong-way traffic accidents are a serious risk in Hollywood and across the country.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), wrong way car accidents are one of the most serious crashes that can occur on our roads. In many cases, these accidents occur at high speeds on divided highways and due to the speed involved, serious accidents, fires, and fatalities are the common outcome.

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The NTSB reports that while wrong-way car and truck collisions on highways only account for about three percent of all highway accidents, they are far more likely than other crashes to be fatal. In fact, up to 22 percent of these accidents are fatal, compared to the 0.3 percent of all highway collisions that prove fatal. There are a few reasons why these accidents tend to be so deadly:

•On highways, about 80 percent of wrong-way crashes are head-on collisions, which have a very high rate of injury and fatality
•There is often speed involved, which can increase the force of impact
•On highways and exit ramps, wrong-way collisions often become multiple-vehicle crashes
•Due to the strength of impact in these cases, fires and severe damage to the car often occur, causing even more serious injuries

One concern for the NTSB and other agencies is that the number of fatal wrong-way collisions has remained relatively flat over the years – about 360 lives are claimed through these accidents each year. While campaigns have been successful in reducing the number of drunk driving accidents in Hollywood and other communities and while the number of fatal trucking accidents has dropped slightly in recent years, this type of collision is still a concern.

According to the NTSB and other agencies, there are three areas of focus that could help reduce this deadly type of car and truck collisions in Hollywood and other communities:

1) Reduce drunk driving accidents. The NTSB reports that in 59 percent of wrong-way accidents studied between 2004 and 2009, drivers had blood alcohol levels over two times the limit. In an additional ten percent of the accidents, drivers had blood alcohol limits above the legal limit of .08 but under .15. Since alcohol plays such a significant role in these accidents, the NTSB would like to see universal rules that would require first-time DUI offenders in all states to be required to use ignition interlock devices. These devices are installed on a car’s dashboard and will not allow a driver to start the car if they have been drinking.

2) Address elderly drivers. The NTSB found that elderly drivers over the age of 70 accounted for 15 percent of wrong-way collisions between 2004 and 2009. In contrast, drivers over the age of 70 represented only three percent of the drivers headed the right way in these collisions.

3) Consider highway design. Exit ramps are the most common site of wrong-way accidents, although some of these crashes also occur when drivers make illegal U-turns or use an emergency turn-around. Improved signage and markings as well as more barriers to prevent wrong-way driving could be helpful in preventing collisions.

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March 25, 2014

How Road Dangers Can Lead to Car Crashes in Homestead and Surrounding Areas

We expect the roads in Homestead and surrounding Florida communities to be safe for driving. After all, if we live in the area our taxes go towards the maintenance of the infrastructure of the area. Unfortunately, in some cases car accidents in Homestead and surrounding areas are caused not by driver negligence but by poor road conditions.

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Road hazards can include:

1) Pot holes and rough roads. Uneven road surfaces and pot holes can cause a larger vehicle to lurch forward. On a high-speed road, this sort of unevenness can be enough to cause a larger vehicle to lose control. Of course, for motorcyclists and bicycles unevenness can be especially deadly and can lead to bike accidents.

2) Expansion joints. These joints connect a bridge to a road or can connect two parts of a road together, allowing for contraction and expansion. Expansion joints, however, also mean an uneven surface and can become slippery in wet weather. It is not uncommon for expansion joints to cause motorcycle accidents in Homestead and surrounding areas. On bridges, joints can be quite wide, which can be especially dangerous for motorcycles.

3) Gravel and unpaved roads. Gravel roads and other unpaved roads can easily develop ruts if not maintained properly. They can also become muddy or virtually impassable in bad weather, sometimes spraying up and obscuring windshields, causing visibility issues.

4) Debris on the roads. Debris can include cargo that falls from trucks, strips of rubber from tire blowouts, debris from road accidents, objects left from road work, rocks, and branches. Municipalities are expected to be able to remove dangerous obstacles from roadways quickly. When they do not, serious accidents can result.

5) Slippery surfaces. Slippery surfaces on roads can include painted surfaces (such as crosswalks), mud, wet leaves, standing water, spilled oil, and other dangers. While cars will generally not recognize the dangers, these seemingly small hazards can and do cause motorcycle and bicycle accidents in Homestead and across the state each year.

6) Edge breaks. Some roadways have lanes that are different heights. These uneven surfaces can be especially deadly for motorcyclists and bicycles.

7) Animals. Florida is filled with wildlife and sometimes animals run out in front of cars, causing serious accidents. Some areas are known for having high concentrations of wildlife, however, and cities may be able to place fencing or other barriers to protect both animals and drivers.

Cities are expected to keep their roads safe. When they do not and the negligence leads to a traffic collision, survivors may have a legal claim to seek compensation for injuries and losses. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to prove that road conditions played a role in some accidents. In some cases, even injured drivers are not aware that their cars slid on a slippery surface or encountered another road hazard.

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March 20, 2014

Dealing with Chronic Pain After a Car Collision in Hollywood

Car accidents lead to many serious conditions, including spinal cord injuries, head injuries, amputations, and fractures. One of the difficult things after a car accident in Hollywood or your community will be dealing not only with the injury itself, but also with the pain and suffering it will cause.

Unfortunately, some people who are several injury in a car or truck crash in Hollywood or their community will suffer chronic pain. For doctors, chronic pain is defined as significant pain that is widespread over the body and lasts for three months or more. For back injury patients in Hollywood and patients who have suffered soft tissue injuries or other injuries, chronic pain can be debilitating and can last for many months or even years. For some, it becomes a life-long condition.

It is important to acknowledge and address chronic pain, since this condition can have a profound impact on your life. It can cause fear or even panic attacks, anxiety, sleep disorders, and many other issues. In fact, it can affect every area of your life, including your physical and mental well-being. At its worst, it can prevent you from returning to your daily activities and can leave you feeling isolated and afraid or depressed.

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According to doctors and the American Psychological Association, there are several things that you will want to do if you suffer from severe pain or chronic pain:

1) Speak with a doctor and get medical treatment. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend surgery, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, acetaminophen, or other solutions to help with the condition.

2) Take care of your mental health. Chronic pain can take a toll on your mental health and can lead to frustration, anger, and other issues. It can be useful to meet with a support group or even a psychologist if you are struggling or feeling overwhelmed.

3) Practice stress reduction. Being in constant, significant pain can be very stressful. Stress, in turn, can make you tense, which can increase some types of pain and can make managing pain more difficult. Some patients find that yoga or meditation help, while others look for other ways to handle stress. It can be helpful to try a few different techniques to find one that helps you.

4) Take care of yourself physically. Staying hydrated, rested, and eating good food can help you feel better. At the very least, taking care of yourself reduces your risk of illness, which can add even more pain. Some patients find that changing their diet under a doctor’s supervision or introducing certain types of exercise also helps reduce pain.

5) Look to alternative therapy and healing options. There are many types of therapy that have been shown to be effective for some patients suffering chronic pain. Some studies have shown positive results from biofeedback, hypnosis, visual imagery, relaxation training, acupuncture, and other options. Talk to your doctor or try a few options yourself. Just keep in mind that some of these solutions may not be covered by your health insurance. You may want to speak with a personal injury attorney in Hollywood or your community to find out whether you qualify for compensation that could help defray some of the costs.

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March 18, 2014

Insurance Laws Can Hurt You After a Car Accident in Homestead

Insurance is meant to protect you financially if you are ever in a car crash in Homestead or another community. You pay insurance premiums to an insurance carrier so that in the event of a car accident you can get compensation for catastrophic medical costs, car repair expenses, lost wages, and other expenses. Insurance coverage is the law in Florida and you must be covered if you are a driver.

You may expect that in the event of a car or truck collision in Homestead or your community insurance laws will protect you, but this is not necessarily the case. There are a number of laws that can actually make it harder for you to get compensation for your injuries.

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For example, in January of last year a number of changes were made to car insurance "personal injury protection" (PIP) coverage in Florida. The changes require survivors of car accidents to file PIP claims within 14 days of the accident in order to get compensation. The new rules also require treatment for the injuries to be permitted by a chiropractor, dentist, doctor, paramedic or other accepted provider. Injuries not treated within 14 days by an acceptable health care provider could be denied.

As many patients and personal injury attorneys in Homestead and other Florida cities noted, the new PIP rules were problematic for three main reasons:

•Many injuries are not treated within 14 days because it can take longer than that for a proper diagnosis to be made. In the case of soft tissue injuries and other serious injuries, symptoms take some time to develop.

•Some injuries require treatment by a practitioner not on the “approved” list. Some survivors of a serious traffic crash, for example, may need the services of a therapist. Someone who has suffered a burn injury may need to get skin grafts and may need the services of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. The new PIP rules also do not allow massage therapy or acupuncture to be covered, even though studies have shown that both these options can help injured car survivors deal with chronic pain.

•Someone who is severely injured in a car or truck accident may not be well enough within in 14 days to submit a claim.

Despite these concerns, the PIP changes were made, largely because insurance fraud in the state was costing Florida an estimated $1 billion per year. The new laws are intended to limit fraud. Unfortunately, they also can limit law-abiding drivers’ rights to fair compensation. While the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation forecasts that the new laws will slash car insurance premiums by 13.2 percent due to a smaller number of fraudulent cases, so far premiums have not dropped this much. The Office of Insurance Regulation notes that the number of fraudulent and suspicious cases in the state has already dropped in the year that the law has been in force.

If you have been injured in a car accident in South Florida, make sure that you are protected. Speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the collision to make sure that you have the best chances for compensation. If negligence played a role in the accident, you may find that filing a legal claim rather than seeking an insurance claim can secure fairer compensation. Alternatively, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the insurance company for a fairer amount.

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March 13, 2014

AAA Has Important Message for Florida About Child Safety Seats

Representatives of the AAA have stated that Florida has the weakest child passenger safety legislation of all states. Obviously, this is not a distinction that our state wants, and the AAA has urged Florida to pass new rules that would require children to stay in proper safety restraint systems.

Current Florida laws require that parents and guardians keep children up to three years old in car seats. The problem is that children who are four years of age or older are not required by law to be placed age-appropriate safety restraints. The law simply requires them to wear a safety belt.

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According to the AAA and other safety experts, there are a number of problems with the law. The key problem, of course, is that if a child is in the car when a vehicle is in a serious car accident in Hollywood or another community, their chance of injury or death is much higher if they are not in proper safety restraints. While parents still have the option of keeping their children in age-appropriate safety systems past age three, many safety experts state that passing a law mandating the use of these systems would go a long way towards ensuring that children are safe in cars.

A third issue, according to the AAA and other experts is that the law states that children should wear safety belts after age four. This can be very dangerous for children, since seat belts are designed for adults and not children. Children who are restrained by a seat belt in a traffic collision in Hollywood or another community may suffer from lacerations, head injuries, and other injuries. A seat belt may also fail to properly restrain in them in the event of a broadside collision, head-on impact, or other type of crash, potentially leading to life-threatening injuries.

The AAA would like to see the state pass legislation that would mandate children be kept in appropriate safety seats up to age seven. Already, Senator Anitere Flores and Representatives Keith Perry have suggested legislation that would toughen up Florida’s laws. Experts and legislators have noted that the new law would help improve traffic safety, an especially important concern since traffic accidents are the leading cause of child injury in Hollywood and Florida – not to mention the leading cause of death among children.

In the meantime, parents can and should take a moment to ensure that their children are protected in the car with the appropriate safety restraints. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the AAA, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should use a five point harness car seat until they grow out of it by weight or height. These seats provide the highest level of protection in a crash. Children who no longer use car seat should use a booster seat until they grow to at least 4’9”, which usually occurs at about ages 8 through 12. A booster seat elevates a child so that the seat belt fits them correctly and protects them in the event of a collision.

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March 11, 2014

Motorcycle Safety in Hollywood and Florida

Two active-duty service members were killed in motorcycle accidents in Florida last month, and this has shone a spotlight on motorcycle safety in the state. Representatives of the Department of Defense have stated that they have developed a number of safety requirements after seeing a number of motorcycle accidents among members of the military.

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Currently, there are about 1,500 service members in the Florida Panhandle who are registered motorcyclists. Military officials say that many members of the military are interested in motorcycles and choose to buy the vehicles. To help prevent motorcycle accidents and car accidents in Hollywood and Florida, the military requires that members of the military:

•Register their motorcycles with military safety officials
•Wear protective and reflective gear
•Attend required safety training courses for motorcyclists
•Wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle

In addition to these efforts, some military bases are holding safety rallies or mentor rides, which allow more experienced riders to pass on safety tips to new motorcycle owners.

According to the military, these efforts appear to be paying off. Ten years ago, about 30 to 50 service members were dying in motorcycle accidents annually. Now, the number is about ten. While ten fatalities a year is still too many, it does appear that the military has been successful in helping members of the military ride more safely.

The safety awareness and efforts should be of interest to anyone interested in preventing traffic collisions in Hollywood and across Florida. One of the most interesting things about the military’s efforts is that the military is creating rules which exceed the safety rules required of motorcyclists in the general Florida population. For example, the average non-military motorcyclist in Florida can avoid wearing a helmet simply by carrying at least $10 000 or more in insurance, but the military requires its members to wear a helmet. Given that so many brain injury patients in Hollywood and other communities sustain their injuries in motorcycle accidents and traffic accidents, that just makes sense.

What can we learn from the military? There are a few things that the average motorcyclist can take away from their efforts in order to reduce their risk of a motorcycle crash in Hollywood or their community:

•Additional training is better. Riding a motorcycle is nothing like driving a car, and getting additional training can help new motorcyclists learn the important safety information they need to stay safe on the road.

•Wear more safety gear than required by law. Even though you may not need a helmet because of your insurance, wearing a helmet each time you ride – as well as reflectors and other safety gear – is an important step in staying safe.

•Learn from other motorcyclists. The mentor rides and motorcyclist rallies the military set up are especially interesting. Learning about other motorcyclists’ experiences and advice is useful, because motorcyclists may be more inclined to learn from their peers. Talk to other motorcyclists and you may find out how important safety really is.

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March 6, 2014

4 Tech Improvements Homestead Drivers May Want to Know About

For drivers in Homestead, truck accidents and car accidents are a concern. They are also a concern for car manufacturers, who have been developing new technologies that not only make driving more exciting but also in some cases may be able to help prevent traffic crashes. According to industry experts, there are four tech areas that drivers will want to keep an eye on:

1) The connected car. OnStar has been available since 1996, allowing drivers to communicate with others in the event of an accident, mechanical issue, or other problem. Not only are more companies getting into the market, but OnStar and other companies are working to make improvements all the time, looking into services such as self-texting cars.

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2) The car technology that lets your car communicate with the world around it. Many car manufacturers are experimenting with technology that includes sensors and GPS systems that allow the car to analyze the roadway around it. This technology could allow a car to take action if another car drove too close, for example, and maneuvers were needed to prevent a collision. It could also allow the car to adjust automatically to challenging weather conditions and other dangers.

3) The self-driving car.
On this blog, we’ve written about driverless cars before. It’s difficult not to get excited about the technology which could eventually help prevent traffic collisions in Homestead and other communities by taking driver error out of the equation. Most car experts agree that this is where cars (and airplanes and trucks) are headed in the future. In the meantime, though, many car manufacturers are releasing cars that have some of this technology. Some cars released now have technology that lets the cars park themselves or perform other basic functions automatically. In the next few years, semi-autonomous cars will become more popular. These cars can virtually drive themselves, but still require some input from the driver.

4) Infotainment. Cars are being connected to the Internet and are expected to provide more information as well as entertainment. Drivers today can check emails, surf the internet, browse their online photo album, and even have a scrolling list of photos from their phone displayed on the dash. Customers demand connectivity and infotainment, so it is likely that car manufacturers will continue to enhance these options in future models, but safety experts say that this technology comes at a price. Driver distraction in Homestead and other communities has been linked to collisions and more infotainment in the car can mean less focus on the road.

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