Florida Car Accident Lawyer Blog
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Florida cities have been ranked among the worst in the nation for pedestrians and bicyclists, and three years ago the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) responded with studies into road safety as well as potential design changes to make streets safer for all users. One of the changes Florida DOT is considering making is narrowing lanes. According to some experts, narrower lanes encourage drivers to slow down, which makes streets safer for pedestrians and bikers. In Miami Beach, Alton Road is one of the roads that is being redesigned with narrower lanes.

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Traffic accidents in Miami Beach and other cities can occur due to busy downtown cores and due to suburban street design, which is often created for cars rather than pedestrians. One problem is that downtown urban streets are often designed with the same features as highways, which just encourage drivers to go faster. Part of the reason is because much of Florida was developed during the boom in the first few decades of the 20th century. At the time, there was less of a focus on walking and bicycling and more of a focus on making streets accessible to cars. Some communities were built largely for car traffic, with less thought to other forms of traffic.

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If you are a teen with a new driver’s license, you may be eager to get on the road. But did you know that teen drivers have higher rates of car accidents in Miami and other cities when compared with adult drivers? The problem is that even if you have done all the work and gotten your license, you are still learning all the ins and outs of operating a motor vehicle. If you live in a city like Miami, you also have to contend with high volumes of traffic and other drivers.

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You can help avoid a car accident by following these tips designed especially for teen drivers:

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Wrong way accidents in Homestead, Tampa, and other Florida cities are a major cause of concern. In the past year, for example, in the Tampa area eleven people were killed in wrong way collisions on just a few sections of the same highway. According to local authorities, wrong way accidents are a common problem in the area as well as in other communities.

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According to experts, there are several issues that could contribute to wrong way accidents:

1) Poor road design. Road design that allows cars easily cross barriers or drive the wrong way on streets can contribute to wrong way accidents. In addition, unclear road markings can also mean that drivers end up driving on the wrong side of the road.

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Most car accidents involve injuries caused by impact. In an intersection collision in Miami or Florida, for example, the impact can push passengers forward into the dashboard or can cause passengers to be flung about the inside of the car, potentially causing head injuries, spinal cord trauma, and other serious injuries. In a car accident where the car is thrown into the water, however, passengers are at risk of drowning as well as all the other causes of injuries that can happen with a traffic accident.

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Florida Has More Water-Related Traffic Fatalities

Unfortunately, Florida leads the nation when it comes to drownings caused by car collisions. Between 2008 and 2012, 49 people in the state have died due to car crash drownings. In comparison, Texas had 18 deaths in the same time period. That state was second in the nation when it comes to car crash drownings.

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Authorities across the country report higher rates of accidents during November and December. There are a few reasons for the problem:

1) Daylight savings time.

According to some studies, the time changes that happen with Daylight Saving Time (DST) can mean an increased risk of traffic accidents in Hollywood and other communities as we adjust to new sleep cycles.

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Thanksgiving is coming up at the end of the month and many families are making holiday plans now. If you will be making plans to travel to see your family for the holidays, now is the time to plan for safety. If you are taking a road trip as part of Thanksgiving this year, you will want to enjoy a safe family get-together by:

1) Getting your car tuned up. Make an appointment to get your car tuned up now. If there are any problems with brakes, tires, or other systems you will want to have plenty of time to fix these issues before you have to drive. Taking a longer road trip puts added stress on your car and you want to make sure that your car is up to the task.

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As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, Miami and the rest of South Florida offer a range of services for visitors. One of those services involves renting vehicles so that tourists can explore the region. Unfortunately, while handy, these vehicles do not come without hazards:

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  • Car rentals. Renting a car can help you explore more of Miami and South Florida, but unfortunately it can also be a recipe for a collision. Miami traffic can be quite heavy and visitors may be distracted by holiday plans and unfamiliar with the city, making crashes more likely. If you need to rent a car in Miami, consider getting familiar with the routes you need to take before getting in the car. Check out the car to make sure it is in good condition before getting in to drive.

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According to 2014 research from Dennis Durbin of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention, graduated licensing programs do not remove many of the risks new drivers face when they behind the wheel. According to Durbin, 54% of teen drivers who have had at least six months of practice driving still make serious mistakes when given a driving assessment. Some of these mistakes include running stop signs and hitting curbs. The study backs the findings of a 2011 study conducted by Robert Foss. That study found that teen drivers have higher accident rates in the first several months after getting their license.

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A new study, conducted by Arthur Goodwin, of the Highway Safety Research Center, found that there are several things that parents can do to improve their teen’s chances of avoiding car collisions in Hollywood and other communities:

1) Go beyond vehicle handling. According to Goodwin and his team of researchers, when parents teach their children how to drive, they tend to focus on basic vehicle handling. Once teens have mastered this skill, however, it is a good idea to teach defensive driving as well as the decision-making processes that go into successful driving.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teen drivers are over-represented in serious car crashes, especially fatal collisions. To help combat teen car accidents, the NHTSA has introduced their 5 to Drive, which are five rules to help teens stay safer on the roads:

1) Enforce a “no cellphones” rule.

New drivers need to focus fully on driving, especially since they are still developing their driving skills. Using mobile devices in any way – whether to talk to text – can be a big distraction that can lead to car collisions in Homestead and other communities. Studies have even shown that hands-free devices can cause distraction, so the best solution is to have a “no mobile device” rule in the car. There are apps and car technologies that automatically incapacitate cell phones while a car is moving, which can take away any temptation to check messages. According to the NHTSA, driver distraction contributes to about 10 percent of fatal teen driver collisions, so enforcing this rule is vital to keep your child safe.

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Whether you drive in Hollywood, Miami, or another South Florida city, you face certain hazards that motorists in other parts of the country simply don’t have to contend with. Recognizing and dealing with these specific dangers can help you avoid collisions in your community:

1) Tourists.

Due to Florida’s mild winters, many tourists start arriving in the state at this time of year. Unfortunately, tourists may be distracted by the many sights of South Florida and may be intent on finding their way through unfamiliar streets, which could make the situation even worse. When driving in areas that attract a lot of tourists, be sure to keep a look out for pedestrians and move with the flow of traffic. Be prepared to make sudden stops.

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