The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has designated May as Motorcycle Awareness Month and urges all drivers to watch for motorcycles and to share the road with motorcycle riders. According to the NHTSA, motorcycle accident fatalities have increased every year for the last 14 years except for 2009 when there was a decline of 16%. Motorcyclists are about 30 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than occupants of cars and five times more likely to be injured.
Statistics show that Florida ranks third in the nation for hit and run accidents. The National Highway Safety Administration has reported a 15% increase in hit and run accidents since 1998. Florida drivers should seriously consider purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage in the event that they are involved in a motor vehicle accident with someone who is uninsured or underinsured.
Florida lawmakers passed a ban on the dangerous practice of texting while driving last week and the bill will go to Governor Rick Scott's desk for his signature. If the bill is signed into law, Florida will become the 40th state to pass a texting while driving ban for all drivers. Texting while driving will become a secondary offense, meaning that police have to first stop drivers for another traffic violation. For the first violation, there will be a fine of $30.00. If the driver commits another texting violation within five years, there is a fine of $60.00 and three points are added to the license
A slip and fall accident can happen just about anywhere. A slip and fall accident can occur in a supermarket, restaurant, at work or outside on a slippery surface. Often, slip and fall accidents are minor, but there are instances where a serious bodily injury can occur, especially if the injured victim is elderly. A slip and fall accident can result in the following injuries:
Traumatic Brain Injury
With summer approaching, many Floridians are riding their bicycles. Bicycling is a healthy and inexpensive way to travel but unfortunately, there are far too many bicycle accidents in Florida. Many of Florida's roads are built to contain high volumes of fast moving traffic. Florida law allows bicyclists to use crosswalks and sidewalks while riding a bicycle. When a bicyclist is using a sidewalk or crosswalk, they have the same rights and duties as a pedestrian. When bicycling on a roadway, the cyclist must follow all the laws that apply to cars, trucks or other motor vehicles.
Under Florida law, children under 16 years of age are required to wear helmets. These helmets must be approved by the American National Standards Institute or another nationally recognized organization. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, (IIHS), in 2009, 70% of all bicycle accident fatalities involved riders not wearing helmets. Helmet use has also been shown to reduce head injury risk by 85%.
More Tips for Florida Bicyclists:
Following are a few Florida bicycling tips from the Florida Bicycle Association:
Know and follow the rules:
First come, first served
Always ride in the same direction as traffic
Yield to traffic before entering a road
Obey all traffic control devices
Integrate in the intersections:
Turn left from left turn lanes
Never ride straight in a right turn lane
Be mindful of your surroundings:
Make sure you are visible to crossing and turning traffic
Never ride within 5 feet of a parked car
Never pass a large truck on the right
Conditions That can Lead to a Sarasota or Bradenton Bicycle Accident:
Very often, a bicyclist is injured due to an inattentive driver. Conditions that can lead to a Sarasota or Bradenton bicycle accident include:
A driver exiting a parking space pulls into traffic in front of a bicycle
A driver fails to yield at an intersection
A driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs
A driver runs through a red light
A driver fails to look both ways after stopping at a stop sign
Sarasota and Bradenton Bicycle Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in a Sarasota or Bradenton bicycle accident due to another person's negligence, please contact the bicycle accident attorneys at MORGAN ■ DRAMIS, P.A. at (941) 953-4555. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no cost to you unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Call us for a free initial consultation.
A serious motor vehicle accident can cause spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord compression is quite common. There are about 12,000 cases each year of spinal cord compression. There are also other causes of spinal cord injury or compression besides motor vehicle accidents. Spinal cord injuries can be caused from tumors, changes in the spinal column or infection. Signs of a spinal cord compression include:
Pain, numbness or tingling
Inability to move arms or legs
Loss of bladder or bowel control
On Thursday April 4, 2013, a semi truck carrying beer went off the Jeffrey D. Young Bridge in Manatee County and fell into the Manatee River. The driver lost control of the large truck during heavy rain causing the truck to jack knife, cross the center median and go over the retaining wall and into the river. Fortunately, the driver was able to get out of the truck and was standing on top of the truck in the water when emergency crews arrived. They had to reach the driver by boat.
The repeal of Florida's PIP (personal injury protection) or no fault law is gaining support in the Florida Senate. The Senate still needs to conduct research into whether switching back to mandatory bodily injury insurance will actually save consumers money. If passed, the new law would undo 41 years of PIP and would return to the old tort system that requires drivers to carry bodily injury coverage. Bodily injury coverage allows the injured accident victim to sue the at fault party for the costs of medical care that are related to the accident.
Rear-end collisions are a common occurrence in Sarasota and Bradenton Florida. Usually the driver of the vehicle that hits another vehicle from behind is considered to be at fault. There are some instances of comparative negligence when the car in front causes the accident. Factors that can lead to a Sarasota or Bradenton rear-end collision are:
Talking or texting on cell phones while driving
Tailgating (Not keeping a distance of three seconds from the vehicle in front of you)
Adjusting radio dial
Eating or drinking
Spring has arrived in Florida and many people will be traveling by bicycle. Bicycling is a healthy and inexpensive way to commute. Unfortunately, there are far too many bicycle accidents in Florida. An accident that may cause minor damage to a car or truck can cause extensive damage to a bicycle and serious injuries to the rider. Florida's roads can be very congested and contain many fast moving vehicles. Bicyclists need to use extreme caution and follow the same rules of the road as drivers. Drivers also need to be extra careful and always watch for bicyclists. A bicyclist involved in an accident with a motor vehicle can face serious even catastrophic injuries. Types of injuries from a Florida bicycle accident can include:
Traumatic brain injuries
Spinal Cord Injuries
Catastrophic injuries can be life threatening and life altering and they usually require rehabilitative treatment, long term extensive medical care, nursing care and personal assistance for a long time after the accident or incident that caused the injuries. A person who has suffered a catastrophic injury will probably face a loss of employability, loss of quality of life and may have to depend on others for many basic needs. A permanent disability will not only affect the injured victim, but the victim's family as well.
U.S. Traffic fatalities increased in 2012 reversing a five year downward trend. An estimated 25,580 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the first nine months of 2012 according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). The increase in traffic accidents has occurred on interstates, state roads and city streets across the United States. Traffic accident fatalities increased by about 7.1 % compared to 2011. The number of vehicle miles traveled also increased by about 14.2 billion miles during the first nine months of 2012, an increase of approximately 0.6%. The Automobile Association of America (AAA) has pointed to data suggesting that the increase in traffic fatalities may be due to warmer than average weather which in turn led to more vehicle miles traveled which led to the increase in accidents.
The National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing that hybrid and electric vehicles meet minimum sound standards to minimize pedestrian accidents in accordance with the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010. Because hybrid and electric cars are so quiet, their approach is difficult to detect for many pedestrians, especially the hearing impaired. This has led to an increase in pedestrian accidents. The proposal would allow manufacturers of hybrid and electric vehicles to design different sounds for different makes and models of vehicles when operating below 18 miles per hour. When operating at such low speeds, hybrid and electric vehicles can't be heard over other street noises. The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 provides: "performance requirements for an alert sound that allows blind and other pedestrians to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle operating below the cross-over speed."
A Florida House Economic Affairs Committee recently voted 10-8 for HB 4011 which would eliminate the use of red light cameras and the $158 fines on motorists who are caught running red lights. Last year, the state collected $51 million from the fines. Some of the money went to general revenue and some went to trauma and brain and spinal cord injury centers. There are arguments on both sides of this issue. Opponents of the cameras, who are sponsoring the repeal, insist that the cameras are big government invasions of privacy, while proponents of the cameras truly believe that they prevent red light running intersection accidents. Following are some arguments for and against red light cameras.
Proponents of Red Light Cameras
Many police officers and other first responders are in favor of the red light cameras and insist that they do discourage red light running. Some agencies in the state have reported a reduction in intersection accidents as well as a reduction in violations since the installation of the cameras. A report by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles found that accidents decreased at intersections with red light cameras. The study was based on a survey of 73 local governments that have active red light cameras and found that accidents, including angle crashes and rear-end crashes decreased from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. 44% of police departments reported a reduction in side impact (T-bone) collisions, a 41% reduction in rear-end accidents and 56% reduction in intersection accidents where red light cameras were operating.
Opponents of Red Light Cameras
Last year, the state of Florida issued almost 1 million citations for red light runners at intersections where the cameras were installed. Some opponents of the cameras believe that low income communities are unfairly targeted and that it's unfair for vehicle owners (who get their tickets in the mail) and who may not be the driver that ran the red light. Many opponents insist that the red light camera violations are big government intrusions into the private lives of citizens, while others insist that the law is strictly revenue driven.
Sarasota and Bradenton Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured due to the negligence of a red light runner, please contact the law firm of MORGAN ■ DRAMIS, P.A. at (941) 953-4555. We will work to obtain the best possible compensation on your behalf for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Call us to schedule a free consultation.
Up until this point, Florida has been one of only eleven states that has done nothing regarding the dangerous practice of texting while driving. The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Nancy Detert, R-Venice that would make texting while driving a secondary offense. A police officer would have to have a primary reason for pulling a driver over and if the driver is found to be texting at the time, the driver would face a fine of $60 plus court costs.