June 24, 2015

Teenage Drivers Need How to Learn to Avoid Car Accidents

As a parent of teenage drivers, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Joseph Lipsky knows too well that just because a new driver passes Florida’s driving test, does not indicate that that generally teenage driver actually possesses the skills needed to drive safely. A recent study from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention now proves what most parents already know, that new drivers are the most dangerous motorists on the road, primarily due to their lack of experience in knowing how to anticipate and avoid car accidents. This inexperience is certainly one of the reasons why car accidents result in the most wrongful deaths involving teenagers.

The researchers developed a test to help new driver become better at avoiding car accidents. The test uses a simulator containing over twenty variations of the most frequent types of teenage driver involved accidents. Not surprisingly, teenage drivers were almost twice as likely as more experienced older drivers at causing a simulated crash. The test demonstrates that while newer motorists knew and used basic driving skills, like turn signals and proper lane changes, they lacked the real world experience need to avoid more challenging real world driving situations.

The study found the most prevalent teenage driving car accidents involved left-hand turns and rear-end collisions, most often associated with distracted driving. The study hopes to cause parents to spend more time with young drivers teaching them about the benefits of defensive driving. As a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky certainly agrees that helping teenage drivers avoid accidents by spending more time learning how to drive safely is a parent’s responsibility.

June 9, 2015

Technology Can Prevent Personal Injuries from Car Accidents

In hopes of preventing personal injuries and wrongful deaths, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Joseph Lipsky supports the recent recommendation by The National Transportation Safety Board that car manufacturers include collision avoidance systems as standard equipment on all new passenger vehicles. While the manufactures continue to resist including such life saving measures, as standard equipment, placing the financial onus on buyers to pay extra for these “options,” The NTSB believes that crash avoidance systems should be treated like seatbelts, as required safety equipment in all vehicles.

Some types of frequent car accidents which would be drastically reduced include rear end collisions, which kill almost 2000 people, and injure over half a million, annually. Research indicates that greater than eighty percent of rear end crashes would be lessened with existing technology, such as forward collision avoidance, which not only alerts a driver of a possible frontal crash, but can actually help stop a car before it strikes a car in front of it.

Although the NTSB first made these recommendations over three years ago, manufacturers have acted at a snail’s pace to include collision warnings systems. Miami Car Accident attorney Joseph Lipsky encourages the big auto manufacturers to incorporate these lifesaving technological advancements as standard features in all new vehicles.

June 1, 2015

Pedestrian Car Accidents on the Rise in Miami

In addition to the well-known dangers associated with distracted driving, Miami car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky wants to pedestrians to be aware of an ever increasing problem; how pedestrians who are distracted while walking, especially along Miami’s busy roadways, are finding themselves in increasingly dangerous positions. Using a cell phone while crossing U.S. 1 or Flagler Street while texting is a distraction which can cause pedestrians to walk right into the path of a vehicle and become serious injured in a car accident.

Our roads in Miami and Fort Lauderdale continually make the dubious list of the American’s most dangerous roads for pedestrians. A recent report listed the Palm Beach, Broward, Miami tri-county area as our country’s 4th most dangerous area for pedestrians accidents, with nearly three times the national average for car accidents with pedestrians.

The report also showed that with similar pedestrian dangers in Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville, that Florida is the most dangerous state for pedestrians. Not surprisingly, elderly and young children are involved in the majority of pedestrian car accidents. And of that group, the elderly are the victims of more wrongful deaths due primarily to their fragility. Despite these know findings, Miami’s own public works department found that through Miami Dade County, higher curbs, mis-leved sidewalks and the lack of crosswalks are a prevalent problem for our ever increasing elderly population.

Recommendations to lessen pedestrian involved car accidents include:
▪ Reducing speed limits along roads known to have a high amount of pedestrians;
▪ Widening sidewalks and bike lanes;
▪ Installing more crosswalks along longer blocks;
▪ Building larger medians for pedestrians use while cross wide roads;
▪ Improving crosswalk markings, including adding lighted crosswalks;
▪ Installing more overpasses across wide and busy roads.

May 28, 2015

Distracted Driving Causes 25% of Car Accidents

Despite continually warning his fellow Floridians of the dangers caused by using a cell phone while driving, Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky is not surprise by the results of a recent study from the National Safety Council which found that over twenty-five percent of all car accidents were caused were distracted driving accidents, caused by someone who was using a cellular phone.

The NSC report follows data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which found that almost ten people die daily and hundreds of others are seriously injured due to someone being a distracted driver. Due to the life-altering effects of such distracted driving car accidents, many businesses are actually banning their employees from using a cell phone while driving. Although those companies are banning cell phone use to lessen their potential liabilities, rather than for safety purposes, the resulting saved lives are a great result.

Additionally, technology companies are increasing installing accident avoidance devices in new cars. This technology also is being addressed by the advancements made in driverless cars, although that will certainly create another set of issues. Yet despite these safety matters, new distracting devices, including so-called wearable technology which is designed to increase access to texting and making call, will only serve to present drivers with another type of distraction.

Florida car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds all drivers that using a smart phone while driving is anything but smart. We also urge parents to educate new drivers about the responsibility they undertake when they get behind the wheel, and that it is not only ok, but right, do be out of touch with their friends while they are driving. We suggest parents enter into parent-teen driving contract.

May 25, 2015

Deadly Boating Accidents on the Rise in Miami

While we spend much of our time educating our fellow Floridians about car accident prevention, as we live in the boating capital of American, Miami personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds us about the dangers which exist on our waterways.

While most people consider the Florida Keys as the boating accident leader, Miami Dade County sadly actually had double the amount of boating accident wrongful deaths than the Keys, making Miami Dade as the deadliest of Florida’s sixty-seven counties, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The study analyzed all “reportable” boating accidents which resulted in wrongful death, personal injury or over two thousand dollars of property damage, which actually dropped by over 15% of the past year. Yet, despite the drop of such accidents, there was actually a 20% increase in Florida’s boating accident which resulted in wrongful death over the same time period.

As the number of boaters on the waterways increases annually, because of the easy access we have to boating, Miami-Dade had almost 80 boating accidents. Considering there are more registered boats in Florida, than any other state, the number of serious boating accidents is not surprising.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation study also found that: May was the month with the most boating accidents; once an on-water accident happens, drowning becomes the leading cause of wrongful deaths; Alcohol and/or illegal drug use played a role in over 10 percent of wrongful death accidents.

As we enter the summer, and more people pursue boating for fun, fishing and diving, Miami personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky reminds all boaters to be safe, make sure they bring enough life vests for everyone on their boat and not to drink and driver.

March 25, 2015

Distracted Driving Results in Teen Driver Car Accidents

As a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney and the father of teenagers, Joseph Lipsky is professionally and personally concerned about the number of car accidents associated with teenage distracted driving. While many people only associate distracted driving with cellphone and texting, many teenagers are also involved in car accidents due to distractions such as talking to passengers in their cars.

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that distractions played a role in almost sixty percent of teenager involved car accidents. The study reviewed almost 2000 videos of teenage drivers just before their being involved in a crash. Researchers were able to examine almost 7000 in vehicle cameras to obtain the study’s results. This real world access to accurate crash data found that police were actually under-evaluating the effects of distracted driving by more than forty percent.

In addition to showing hundreds of crashes, the in-vehicle videos also showed over a thousand incidents of extreme hard-braking events. The most frequent types of distracted driving included talking to passengers and cellphone use. Other types of distraction shown in the footage include motorists looking at something in their car, rather than at the roadway, dancing to music, brushing hair and reaching for something in the car.

The study proves that prior research, including by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which stated that distracted driving played a role in less than fifteen percent of teen car accidents, woefully underestimated the seriousness of this problem. Contrary to research involving older drivers, other studies demonstrate that teenage drivers with passengers are significantly more likely to have a car accident.

Partially because teenage drivers are involved in the greatest number of car accidents, almost one million last year, the AAA is pushing states for legislation which outlaws in-vehicle cellphone usage by teenage drivers. We agree that more serious legislation is need to curb the tide of teenage driver accidents and hope the Florida Legislature takes such action during this legislative session.

February 20, 2015

Car Accidents on the Rise in Miami Express Lanes

Having represented dozens of victims of car accidents in Miami who’ve been involved in a car accident within the express lanes of I-95, personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky knows too well the dangers drivers face while traveling within those express lanes. Now a local study demonstrates that Miami’s express lanes are especially dangerous given the lack of a sufficient emergency shoulder, which is forty percent narrower than the one which existed prior to the construction of the express lanes.

In fact, the widest portion of the express lane’s shoulder is actually narrower than an ordinary parking spot. This narrow safety zone results in disabled or stopped vehicles protruding into the inner most travel lane, resulting in an impediment for approaching drivers. The Florida Highway Patrol is also aware of the dangers the narrow shoulder presents for law enforcement officers who must make traffic stops within the express lanes. Those officers, whose lives are already in peril when they have to exit their vehicles along a standard highway, face an overly dangerous condition of speeding drivers and having no place safe to stand.

An additional danger presented by the express lanes is drivers who ignore the plastic dividers and cross into and out of the express lanes without regard for traffic in adjoining lanes. In the past year alone, the highway patrol has arrested over 150 drivers for recklessly crashing through the dividers. Sadly, at least four motorists have wrongfully died due to another driver crashing through the dividers and causing an accident.

The study revealed that most accidents occur during rush hour and that the deadly collisions generally occur after 10 at night. Having seen too often the life altering affects these deadly collisions have on families, we remind all motorist to stay in the lane they’ve chosen to travel in, and that the desire to move to a briefly faster moving lane presents a danger not only to yourself, but to everyone on the road.

February 15, 2015

Drunk Driving Car Accidents Drop But Druged Driving Rise

Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Joseph Lipsky is glad to report that the efforts to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents on Florida’s roadways, thanks in part to increased education and a ramp up in law enforcement’s efforts, has been showing positive results. Unfortunately, that is where the good news ends. Sadly, an ever increasing number of drivers are getting behind the wheels of their vehicles while under the influence of marijuana and prescription medications.

The rise in “stoned” drivers is particularly alarming as a recent government report, indicates that drivers under the influence of marijuana are more prone to be involved in car accidents, including those resulting in personal injuries. Making the results more troubling is the fact that dope is smoked more by young men, which is the category of drivers which already have the dubious distinction of causing the most car accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in their report - Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, reveals that post-car accident analysis demonstrates that the amount of intoxicated drivers has dropped by almost one-third since 2007. In fact, the NHTSA found that approximately eight percent of drivers stopped in routine traffic stops were under the influence of alcohol, a decrease of more than thirty percent from their prior report in 2007. The bad news is that drivers who were found to have drugs in their system increased by thirty percent over the same time period, with marijuana use rising by almost fifty percent.

Incredibly, the same study’s results demonstrated that motorists under the influence of marijuana were found to be at a lower risk for being involved in a car accident compared to those under the influence of alcohol. The study's results, however, does not take into consideration the fact that tests which show marijuana use will be positive even if the person used marijuana days or weeks earlier. This is compared to blood alcohol tests which are much more sensitive to recent drinking.

Regardless, those who choose to use marijuana need to know that the evidence is clear, that using marijuana impairs driving skills. Ft. Lauderdale personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky reminds his fellow Floridians, that it does not matter whether you are drinking or smoking, do not drive while under the influence of either.

January 5, 2015

Newer Cars Prevent Teenage Driver Wrongful Deaths

As a parent Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Joseph Lipsky knows that buying a child their first car, is not only an exciting, but also an expensive time. When parents consider how much money to spend on that first car, a recent study in the journal Injury Prevention revealed an eye opening statistic; more than 50% of the car accidents resulting in wrongful deaths involved cars that were more than ten years old and were also considered “small” vehicles.

With the rapid advances in vehicle technology, particularly when it comes to safety, the study noted that older small vehicles are not as safe as newer larger cars. Some of the safety advances which are prevalent in newer cars include side air-bags and stability control. Other safety advances include day-time running lights, lane departure warnings and blind spot detection systems. However, these advanced safety devices usually carry a large associated cost, which discourages parents from buying those cars.

Sadly, it will take well over a decade before those life-saving safety devices are available in the majority of used vehicles, thereby making it more affordable to buy for first time car owners. While it may hurt your wallet in the short term, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Joseph Lipsky hopes parents think of the long term returns a little more money spent on a newer car, even a less appealing one, will have on their children’s safety.

January 1, 2015

Being a Drunk Pedestrian Results in Deadly Florida Accidents

While most people know that New Year's Eve is exceptionally dangerous for those on the road, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Joseph Lipsky wants to make sure his fellow Floridians are aware that being a drunk pedestrian is actually 8xs more dangerous than being a drunk driver.

Sadly, a review of past years wrongful deaths demonstrates that a pedestrian is almost twice as likely to die while walking on New Year’s Day compared to an ordinary non-holiday day. Most of the drunk pedestrian accidents happen when someone attempts to cross an intersection against a stop light, or when they unknowingly jay-walk.

As South Floridians venture out on foot during this holiday season, thinking it is safer than driving, it is important to remember that while wearing basic black looks cool, brighter colored clothes may actually help prevent you from being the victim of a crash. Other common sense suggestions including, walking in a group rather than alone. Of course, taking a cab or using the services of a private riding sharing company can help keep you out of harm’s way.

Regardless of how you intend on celebrating the holiday season, Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer Joseph Lipsky reminds you it’s okay to have fun, so long as you think about how you’re getting to and from your parties before you actually begin to party.

December 24, 2014

Distracted Driving Accidents Rise with Increase in Private Taxi Use

One of the most important messages Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Joseph Lipsky tells all drivers to avoid distracted driving, particularly not texting or checking email while driving. Surprisingly the rapid growth of cell phones to text and email is causing an additional unexpected rise in distracted driving in a group of drivers, those who work for private taxi services, like Uber. Those drivers actually lose money if they don’t use their phones to text while driving.

Anyone who’s used one of the recently popular private taxi companies knows that their drivers must quickly agree to accept a prospective rider’s request. Within their brief response time, the driver must determine where the pick-up is, which may only be done by looking at their phone. Drivers are penalized if they don’t respond to possible fares promptly. But private drivers are not alone, as many typical taxi companies have started using computers that match taxis and fares in a similar manner.

This technology driven rise in distracted driving has drawn the attention of the National Safety Council, whose chief executive bluntly stated that there is no debate that this is distracted driving. Incredibly, one of the companies responsible for the taxi based technology agrees that the required driver response may be considered as distracted driving.

As we are in the midst of the holiday season, Miami personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky certainly encourages everyone to use a designated driver, rather than drunk driving, and while these private taxi type services are certainly convenient, for everyone’s safety we encourage our fellow Floridians to be a little more patient and allow a driver that is called or summoned a little more time to respond to a call for a pick up.

December 2, 2014

Scooters Are A Leading Cause of Child Injuries

As the holidays are quickly approaching and many parents are looking for fun gifts for their children, Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds his fellow gift givers of the dangers associated with some of the most popular toys. According to the Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, one toy in particular, a kick scooter, is directly responsible for an astounding forty percent rise in child related personal injuries over the past ten years.

While injuries from other gifts, including pretend guns, are also on the rise, injuries caused by falls from these scooters are the most often cited cause of injury. In fact, the number of emergency room visits due to such child toy injuries is almost 200,000 annually. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s annual report demonstrated that there were over fifty two thousand personal injuries, and sadly one wrongful death, due to scooter related accidents last year.

Due to the steady rise in toy related accidents, especially fractured wrists, there is a renewed push to remind parents and children that wearing a helmet and using wrist guards while riding on a scooter or skateboard should be a requirement. Considering there were more than a quarter million bicycle accident related injuries, helmet use while riding should also be mandatory for children. Also, parents should resist the urge to buy age inappropriate gifts for their children. While we want to see our kids have fun, it is important to make sure that they are both physically and mentally ready for the types of dangerous situations which may arise while using kick scooters.

Personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky wishes his fellow Floridians and their children a safe holiday season and urges everyone to make sure helmet use is mandatory.