October 20, 2014

National Teen Driver Week, a Time to Prevent Car Accidents

As we commence National Teen Driver Safety week, Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky reminds parents of the importance their behind the wheel behavior in molding safe teen drivers. The need for National Teen Driver Safety Week is based upon the NHTSA’s study which found that more teenagers died in car accidents than by any other cause. Despite this epidemic, studies demonstrate that less than 25% of parents have actually had a serious talk with their teen driver about the dangers associated with driving a car, particularly about distracted driving.

Many unnecessary personal injuries may be avoided if parents begin by driving as a proper role model, rather than setting a bad example of a distracted driver. While parents often talk about the hazards of texting while driving, they are often the most blatant offenders. In fact, a major insurance company reports that almost ninety percent of teenage drivers witnessed their parents talking or texting while driving.

Another example of poor parental teaching behavior is calling a teenage driver while they are behind the wheel. Considering most parents expect their teenage to answer the phone, those who are driving are faced with a difficult decision of driving in a less than safe manner, or risk being punished by their parent for not answering their phone.

We cannot stress the importance of the 5 to drive rules, which include: no using a cell phone while driving, no taking extra passengers in the car, no speeding, not alcohol and no driving or having passengers who do not use their seatbelt.

The Florida Legislature passed laws which punish drivers who are seen texting, but the associated penalties are not enough to stem the tide against dangerous distracted teenage driving. Parents need to make sure that their teenage drivers know and understand the deadly results which can come from a quick look at a text. As personal injury attorneys who have helped thousands of Florida families overcome the devastating results of deadly car accidents, we hope all families take this week to spend some additional time talking to our teenage drivers about the responsibilities which come with having a driver’s license.

October 10, 2014

Taking Over the Counter Medicine Can Cause Car Accidents

As a personal injury attorney helping seriously injured accident victims across Florida, including Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Joseph Lipsky wants his fellow drivers to know about a recent caution issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the dangers, and increase in car accidents, associated with driving after taking many common non-prescription medications.

Although common sense would also indicate it, many regularly taken medications, including those used to treat conditions such as sneezing or motion sickness, can cause a driver to become dangerously drossy so that their ability to prevent a car accident is greatly diminished. In fact, according to the FDA, many medications can adversely affect drivers even a day after they are taken.

In order to prevent becoming impaired to the extent which may cause a car accident, we strongly suggest that drivers thoroughly read the warning labels of any medication they may take. Particular attention must also be paid to warnings about how a particular medication may interact with other medicines. Following instructions is critically important as even a slight reduction in a driver’s reaction time can result in a car accident. As a driver’s brain needs almost a full second to think about a situation before acting, such as by pushing the brake, any additional delay will cause a vehicle traveling at 30 miles per hour to move an additional 45 feet before the medicated driver can begin to slow or stop his car, just like any other type of impairment, including drunk driving. This distance is more than enough time in which a crash may occur.

We concur with the FDA’s recommendations and remind our fellow Floridians that taking any medication, including over the counter ones, can have deadly consequences.

October 7, 2014

Hands Free Devicies Do Not Prevent Car Accidents

Having represented thousands of seriously injured victims of car accidents in Miami and Fort Lauderdale over the past 20 years, personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky is always concerned when he notices that devices which are characterized as making driving safer, actually cause more harm. This is precisely what is occurring with so-called voice activated car devices.

While these hands free activities are purportedly designed to allow drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel, thereby helping prevented distracted driving accidents, a new study confirmed that these “upgrades” also cause driver distraction, leading to deadly car accidents.

The recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety confirmed that driver’s brains are adversely affected, and greatly distracted, by using vehicle installed and cellphone voice activated systems. Most drivers are now familiar with various in vehicle applications which allow drivers to do things such as making calls or changing radio stations with voice commands rather than having to physically touch a button. Most drivers also know that due to the increasing sophistication of new vehicles and phones, often times the driver actually becomes more distracted trying to use a buggy device. The study confirmed that driver’s reaction times slow down when those drivers are thinking about something other than safe operation of their vehicle.

Sadly, anyone whose used a cellphone knows too well that the virtual assistant usually gets the voice command wrong, leading to continuing corrective actions, which lead to a distracted driver. Considering the thousands of wrongful deaths and life altering injuries caused by car accidents, auto manufactures and cellphone companies need to take care in making sure their new technologies do not continue to cause distracted driving crashes.

September 4, 2014

Bicycle Accidents on the Rise in Palm Beach County

As a personal injury attorney helping injured victims of bicycle accidents in Palm Beach County, including an ongoing case against Palm Beach County and its contractors, attorney Joseph Lipsky is certainly encouraged that public servants are finally taking a further look at making our roadways safer for cycling enthusiasts.

We know too well that bike accidents in Palm Beach County rose by about twenty percent over the past couple of years. Those increasing number of bicycle accident statistics become too real as our office has seen an increase in the number of injured bicycle accident victims across Palm Beach County over the past 2 years. In hopes of stemming the rising tide of bicycle accident injuries, in addition to common sense solutions such as mandating helmet use and requiring lights on bikes, the county is contemplating increased marking of bike lanes and greater police enforcement of those laws already on the books.

While Florida’s laws demand bikes to have a head light type lamp and wheel reflectors, front lamp and reflectors, many cyclists choose not to follow the laws which are there to protect them. Other laws which many bike riders need to know of, which may too prevent personal injuries, include riders under 16 having to wear a helmet and the prohibition against using headphones. And contrary to many people’s beliefs, riders may use the sidewalk, but must yield to pedestrians.

Incredibly, Florida did away with many of its bike rider safety rules, which used to mandate that all riders, regardless of age, had to use a helmet. One of the suggestions the county is considering include narrowing car lanes to allow wider designated bicycle lanes. As a personal injury attorney who has helped injured accident victims in Palm Beach County, and across the State of Florida, for almost 25 years, Joseph Lipsky hopes the commission gives the proper consideration to bike riders’ safety.

May 30, 2014

Too Many Wrongful Deaths in Miami Boating Accidents

Having represented many families who’ve lost loved ones in deadly boating accidents throughout our South Florida waterways, Miami personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky is too familiar with the dangers most people forget are associated with the usually enjoyable recreation of boating. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission sadly more than 62 people were the victims of maritime accidents last year in Florida.

Considering we are entering the Summer season, in which many Miami residents take to the bay for a day of skiing or diving, the authorities hope, and we suggest, that boaters take the appropriate actions to avoid being in a boating accident. While failing to pay attention, or having a proper lookout is the usual reason for a boat accident, driving under the influence and drowning are two of the most preventable activities. Particularly with children, the use of a life vest is not only mandatory, but good common sense.

Some of the other boating behavior to be avoided according to the Coast Guard include:

- Failing to slow down in areas where boating activity is heavy;
- Driving at high speed in poor conditions;
- Pulling a water skier in a congested area
- Driving in an area where people are swimming;
- Failing to check the weather forecast before heading out for the day;

Florida Keys boating accident attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds his fellow conchs to be careful on the water, as a moment of carelessness can result in a lifetime of suffering.

May 28, 2014

Car Accidents Involving Pedestrians Happen Too Often in Fort Lauderdale

As a personal injury attorney helping injured car accident victims in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Attorney Joseph Lipsky knows too well that Miami-Dade and Broward Counties are extremely dangerous for pedestrians. In fact, according to a recent study by Dangerous by Design, our community is the 4th most dangerous location for pedestrians in the United States. The statistics reveal that pedestrians are 300 times more likely to be injured by a car in South Florida as compared to other areas across the United States.

And, while the officials at FDOT acknowledge the severity of this issue, they have yet to implement any roadway design changes which will make it safe for pedestrians. Sadly, over 47,000 pedestrians were the victims of wrongful death due to being struck by a car over the past decade. And throughout Miami and Fort Lauderdale, there were over 1,500 pedestrian versus vehicle deaths over the same time period.

The study developed a calculation they refer to as the danger index, which compares the probability of a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle, as determined by state records, against the number of respondents. While South Florida’s numbers are partially skewed due to our elderly population, given their delayed reaction skills, the prevalence of high speed roads in known pedestrian areas do not help prevent deadly car accidents.

Some of the suggestions to reduce these needless deaths and injuries include building more crosswalks with wider protected sidewalks. Additionally, the Florida Department of Transportation is also trying to identify areas where pedestrians are more prone to being involved in an accident with a car, and is attempting to lower speeds and restrict right hand turns in those areas.

Having helped too many families who have had to endure the pain of losing a loved one who was struck by a car, personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky encourages our local governments to expedite roadway design changes.

May 19, 2014

Car Accidents Increase Over Memorial Day, Drive Carefully

As an attorney helping injured victims of car accidents in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches, Joseph Lipsky reminds his fellow motorists to be vigilant over the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend. According to AAA, the number of motorists taking to the roadways will be at a 10 year high this coming holiday. From an analysis of past Memorial Day weekends, statistics demonstrate that there is an increase of more than ten percent in car accidents versus other holiday weekends.

Due in part to a perceived better economy there is expected to be an increase of almost 2 percent in the amount of motorist who are expected to drive more than fifty miles over the Memorial Day weekend. And with those extra vehicles on the road, there is certainly going to be an increase in car accidents and injured motorists. In fact, Memorial Day marks the start of the so-called 100 deadliest days, as inexperienced teenage drivers are out of school.

According to the National Safety Council, taking some simple common sense precautions hundreds of lives can be saved over the holiday weekend. Some of the safety steps include: giving yourself enough time to reach your destination – to avoid having to speed, not using your phone while driving – which limits driver distraction, making sure all passengers, even those in the back seat, are wearing their seat-belts, and making sure not to drink and drive – by having a designated driver, so the temptation to drive even after one drink is not there.

On behalf of the personal injury Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, we wish our fellow Floridians a safe and enjoyable holiday.

May 16, 2014

Distracted Driving Not Only Dangerous, But Annoying

Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky, as a frequent motorist driving along I-95 through Miami and Fort Lauderdale know too well that not only is texting behind the wheel a danger, and now illegal in Florida, but a recent survey revealed what we also know too well, that we are annoyed when we see others texting while driving. Not surprisingly, about seventy percent of driver find other motorists who text while driving to be the worst and most annoying drivers.

Of course, those motorists who complain about other drivers’ behavior are themselves frequent texters, as more than half of all motorists readily admit to using their phone to text or email while driving. While most motorists think that reading or sending a quick text is safe, the fact is that even a quick look away from the road often causes a deadly life altering crash. Sadly, more than 3,000 people died and hundreds of thousands were injured due to a distracted driving last year.

While most people associate distracted driving with texting, a driver may become distracted when their attention is on anything other than driving. The phenomenon of distracted driving began with the prevalent use of cellphones, which still increase a driver’s likelihood of being involved in a crash by 400%. And thanks to technological advances, such as texting, drivers are now more than 20 times more likely to be involved in a crash than before we had the benefit of this helpful technology.

As a personal injury attorney who has helped thousands of his fellow Floridians, Joe Lipsky reminds everyone that using a smart phone while driving, is anything but smart. So, put your phone down and wait until you are safely parked before reading or sending a text, the life you save may just be your own.

March 3, 2014

Broward County To Make Roads Safer for Pedestrians and Bikes

Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky knows, having represented hundreds of pedestrians and bicyclist who have been seriously injured by careless motorists, that our local roadways aren’t always meant to be shared. For that reason, we are happy to report that the Broward County commission recently implemented its Complete Streets policy, which requires future roads to be designed with increased safety measures to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents.

Some of the expected roadway improvements will include wider pedestrian and bike lanes, and open medians. According to the recently enacted rules, roads in Broward County will be constructed "to enable safe, convenient, and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities, regardless of their mode of transportation.” This needed trend toward protecting pedestrians follows similarly implemented rules by the Town of Davie and the cities of Sunrise, Pembroke Pines and Hollywood.

In order to facilitate wider bike lanes, car lanes will be narrowed, thereby providing bicyclists with an additional 3 feet of protection. Wider roadway medians will give pedestrians a safe place to wait for traffic to pass, if they are unable to fully cross a street before a light changes color.

Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky certainly believes, that given the active South Florida community, in which many of our fellow residents enjoy walking and bike riding, that these roadway design changes will reduce the number of deadly car versus pedestrian and cyclist accidents.

February 27, 2014

Elderly Drivers Less Likely to Die in Car Accidents

Having represented hundreds of order drivers, Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky knows too well the public’s general perception about elderly driver’s driving habits. Contrary to most people’s beliefs that elderly drivers are the cause of many dangerous car accidents, a recent publication from the Institute for Highway Safety actually revealed that current older drivers are not more likely to be injured in a car accident, as previous generations were.

In fact, Miami car accidents with drivers over the age of 70 which resulted in wrongful deaths have decreased at a greater rate than similar deadly car accidents among middle aged drivers. The study demonstrated that car accident related deaths of elderly motorist actually dropped more than thirty percent over the past decade. This drop in so-called elderly involved car accidents is good news as the number of drivers in Florida over the age of 70 is expected to double over the next 25 years.

Much of the decrease in such deadly Fort Lauderdale car accidents may be attributed to better built cars, as required by increasingly strict federal law. Some of the federally mandated vehicle safety improvements include side air bags, traction control and crash avoidance. While a motorist aged 70 or above is still 3 times more likely than a middle aged driver to die in a significant car accident, we believe the decrease from almost 4 times, is good news.

Miami personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky recommends all elderly motorists follow basic common sense rules, such as always using seat belts, avoiding driving in bad weather and not drinking and driving, to make sure they have a better chance of avoiding and surviving a car accident.

February 3, 2014

Speeding Along I-95 Express Lanes Miami Result in Serious Car Accidents

Driving along the I-95 expressway in Miami on the way to and from the Dade County Courthouse is always an adventure for Miami Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky. Due to the time constraints of attending hearings, Joseph Lipsky usually takes the so-called express lanes, which were designed to allow motorists an opportunity to travel at a quicker pace. One of the unexpected downside to creating the express lanes was the narrowing of all lanes, including the roadway's safety shoulder.

Due to the narrow width of the safety shoulder, which was reduced from 13 feet to 8, Florida Highway Patrol Troopers are extremely reluctant to make any traffic stops in the express lanes, for fear of placing the motorists they stop, and themselves, in danger from the traffic speeding along side. Apparently many express lane users realize the FHP will avoid stops in those lanes, and therefore, they speed at a higher rate than typical highway traffic. In fact, the average speed in the express lanes after seven o'clock in the evening is more than 10 miles above the posted speed limit.

Now, due to an increase in Miami car accidents, and motorist complaints, the FHP is beginning to step up its enforcement along I-95 with their Operation I-95 Saturation. While most motorists don't like to see police increase their ticket writing, as a personal injury attorney in Miami, we know one thing too well, speed kills; and for that reason we applaud the highway patrol in their efforts to make our roads safer.

January 30, 2014

Teen Driver Contract Now Available for Parents of New Drivers

For those parents who have, or are about to have, a new driver in their family, it is an exciting and worrisome time. New drivers are more dangerous and cause many car accidents, not only due to their inexperience, but because they may lack the necessary maturity to be safe in many driving situations. it is no surprise that new drivers are one of the leading causes of car accidents in South Florida.

In hopes of helping our fellow Floridians, and parents of new drivers, we at the Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Law Offices of Joseph Lipsky, are releasing our Parent and Teen Driver Contract. This agreement, which is printed below, tries to cover many of the most often abused teen driving issues. We hope that you use this contract, and share it with other friends and family members with teenage drivers, to help hold them accountable for the serious responsibilities which accompany driving a car.

_________________________________________________________________________

PERSONAL INJUYRY
LAW OFFICES OF
JOSEPH I. LIPSKY, P.A.

1200 South Pine Island Road
Cornerstone One • Suite 320
Plantation, Florida 33324
Toll-Free 888-FLA-LAW8 www.lipskylaw.com

PARENT AND TEEN DRIVER CONTRACT

I ________________, understand that driving is a privilege and not my right, just
because I now have a driver’s license. In order to keep my license, and the privilege
of driving, I promise to follow the rules listed below:

TEEN DRIVER’S RULES OF THE ROAD

- To call you before I drive

- To let you know where I’m going and what time I will be home

- To let you know whom else will be in the car with me

- To always wear my seat belt, and to make sure all of my passengers wear theirs on too

- I will follow all traffic laws, and will stay within the speed limit and not drive aggressively

- I will NEVER use the car to race or to try to impress someone else

- I will not drive with more than ____ passengers in the car at any time

- I will stop driving immediately, and call you, if one of my passengers is acting unsafe

- I will NEVER use my cell phone while driving, regardless of whether it’s to text, use
the internet or use GPS

- I agree that I will only answer incoming cellphone calls if I am able to use a hands-free
system – BUT I will not make any cell phone calls at all

- If I need to use my cell phone to make a call, I will pull off the road to safe location

- I will not eat while driving

- For the next ____ months, I will not drive in bad weather

- I will NEVER drive if I’ve used any drug or consumed alcohol

- I will NEVER allow anyone else to use drugs or drink alcohol in the car

- I will NEVER get in to another car if that driver has used drugs or consumed alcohol

- I will NEVER get in another car if drugs or alcohol are present

- I will NEVER give a ride to someone I do not know or a hitchhiker

- I will NEVER let someone else drive the car unless you give me permission

- I will NEVER drive someone else’s car unless I have their parent’s permission

- If I ever receive a traffic or parking ticket, I promise to notify you and I understand
that I will be fully responsible for paying for that ticket

- I understand that keeping my grades up is one of the jobs I must do to maintain my driving
privileges. I agree that if my grade point average drops below a B, that I will lose my
driving privileges until my grades improve.

In the event I break one of the above Rules of the Road, I agree that I will lose my
driving privileges as follows:

PENALTIES

- Drove after drinking alcohol or using drugs, No driving for ____ months
- Got ticket for speeding or moving violation, No driving for _____weeks
- Drove with too many passengers in the car, No driving for _____weeks
- Drove without wearing seat belts (self and others),No driving for _____weeks
- Any other Rules of the Road violation, No driving for ____ weeks

PARENT(S)’S COMMITMENT

- I/we will not be angry or upset, and I/we promise to pick you up, when you call if
you feel driving is not safe, regardless of when or where you are
- I/we will not embarrass you if you decide not to drive and want me/us to pick you up

Teen Driver Acknowledgment
I agree to follow each and every rule listed above, and to use my common sense when driving, in order
to keep my driving privileges.

_____________________________
Signature: Date:

Parent(s) Acknowledgement
I/we promise to teach you good driving skills.

_____________________________
Signature: Date:


While this contract does not cover every situation which may arise concerning a new teenage driver, it provides a basis for a commitment with your teenage which will hopefully prevent an accident and save lives.