October 30, 2011

Seat Belts Are Not As Helpful for Women in Car Accidents

Seat belts, particularly those in older cars, are not as effective at protecting women, as they are men, from being injured in a car accident. A recent study by the American Journal of Public Health determined that because seat belts were designed for the average person, that women, who are generally smaller than men, are more likely to be injured from airbags and the seat-belts themselves.

One of the reasons for the seat belt size issues is due to the fact that men are much more likely to be in a car accident involving serious personal injuries. Consequently, car manufacturers, relying on the law of averages, build their safety equipment to protect those most likely to be in a deadly accident. Unfortunately, this leaves women more vulnerable when they have an accident.

Thankfully, newer cars have sensors which adjust the safety mechanisms for whomever is driving the car. We hope these technological advances will protect all vehicle occupants.

October 29, 2011

Watch Out: Black Boxes Know What Happens in a Car Accident

Many times car accidents happen and there are no independent witnesses to explain who caused the crash. Usually those cases are handled on a "he said - she said" basis, pitting the two drivers' words against one another. However, what many drivers are unaware of is that many vehicle manufacturers have placed event data recorders, known as black boxes, in their cars and trucks.

The vehicle black boxes provide attorneys and accident reconstruction experts with detailed information about the movements of a vehicle just before an accident happens. With such information, including, the speed of a vehicle, whether the gas or brake was being pushed, and what direction the car was moving, the battle of words is becoming a thing of the past in personal injury litigation. While vehicles are constantly monitoring this data, only once an air bag deploys, does the black box actually keep this information.

The information on the black boxes, once difficult to retrieve, has become increasingly accessible. In fact, various companies specialize in downloading this crash data information. Not surprisingly, insurance companies love to access the information, not only to see if their driver was a fault, but also to give themselves a reason to raise that person's premiums if they caused the accident.

We remind all Florida drivers that if you are unfortunately involved in a car accident, be cautious about describing how the accident happened; many times, something else knows too much.

October 28, 2011

Aggressive Driving Causing More Car Accidents in Florida

As personal injury attorneys helping victims of car accidents in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches, we are not surprised by the findings of a recent report which indicated that instances of aggressive driving have increased almost ten-fold over the past decade. According to Florida Law Enforcement data, citations issued for aggressive driving increased from about 4,000 in 2003, to more than 23,000 last year.

Aggressive driving involves instances of swerving between lanes of travel, tailgating and excessive speeding. The increase in such tickets is the most pronounced over the past two years, with an increase of almost 90%. The increase may be an indication of our generally impatient population.

Florida drivers who commit 2 or more aggressive driving violations are labeled "aggressive." Those "aggressive" drivers are likely to be assessed greater points against their licenses, resulting in increased insurance costs and the likelihood of having their license suspended.

Not surprisingly, the American Automobile Association determined that more than fifty percent of all wrongful deaths from car accidents and truck accidents were caused by an aggressive driver. For that reason alone, we ask everyone driving on Florida roadways to please slow down.

October 10, 2011

Florida Sees Decrease in Drunk Driving Car Accidents

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), car accidents involving drunk driving decreased by thirty percent over the last 5 years. Interestingly, the study links the drop in drunk driving, not to greater police enforcement, but to the current poor economy, as the costs associated with drinking at commercial establishments proves to be too expensive.

Yet, despite the significant drop, almost one in fifty of the drivers interviewed admitted that they did drove drunk during the past month. The study noted that at least three hundred thousand people drive drunk every day. Not surprisingly, men between the ages of 21 and 34 are the ones most likely to drink and drive.

The CDC's study comports to similar one conducted by the NHTSA which also showed a decrease in drunk driver, albeit a smaller reduction. Despite these decreases, someone is either killed or injured on our roadways every hour. Clearly, there is still more work to do to save lives.