December 15, 2011

Pedestrian Deaths Rise While Deadly Car Accident Drop

As personal injury attorneys helping the victims of car accidents in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and throughout Florida, we too are concerned by a recently released study from the NHTSA which revealed that while wrongful deaths from car accidents continue to drop, pedestrian deaths from roadway accidents rose over the last year. The increase in pedestrian deaths is the first in over 4 years.

The deadly increase has the government stumped. Speculation of reasons for the increase include greater numbers of walkers, either for exercise or due to the economy, along multi-lane roadways, which were constructed to help alleviate traffic, but did not adequately consider pedestrian traffic. Sadly, the three most deadly cities for pedestrians are all in Florida.

Other possible causes for the increase in fatalities include pedestrians also being distracted, just like drivers, by using their smart phones while walking near traffic. And, incredibly almost half of all pedestrian wrongful deaths involved alcohol use by either the pedestrian or the vehicle driver. We urge everyone who is walking or riding a bicycle to be particularly careful of the two ton vehicles traveling around them.

December 14, 2011

Car Accidents Caused by Texting Result in Thousands of Wrongful Deaths

According to a recently released study by the NHTSA, more than 3000 people died last year in car accidents caused by a distracted driver. Generally speaking, distracted driving involves texting or using a cell phone while driving. Incredibly, this means nearly 1 out of every eleven car accident related wrongful deaths was caused by smart phone usage while driving.

While many people believe that using their phone in a "hands free" mode is safe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that such usage is also considered to be a dangerous distraction. This difference of opinion about what is or is not safe is troubling, as most drivers feel it is safe to use their phone as long as their hands remain on the steering wheel. Such driver opinions will certainly make the government's efforts to reduce distracted driving difficult.

As personal injury attorneys in Florida who have too often had to help families who have lost loved ones in such distracted driving accidents, we certainly hope the general public recognizes the dangers of distracted driving, and stop using their phones while behind the wheel.