May 31, 2012

Companies Starting to Ban Cellphones to Reduce Deadly Car Accidents

As personal injury lawyers helping victims of deadly car accidents in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and the Palm Beaches we applaud the efforts of some large businesses to ban cellphone use by their on-the-road workers. These companies action are In response to recent NTSB guidelines which recommended a ban on cellphone usage while driving.

Unfortunately, according to a survey by the National Safety Council, only 10% of Fortune 500 companies have such rules limiting cellphone use. The Safety Council suggested that there be a complete ban for all cellphone use while driving. The suggestion is based upon numerous studies which found that cellphones, even those used hands free, are not safe to use while driving.

While many companies are concerned that productivity will decrease, data collected by the National Safety Council revealed that such cellphone limits did not have such an affect . Considering the deadly car accidents caused by employees while talking on a cellphone, any reduction in cellphone usage will not only save lives, but will certainly result in an equivalent reduction in significant personal injury damage awards against such companies.

Not surprisingly, organizations such as the Consumer Electronics Association disagree that stopping cellphone use while driving will result in a decrease in accidents. We can only hope that the legislature will take the necessary action to cause these trade organizations to realize that even one life saved makes such a limit on distracted driving worthwhile.

May 24, 2012

Enforcement of Safety Laws Would Lessen Personal Injuries

According to a recent study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research, if states, including Florida, monitored and forced compliance with safety laws, they could prevent millions of unnecessary personal injuries annually.

As personal injury attorneys representing victims of accidents in the Palm Beaches, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, we know too well that the leading cause of wrongful deaths of people age one to 40 years are accidental injuries. Yet amazingly many states, including Florida, refuse to pass common sense laws which would prevent injuries, save lives and lower overall health care costs.

While Florida does have mandatory seat-belt laws, which are proven to prevent about 12,000 annual car accident wrongful deaths; our legislature passed a law allowing motorcycle riders not to wear a helmet. Considering that helmets prevent approximately 1,5000 lives annually, and given the state's obligation to pay the enormous medical bills incurred by those who sustain brain injuries from head trauma, such lack of legislative action is certainly reckless .

Not all blame falls upon the state, as national injury prevention funding has decreased almost twenty five percent over the last five years. We can only hope that the Florida Legislature will have the fortitude to disregard lobbyists and take aggressive action to pass and enforce needed safety laws.

May 22, 2012

FHP Enforcing Seat Belt Use To Prevent Car Accident Wrongful Deaths

In hopes of saving lives, the Florida Highway Patrol, and police officers nationally, are about to begin their annual "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement effort. As personal injury lawyers who help victims of deadly car accidents throughout Florida, including Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and the Florida Keys, we applaud law enforcements efforts to be on the lookout for drivers and passengers who fail to protect themselves by not wearing seat belts.

Florida mandates that anyone in the front seat of a car or truck must wear their seat belt,and that everyone younger than eighteen, even if seated in a rear seat, must use their seat-belt. Considering the NHTSA estimates that seat belts safe more than 12,000 lives annually, the proof is in the pudding; seat belts save lives.

While no one wants to receive a ticket, which in Florida is a non-moving violation; the lesson learned from receiving a ticket is certainly better than the one learned by being involved in a crash without using a seat belt.

May 21, 2012

Goverment Plan to Reduce Deadly Truck Accidents

On behalf of our clients who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to trucking accidents, we commend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for their 5 year plan to lessen the number of truck accident deaths by implementing additional driver qualifications and by increasing their regulations over other industries involved in truck based shipping. The “Safety 1st Culture” program will affect all areas that, in the words of the FMCSA may have a “detrimental effect on safety through their actions.”

The FMCSA's plan includes stopping carriers with bad safety records from reincorporating under another name, insuring that drivers are properly qualified to drive commercial vehicles, assisting law enforcement and lessening high-risk behavior by both owners and operators.

Unfortunately in order for the FMCSA to be able to regulate shippers, they will need Congress to provide them with that authority. Regardless of the difficulties that they face, as Florida based personal injury attorneys we applaud all agency driven efforts to make our roads safer.

May 18, 2012

Government Seeks to Lower Wrongful Deaths Caused by Drunk Drivers

As personal injury lawyers helping the innocent victims of deadly car accidents throughout Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches, we are certainly glad to hear that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is seeking to take action to reduce the number of drunk driving deaths.

Although the number of wrongful deaths caused by drunk drivers has dropped from an annual high of over 18,000 in the late 80s, to just over 10,000 in the past year, the needed decrease has plateaued over the past 8 years.

Proposed solutions include ignition locks which stop an impaired driver from starting a vehicle, and increased enforcement of drunk driving laws.

We commend the NTSB for their proactive attempts to reduce the deadly consequences of drunk driving.