October 19, 2012

Palm Beach Police Use Airplanes to Prevent Deadly Car Accidents

Along a stretch of I-95 in Palm Beach County, to hopefully reduce the number of deadly car accidents,the Florida Highway Patrol has resorted to using airplanes to monitor and catch speeding drivers . That particular part of the county has become prone to excessive speeding since the number of lanes increased. In fact, more than thirty deadly accidents have happened in that area of the county over the past 6 years.

The flying officers time vehicles as they drive between white lines which are painted on the roadway. By calculating the amount of time it takes a vehicle to travel a specific distance, a computation is made as to that vehicle's speed. The Florida Highway Patrol hopes that as word of their flying enforcement efforts spreads that it will have a deterring effect upon motorists, causing them to think before they speed.

While most motorist think the FHP's action is just another way to increase revenue by writing more tickets, as they usually cite more than 100 drivers every few days, it really is about lessening deadly accidents caused by excessively speeding drivers. As personal injury attorneys helping innocent victims of such deadly crashes, we applaud the highway patrol's actions and hope that such enforcement will save the lives of our fellow Floridians.

October 15, 2012

Fake Airbags Can Result in Deadly Car Accidents

The federal government recently issued an alarming report concerning the prevalence of counterfeit airbags being installed by non-new car dealer repair shops. According to the NHTSA, thousands of repaired vehicles are currently being driven with fake airbags, which unfortunately will prove dangerous when those vehicles are involved in a car accident. The vehicles targeted for such fake airbags also includes many commercial trucks.

Incredibly over 90% of the fake airbags tested did not work as required in crash tests. As such, the government has a list of the vehicles for which such fake airbags are likely to be used listed on its site at Safercar.gov. While thus far the NHTSA has not liked any wrongful deaths to the fake airbags, it is not likely that a police officer investigating a crash is able to differentiate a fake from a real airbag.

This issue presents such a significant danger that the government is asking all vehicle owners whose model of car is listed on their website, and whose car has undergone replacement of airbags within the last 3 years to bring their car to a dealership for inspection and verification.

October 9, 2012

Wrong Way Crashes In Florida Frequently Caused by Drunk Driving

Although they occur infrequently, wrong way crashes, in which a driver is improperly driving against traffic on the wrong side of the road, are some of the most deadly and destructive car accidents. According to the NTHSA there were almost 400 such crashes during the past 5 years.

As personal injury lawyers representing injured victims of deadly car accidents, we are saddened, but not surprised, by the Florida Highway Patrol's determination that drunk driving played a significant role in the 22 such collisions in Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach over the past 5 years. Even though roads are designed with various warnings, drunk drivers are often too impaired to notice them. Thankfully many of the at fault drivers being convicted of drunk driving.

As engineers continue to develop roadway systems which activate when a driver enters a roadway in the wrong direction, we hope such advances in technology will make our roads safer by reducing these deadly crashes. Of course, greater use of ignitiion locks on prior drunk driving offender's vehicles can only help remedy this deadly problem.

October 6, 2012

Wrongful Deaths Caused by Car Accidents Increase

We are sorry to report that according to the NHTSA, deadly car accidents increased by almost ten percent over the past six months. This rise in wrongful death related car accidents brings to an end a five year decrease in such fatalities.

Incredibly, more than 16,000 people died in car and truck crashes during the first half of this year. While the NHTSA cannot yet determine a cause for the surprising increase, speculation is that lower gas prices contributes to an increase in roadway traffic. Of course, there can be no doubt that the increase in distracting driving, which here in Florida, our legislature continues to refuse to address, played a significant role in the deadly increase.

We certainly hope that this year's increase is a blip which will not reverse the previous five years' decreasing trend.

October 4, 2012

Insurance Companies Confirm the Risks of Slip and Fall Accidents

A major property and business insurance company recently concluded a study which demonstrates that businesses need to do more to prevent slip and fall and trip and fall accidents on their properties. As personal injury lawyers representing injured victims of such fall down accidents in Fort Lauderdale and throughout Florida, we are glad to see that even the insurance industry is trying to make businesses take precautions stop such accidents.

The report found that most often such falls are caused because businesses do not install necessary slip resistant walkways, do not have proper maintenance policies and do not install handrails. Consequently, the insurance company recommends that their clients install ANSI approved slip resistant flooring, purchases the appropriate cleaning supplies which are recommended by the flooring's manufacturer, and take the time to train their cleaning staff on how to properly maintain the compliant flooring.

While many of these findings and recommendations seems like common sense, over the past 20 years we've represented hundreds of victims of fall down accidents which may very well have been prevented if the business operator took the necessary and affordable steps to protect their paying customers. We can only hope that more businesses take the precautions and time to make their properties safe and prevent these unnecessary falls.

October 3, 2012

Increase in Deadly Car Accidents from Distracted Driving

As personal injury attorneys representing injured victims of car accidents through the State of Florida, we are continually amazed that drivers continue to disregard the basic fact that distracted driving is dangerous. The National Highway Safety Administration recently updated their ongoing data as to the number of wrongful deaths and personal injuries caused annually by distracted drivers.

Incredibly, in the past year more than 3000 people died, and over 400,000 were injured, in car, truck and motorcycle accidents in which a driver was "distracted." The NHSA defines distracted driving as something which causes a driver to do something other than just drive, such as using a phone to call or text or eating. Of course, texting or sending an email is the most dangerous of such activities as the driver's eyes are taken off the road for an extended amount of time. Yet last month alone, over 200 billion such texts were made in the United States; and that number is increasing exponentially every year.

In particular, are motorists younger than twenty are the most frequent of such distracted drivers, as more than ten percent of all deadly accidents involving such driver involved a distracted driver. Yet despite this verifiable data, our legislatures continue to refuse to pass laws banning or even restricting such deadly behavior. We certainly hope that the Florida Legislature finally confronts this danger and finally does something to protect our citizens and visitors.