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Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky is concerned that over the past year, even with a significant reduction in vehicle traffic for most of the year due to Covid-19,  that the number of pedestrian wrongful deaths across America rose by the largest increase in over fifty years.

A report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association for 2020 demonstrated the most significant increase in car accident related pedestrian death rate since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration established its Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The initial reporting unfortunately found nearly seven thousand pedestrians died during 2020. That number represents a 4.8% increase over the prior year’s deaths.

In fact, the numbers mean there was a twenty-one percent increase in the pedestrian death rate – based upon a rate of 2.2 per billion vehicle miles driven. That increase is particularly concerning as we Americans drover significantly fewer miles over the past year due to lockdowns and pandemic related business closures and work from home requirements of the past year. Those figures, which we must remember represents actual loss of life, occurred despite a 16.5% reduction in vehicle miles traveled nationwide. Last year’s rise continues the pattern of increasing danger for pedestrians –  as pedestrians fatalities made up 17% of all traffic deaths in the prior year, a nearly fifty percent increase from the 13% amount of pedestrian deaths in 2010. Basically, pedestrian deaths rose by nearly fifty percent over the past decade, while all other car accident-related deaths increased by only 5%.

Despite driving significantly fewer miles over the past year due to Covid-19, there were actually almost 3,000 more car accident deaths in 2020, as compared to 2019. According to a recent study by the National Safety Council, over 42,000 people lost their lives in car accidents over the past twelve months – an eight percent increase from the prior year. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky knows too well of the carnage on our roadways over the past year, having helped many families who were victims of deadly crashes in Miami, Plantation and Boca Raton.

While safety advocates had hoped for a silver-lining during Covid, that a significant drop in vehicular traffic would result in an equally impactful drop in car accident deaths; the sad part is that those who choose to drive during the lockdowns actually demonstrated riskier driving behavior, including driving at high speeds. The dangerous driving was also documented by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which confirmed that more speeding meant deadlier crashes. Those findings seem out of place when looking back at Florida’s March and April, 2020, state of emergency and stay-at-home orders.

Most observers point to Covid-19 as significant contributing factor in the rise in deadly crashes – a statistic which is omitted from the Covid-19 reported death numbers. The safety council calculated that Americans drove nearly thirteen percent less over the past year; yet, the rate of driving deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven increased by nearly twenty-five percent to 1.49, the greatest percentage increase in over 100 years.

As if 2020 was not difficult enough, Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky sadly reports that the number of people killed on our highways rose nearly five percent during the first three quarters of 2020, even with the majority of Americans being locked down due to Covid-19.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) more than twenty-eight thousand people died in car accidents during the period from January through September of 2020, an increase from just under twenty-seven thousand deaths during the same three quarters of 2019. The deadly rise occurred during the timer when there were few vehicles on the road when the pandemic began.

While the stay-at-home restrictions emptied the roads of significant traffic, driver speeds rose steadily, resulting in a shocking rise in car accidents and wrongful deaths.  Usually, economic slowdowns resulted in less miles being drive, last year’s drop was almost 20% versus 2019. Despite such a large drop, the ratio of car accident wrongful deaths rose by nearly twenty percent, up to 1.25 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

According to the NHTSA “Preliminary data tells us that during the national health emergency, fewer Americans drove, but those who did took more risks and had more fatal crashes,” the safety agency said in a letter addressed to the nation’s drivers. Traffic deaths rose 0.6% during the first-quarter of 2020, but they fell 1.1% in the second quarter as coronavirus lockdowns restricted movement. Car accident wrongful deaths dramatically rose by 13.1% from July through September. As the pandemic began and drivers encountered less crowded roads, they drove faster. And with police officers reluctant to interact with motorist, in a need to protect themselves from transmission of the virus, there was a drop in enforcement of traffic safety laws.

Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky knows too well how dangerous our roadways have become and resulted in a steady rise in  pedestrian accidents. Having helped seriously injured Floridians for nearly thirty years, he has investigated and pursued justice for hundreds of pedestrians and bike riders who have been involved in a car or truck accident throughout Miami, Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Keys and the Palm Beaches. Unfortunately, pedestrian crashes are on a worrying rise. In fact, the number of pedestrians killed across America have now hit a nearly 30-year high, up from nearly 50% of the past ten years.

Recently researches have begun to focus on the causes of this deadly rise, as they’ve come to realize that the majority of pedestrian wrongful deaths are not the result of bad luck, but rather due to poor planning by engineers and politicians who have routinely ignored needed safety studies before building new roadways. Additionally, the growing number of large SUVs on the road has contributed to the increase in deadly collisions.

Most drivers do not realize that due to the height of SUVs they are prone to strike pedestrians in their torso, the site of vital organs, rather than in their legs – which may result in fractures, but not death. Studies found that SUVs cause nearly 110 wrongful deaths per 1,000 pedestrian collisions versus 45 caused by cars.

Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Joseph Lipsky reminds is fellow drivers not to rely solely on vehicle safety systems as a way to prevent car accidents. Two recent studies by the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that so-called automated driving systems do not always work as advertised in stopping crashes and avoiding personal injuries and wrongful deaths.

The AAA examined safety systems from a number of vehicle manufacturers by driving more than 4,000 miles in their vehicles and found problems and issues with those vehicles on an average of one malfunction every eight miles. The most frequently seen problems revolved around keeping cars in their own lane of travel and in those vehicles being able to identify and avoid  vehicles which were stalled or stopped in front of them, with many of those cars with supposed self-stopping systems actually crashing into a stopped vehicle nearly 66% of the time, at speeds in excess of 20 m.p.h.

In AAA on-road tests, each system had difficulty keeping its cars in its own lane, often times coming dangerously close to another car. Simulated track driving showed all vehicles, even those with self-acclaimed safety awards, were not able to consistently recognize a broken-down vehicle. Other manufacturers’ vehicles were not able to be tested as their systems were only designed to be used on specific roads, like highways divided by guardrails – meaning they are not helpful in many real-world driving situations.

The National Trial Lawyers Announces the Re-Selection of Joseph Lipsky as a Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyer in Florida After One Year

For Immediate Release

The National Trial Lawyers is pleased to announce that Joseph Lipsky of Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. in Plantation has been re-selected as a Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyer in Florida after his first year as an exceptionally respected member. This honor has been given to Mr. Lipsky for his superior skills and qualifications in the legal field. Membership in this exclusive organization is by invitation only and is limited to the top 100 attorneys in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers in either civil plaintiff or criminal defense law.

Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky has seen with his own eyes a small silver lining in the ongoing pandemic, a significant drop in serious car accidents across Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches over the past few months. The recent reduction in car accidents and truck accidents is certainly due to the findings from recent studies by Florida Atlantic University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Hawaii all of whom analyzed information from the State of Florida Department of Transportation. Those studies confirmed a year over year drop of nearly forty-eight percent of motor vehicle traffic on Florida’s roads and highways.

As most of us know, vehicle traffic dropped once the State and most counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe ordered business to close or reduce capacity in hopes of slowing the spread of Covid-19.  According to the Director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions, the significant decrease in roadway traffic is either attributed to those closures or a general overall fear many Floridians have related to the virus.

Researchers noted a variance between vehicle traffic on roads in and around cities as compared to roads considered to be rural.  The study determined that around one million vehicles traveling each day along rural roadways showed a drop commencing in mid-March. Then comparing the number of that traffic to that along so-called city or urban roadways, the researches noticed approximately 5 million vehicles daily in the beginning of March, surging to a height of 7 million as the month progressed and dropping down to 3 million daily vehicles by the end of the month.

Miami boating accident attorney Joseph Lipsky is disappointed to report that according to a recently released report from the United States Coast Guard, Florida again, now for the fifth straight year, ranks first nationwide in recreational boating accidents and deaths. More specifically, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed that the Florida Keys holds the dubious honor of being the most dangerous part of the state.

The Coast Guard’s report confirmed that Florida had the most dangerous waterways, as they were the scene of nearly 700 boat and jet ski accidents last year. In fact, Florida’s waterways were more than twice as dangerous as California, the next ranked stated. Florida had 679 boating accidents which resulted in 55 wrongful deaths. The property damage from those accidents was almost ten million dollars.  And while the number of accidents and personal injuries rose by two percent from the prior year, fatalities actually dropped by the same amount.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife report, Monroe County was followed by Miami-Dade in the greatest number of accidents. The Keys had ninety boat accidents with six deaths. Miami Dade had seventy-three accidents with two deaths. Due to the number of locals and tourists enjoying the Keys to fish and dive, it is not surprising that that destination is the most dangerous.

Having helped seriously injured victims of tractor trailer accidents across Florida for nearly thirty years, personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky is well aware of the reckless behavior that many truck drivers demonstrate daily upon our roads, including the Florida Turnpike and I-95.  However, we would be remiss if we did not remind our fellow drivers that they too must exercise caution when driving near a truck so as to help prevent deadly crashes.

Most car drivers don’t understand the limits tractor trailers have in being able to respond to the actions of another motorist. Professional drivers frequently encounter other drivers who are texting, talking on their phone rather than using a hands-free device, not allowing adequate distance when passing a tractor trailer or following too closely behind a truck. Tailgating is particularly dangerous, as truck drivers are not able to see a vehicle behind them unless it is far enough back to be visible in its sideview mirrors. Car drivers need to remember that tractor trailers have many blind spots.

Drivers need to remember that tractor trailers are not able to stop quickly, so when a car pulls out in front of a tractor trailer, which weighs nearly 80,000 pounds, they need to make sure there is enough room for the truck driver to stop if needed. When motorist fail to recognize the limitations truck drivers and their vehicles have, unfortunately deadly accident happen. In fact, recent studies demonstrated that nearly seventy percent of crashes in which a driver or passenger dies involve a collision between a car and a large truck.

Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky is sorry to report that over the last year, pedestrian deaths increased to their greatest level in nearly 30 years, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. This increase in pedestrian wrongful deaths flies in the face of a nationwide drop in the number of car accident fatalities.

The report found that nearly 6,600 pedestrians died in car and truck accident related crashes over the past year, an uptick of almost five percent from 2018.  As one can imagine, the Association is dismayed by the data, which represents thousands of affected families.

While the researchers have difficulty determining the precise reason for the deadly increase, they attribute the rise to driver conduct including the ever increasing use of cellphones and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol – a situation which will only continue to rise due to the growing trend of legalized marijuana use. In fact, driver intoxication played a role in about one-third of all car accidents resulting in a pedestrian fatality, with about sixteen percent of all drivers involved in pedestrian related crashes being legally drunk.

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