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Although April is Distracted Driving Awareness month, we, as Florida car accident lawyers know too well that that distracted drivers causing car accidents is an unnecessary problem which is plaguing Florida’s roadways. In fact, according to a recent report, Florida ranks 2nd worst, after only Louisiana, among all states, in the number of admitted distracted drivers, with more than ninety percent of all drivers admitting to using a phone while driving.

While the report, generated by EverQuote, is eye opening for many government regulators; we driver know too well the growing number of inconsiderate motorists who disregard other’s safety and drive while using their phone – any trip down I-95 or I-595 will result in seeing dozens of drivers with a phone in one hand. In fact, Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported nearly fifty thousand car accidents involving distracted driving upon our roads over the last year which resulted in nearly 4,000 personal injuries and more than 200 wrongful deaths.

According to EverQuote, although most drivers believe they are safe drivers, they don’t even realize how frequently they use their phone, to read a text or tweet, while their car is in motion. The company used an app which monitored vehicle operations to determine how poorly distracted drivers operate their vehicles. Considering that even reading or sending a text message results in a driver’s eyes leaving the road for nearly 5 seconds, a car traveling at 45 m.p.h. will actually travel more than 300 feet before the driver is able to get their eyes properly back on the road upon which they are traveling.

According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the most dangerous drivers on Florida’s roadways are so-called Millennials. Not surprisingly, the reason these 19 to 24 year olds cause so many car accidents is because they regularly are distracted drivers who text while driving, feel speeding is acceptable and regularly run red lights. Incredibly, Millennials are more dangerous and take more risks behind the wheel than even new 16 to 18 year old drivers.

The actual statistics are truly concerning. The AAA’s study revealed that sixty percent of Millenial drivers actually admit to sending a text or email while operating a motor vehicle.  That admitted rate is nearly twice as high as all other age groups of drivers.  Also, almost 50% of Millenials admitted to running a red light, one they could have easily stopped for, a rate that is almost 25% greater than other age groups.

Millennials also admit to regularly driving more than 10 m.p.h. over the posted speed limits in school zones. That behavior which endangers children and demonstrates a disregard of some of the most costly traffic ticket consequences is a rate which is more than double that of all other age groups of drivers. We, as Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers, share the same concerns as the AAA; that a large population of drivers is willing to regularly take unnecessary risks which needlessly increase the chance of being in a deadly car accident. Considering fatal car accident deaths rose more than 7% over the last year, this accepted recklessness should be truly concerning to Florida drivers.

Due to a dramatic rise in the number of Florida car accidents resulting in wrongful deaths, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recently brought back their Arrive Alive safety campaign. Fort Lauderdale personal injury Lawyer Joseph Lipsky knows too well that because of its weather, rising population and ever popular destination for tourists, Florida is always one of the most-deadly states for driving.

The updated Arrive Alive campaign is a statewide safety program which brings together the resources of all police departments and the Department of Transportation, who with the use of real-time data hope to stem the residing tide of deadly car accidents. The State moved forward with its initiative after recent statistics demonstrated a rapid rise in Florida car accident caused wrongful deaths, increasing from 2500 in 2014, to more than 3000 in 2016. Incredibly, nearly 150 people have needlessly lost their lives on Florida’s roadways this year.

Not surprisingly, Florida is not alone in experiencing a rise in deadly car accidents. Nationally, car accident wrongful deaths increased more than 7 percent of the same time period. Yet, multiple studies show that Florida’s roads, due to a lack of safety laws, remains a leader in dangerousness. Some of the needed safety laws include police enforcement of passenger seat belt usage, mandatory motorcycle helmet use and a ban on texting while driving.

Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky reports an unsettling trend about a rapid increase in the number of wrongful deaths involving pedestrians.   The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) just issued their latest report of traffic deaths, and sadly they note that the number of pedestrian wrongful deaths rose by almost ten percent last year.  This surprising increase in pedestrian fatalities was the largest in nearly 20 years.

Last year over 5,300 pedestrians died after being struck by a car or truck, an increase of more than 500 from the prior year. This increase was greater than the percentage of all traffic/driver or passenger fatalities, which rose just more than seven percent. Incredibly, Fort Lauderdale was the 6th most dangerous city for pedestrian deaths. This rise in roadway wrongful deaths reversed an almost 10 year drop in the number of annual traffic related fatalities.  In fact, 2014 saw a nearly 10,000 drop in deaths from just 8 years earlier. The rise in pedestrian deaths tied in with a similar rise in wrongful deaths of motorcycle and bicycle riders, of almost five percent over the past 10 years.

While government sponsored safety efforts and rapid increase in vehicle accident prevention technology, have had a beneficial effect upon vehicle occupants, by increasing seat-belt use and lowering the rate of drunk drivers, the same advances and efforts have ignored pedestrian safety.

Miami car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky knows most drivers are aware of the likelihood of car accidents caused by drunk drivers or distracted drivers. However, those same motorists are generally unaware of the dangers caused by drivers who get behind the wheel when they are drowsy or sleepy. Sadly, studies prove that motorists who drive with less than 5 hours of sleep are two times as likely to have a car accident when compared to drivers who get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Basically, the less sleep a driver has, the greater likelihood of having a car accident.

Research shows that the less sleep a driver gets, the greater likelihood they will be in a car accident. In fact, drivers who have slept less than 4 hours a night have four times the number of car accidents, a ratio approaching the dangers of drunk driving.  As the AAA states, anyone who has slept less than 7 hours over a 24 hour period should not drive a vehicle.

Earlier research demonstrates that nearly 20 percent of wrongful death car accidents in the United States involve a drowsy or sleepy driver. Last year, a total of over thirty-five thousand people died in car accidents across the United States according to research collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This was more than a seven percent increase in car accidents resulting in wrongful deaths over the prior year. The information used by the NHTSA came directly from car accident police reports which were limited to crashes in which at least one vehicle was towed from the crash location or where an ambulance responded to provide medical care to an injured driver or passenger. The drivers involved in those car accidents informed investigators about the amount of sleep they had in the prior twenty-four hours.

Ft. Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky is one of the people who believes that driving a sports utility vehicle (SUV) will help him avoid being seriously injured in a crash. Yet recent testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just proved that this common conception is not entirely accurate.

Most motorists are generally aware of the tests The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety do to determine the safety of cars involved in head-on and side impact crashes. Most people don’t realize that one of the most common types of car accidents involve so-called overlap crashes; that is, when the front corner of a vehicle crashes nearly head-on but actually closer to the drivers’ sides of passing vehicles, other types of overlap crashes happen when a vehicle strikes a pole or tree. These types of crashes account for nearly 25% of all serious car accident injuries. Given the increasing number of these overlap crashes and their resulting personal injuries and wrongful deaths, including nearly 1500 vehicle occupants who lost their lives in overlap crashes over the past two years.

Many of the small SUVs in the study sustained significant intrusion, over one foot, into the occupant compartment. Intrusion causes a vehicle’s instrument panel and parking brake to rapidly move toward the driver, impacting their knees and torso. Additionally, one of the vehicles even had a door during the test. If a vehicle door were to open during an actual crash, it is likely the occupant would be ejected, and killed. Death is sadly the most frequent outcome on an ejected occupant.

Like most motorists, Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky relies on his vehicle’s back up camera when pulling out of a parking spot into the street. Unfortunately, recent research indicates that even with the ever increasing presence and use of back up cameras, drivers keep having backing up car accidents.

A recent report demonstrates that ongoing efforts by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to require back-up cameras as standard equipment in all new vehicles by 2018, may not be the miracle most believe. As back-up cameras have been in vehicles for many years, the government has ample data to evaluate as to their effectiveness in preventing car accidents.

As review of that data demonstrates that while the number of vehicles equipped with back up cameras rose nearly 100% over the past three years, that the number of personal injuries caused in backing up car accidents only dropped by under 10%. On a positive note, car accident wrongful deaths caused by backing up accidents did decrease by thirty percent, from 274 to 189, over the last four years.

According to news reports, Volkswagen is agreeing to make cash payments of up $10 billion, or up to $7,000.00 to owners of their diesel cars, which apparently pollute more than advertised. The amount of each owner’s payment will depend upon the year of their car, among other factors.  The settlement is pending before the U.S. District Court for approval. The settlement stems from Volkswagen “fixing” of their emissions test results, in which they claimed their diesels were “clean” for the environment.

As Volkswagen is not expected to be able to repair these cars, owners will be entitled to a cash payment or negotiating a buyback of their vehicle.

Given the negative ramifications vehicle owners will have when they try to sell or trade-in their diesel vehicles in the future it is imperative that those owners seek legal guidance to make sure they make the best financial decision.  We are the Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky are available for free no-obligation consultations with owners of Volkswagen diesel cars to discuss the depreciation of their vehicles.  Feel free to contact us at our toll-free hotline 1-888-352-5298 (888-FLA-LAW8).  We are here to help.

 

 

Florida boat accident attorney Joseph Lipsky is surprised that a recent report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission determined that the number of boating related wrongful deaths actually declined nearly 25% last year, from 73 in 2014, to 55 in 2015. Predictably, more deadly boat accident happened in Broward County and the Florida Keys than anywhere else in Florida last year. Not to be left out, Miami Dade had the honor of having the greatest number of so-called reportable boating accidents, those involving personal injury and/or property damage more than $2,000.00, in 2015.

With the size of Biscayne Bay and frequent boating off shore of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade had 96 boating accidents in 2015, which resulted in nearly $3 million in property damage and unfortunately with three wrongful deaths and seventy four personal injuries. The Florida Keys, comprising of both Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, accounted for 78 accidents, resulting in 5 wrongful deaths and nearly 50 injuries. The 57 boating accidents in Broward County during 2015, resulted in five deaths and over 40 injuries.

According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, about one half of all boat accidents were caused by operators failing to maintain a proper lookout and being distracted, just like the careless actions of distracted car drivers.

With the growing talk of self-driving autonomous vehicles, Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky has wondered about the efforts of the companies hoping to sell driverless cares to protect other drivers and pedestrians. Apparently one of those companies, Google, has also been thinking about how to prevent pedestrian car accident personal injuries. Recently, Google received a patent for what can only be described as human fly paper.

Google’s invention is essentially a strong adhesive type tape which will be placed on the front/hood of their vehicles. In the event of a car vs. pedestrian accident, the tape would “hold” the pedestrian onto the hood of the vehicle, preventing them from falling to the roadway.  As many of the injuries pedestrians suffer after being hit by a car happen when that person is thrown onto the road after being hit by a car, the thought is the tape will help stop the so-called secondary impact.

The inventors envision the tape being covered by some type of shell which will break open upon impact with a pedestrian, but will keep the tape protected from road debris such as dirt and bugs.

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