Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

As car accident attorneys helping seriously injured accident victims throughout Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and the Palm Beaches, we are not surprised that a recent survey determined that Florida has the worst drivers in America. The study reviewed crash and police information accumulated from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reviews the number of wrongful deaths per miles driven in each state; the number of driving under the influence (DUI) arrests per state, as reported to the FBI; the ratio of insured versus uninsured motorists in each state; and Google’s analytics regarding the number of searches about speeding tickets and traffic tickets in each stated.

As everyone who suffers through the daily drive upon Florida’s highways, including the Florida Turnpike, I-75, I-95 and SR 826 knows, the study could only have one “winner” once it analyzed all the data. Incredibly, while most drivers think they drive well, the data reveals that that is not the case. In Florida, that data shows that our reputation is well earned. Florida’s drivers “won” for the 2nd year in a row, a dubious honor as the nations’ worst. Florida’s honor is attributed to the number of deadly car accidents, ranking 9th in the nation and we also had the 9th greatest number of internet searches for traffic tickets. Surprisingly, Florida ranked at the bottom regarding the number of DUI arrest.

In addition to being the state with the worst drivers, Florida also has the most dangerous road, U.S. 1. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, U.S. 1 has a fatality rate of 2.8, with more than 1,011 car accidents with more than 1,000 wrongful deaths over the past ten years. Not too far behind I-95 running through Broward and Miami-Dade Counties with a fatality rate of 1.73 accidents per mile.

While it may seem like common sense, many prospective car buyers do not realize the dangers associated with driving a small vehicle as compared to the safety of driving a larger vehicle. Research shows that drivers of small vehicles are more likely to be in a deadly car accident than those driving large vehicles. These drastic safety differences between the safest and most dangerous vehicles becomes more concerning when there are so many drivers on the road, such as this past Memorial Day weekend, when nearly 40 million were on the roadways who unfortunately have hundreds of car accidents.

Proof of the dangers and higher mortality rates associated with driving a small vehicle are evident in a recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. According to the head of research, “physics matter. The bigger the vehicle, the safer you are in an accident.” Additionally, many larger vehicles tend to be more expensive than entry level ones, meaning they generally come equipped with more safety equipment which also helps their drivers survive even highway car accidents. Some of the more prominent safety and accident prevention technology in more expensive vehicles include automatic braking, additional airbags and pre-tensioning seat-belts.

The IIHS went through 4 years of car accidents which resulted in nearly 3,000 wrongful deaths, which was a significant increase compared to the prior four year period, and analyzed that data over 200 models of vehicles, each of which have at least 100,000 models on the roads. The eye-opening results demonstrated that the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio had the highest death rates, with over 100 Hyundai Accent drivers’ deaths. As you can imagine, Hyundai, in trying to explain away the results, claims their vehicle meets all US safety standards.

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.

Miami car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky sadly reports that wrongful deaths from car accidents rose nearly eight percent over the past year. This drastic increase means 2015 was the deadliest year on Florida roadways in nearly a decade.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recent report, over thirty five thousand people died in car and truck accidents last year.  The deadly increase took investigators by surprise as the number of accident deaths in 2014 dropped to a decades low.

While investigators are not able to point to a specific reason why traffic deaths rose last year, it is believed that low gas prices put more motorists driving more miles on roads across the country. Additionally, as is certainly known, the increase in driver distraction, particularly texting while driving is certainly a contributing cause.  The number of deadly crashes rose despite ongoing safety efforts by the NHTSA, such as attempts to accelerate technology which may avert sleepy driving. The agency also announced additional initiatives to change driver behavior as it pertains to fighting drunk, impaired and aggressive driving.

Although common sense dictates that all vehicle occupants should be able to reach their destinations safe and alive, especially with the prevalence and use of so-called autonomous vehicle systems, such as automated braking and stability control, inattentive driver behavior remains a compelling reason for deadly crashes. Although, the recent death of a motorist who was apparently watching a movie while using his vehicle’s auto pilot feature last week, reminds us that accident prevention technology has serious limitations in its effectiveness.

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.

Florida car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky has seen an increase in the number of deadly car accidents over the past few years. Now a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety confirms Mr. Lipsky’s observations. It seems that the steady increase in highway speed limits over the last number of years is one of the most likely causes for the rise in highway accident wrongful deaths.

The IIHS’ study concluded that more than thirty thousand lives have been lost over the last 20 years, due primarily to higher speed limits. Last year alone nearly 2,000 people died in high speed highway car accidents. Incredibly, the rise in high speed highway deaths is more than the number of people saved by mandatory vehicle front crash airbags. Across the United States more than 9,000 people died in car accidents involving a speeding vehicle.

Ever since the U.S. Congress allowed states in 1987 to increase highway speeds above the 55 m.p.h. limit, the number of highway car accidents which resulted in wrongful deaths has risen exponentially. Most people do not realize that the reason speeds were allowed to rise, was not due to safety studies proving increased speeds were safe; rather, because gas price fears has subsided.  In fact, it was those concerns over energy prices which mandated the 55 m.p.h. speed limit.  The unexpected, and welcomed, side effect was a drop in highway car and truck accident deaths.

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