Orlando Injury Law Blog

Efforts to Identify Victims of Florida Highway Accident Continue

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Florida Highway Patrol has identified a total of 7 victims of the deadly multivehicle accident on Interstate 75 on Monday. Three of the victims have been burned severely, and have not yet been identified. The 7th victim has been identified as a 27-year-old woman from Gainesville, Florida. Other victims include the members of a pastor's family, who were on their way back to Atlanta.

Meanwhile, investigations into the accident have begun. Local investigators will be joined by investigators from the Federal Department of Law Enforcement. For now, investigators believe that the tragedy was the result of poor visibility conditions on the interstate. Conditions were smoky, from a brush fire nearby. Investigators are looking at the causes of the brush fire, and there is some belief that the fire was intentional.

However, Florida car accident lawyers expect that more attention will be paid to the decision to open up the interstate when road conditions were clearly not fit for travel. Authorities had opened up the highway late on Sunday evening, after having closed it down because of the smoky conditions. That led to a massive multivehicle pileup that included at least 12 vehicles, 6 commercial trucks and one motor home. Ten people have been confirmed dead in the accident, and 18 have been injured.

Rescue efforts were hampered by the fact that visibility was so poor. In some cases, victims could hardly extricate themselves from their own cars, because they could not see right in front of them. Rescuers were forced to rely on their sense of hearing, looking for sounds of screaming and moaning from survivors. Many of the vehicles burst into flames upon impact, worsening an already bad situation.

Pedestrian Accident Report Provides Misleading Picture

Monday, January 23, 2012

A new report linking an increased number of pedestrian fatalities to the growing use of headphones and personal music systems by pedestrians, offers a misleading picture of the causes of pedestrian fatalities. The report by researchers at the University of Maryland in dramatic fashion headlines the three-time increase in pedestrian accident fatalities involving the use of headphones while walking. This seems to Orlando pedestrian accident lawyers a reflection of the growing tendency to blame pedestrians for accidents.

As the report so dramatically states, there were 108 fatalities involving pedestrians using headphones during an eight-year period between 2000 2009. During the same time, there had been a total of 47,700 pedestrians killed in the United States. So, the number of the pedestrians who had been using headphones at the time of the accident, is just about .3%.

That's hardly a figure to get excited about, unless you believe that all accidents involving pedestrians are caused by the person walking at the time.

The report has been widely cited in the media, and that is very disturbing to Orlando car accident lawyers, because the report seems to be content to point fingers at the victim, in this case pedestrians. The number of pedestrians killed in 2011 increased slightly over the previous year. That increase has not come about because more numbers of pedestrians are now walking about with headphones. That increase was the result of an environment of diminishing safety for pedestrians, marked by poor transportation safety initiatives for pedestrians, low awareness of pedestrian safety, and a tendency to brush aside pedestrians’ rights.

What the researchers need to do is find out why more pedestrians died in 2011, and what we could be doing to keep them safer, instead of pointing fingers at victims.

Senior Motorist Accident Risks in Florida Expected to Increase

Monday, December 12, 2011

With a substantial population of baby boomers and retirees, Florida is no stranger to the safety concerns and challenges facing elderly motorists. However, as the number of baby boomers across the country increases, Orlando car accident lawyers expect the state to play host to more numbers of these senior citizens. The American Occupational Therapy Institute is marking December 5 to December 9 as Older Driver Awareness Week. The group is drawing attention to the growing safety concerns facing senior drivers as they age.

In Florida, in 2008, 447 senior motorists above the age 65 were killed in car accidents. These deaths comprised about 15% of all car accident fatalities in the state of Florida. According to a survey by the Florida State University and the Florida Department of Transportation, very few senior drivers plan for the day when they will no longer be able to drive. Most senior drivers believed that they would be able to drive till they die, or firmly believed that they would never have to give up their driving privileges. Approximately 13% of older drivers said that they would never give up driving.

Senior safety concerns are expected to affect Florida the most. The Florida Department of Transportation recently awarded a grant to the Pepper Institute to devise strategies to handle the explosion of senior motorists in the state. The object of the Aging Road User Strategic Safety Plan will be to develop strategies that can help reduce the number of accidents involving senior citizens in Florida.

Telling an older driver that his or her driving abilities have begun to diminish and that it's time to give up driving privileges, is not an easy task. For older drivers, driving is one of the last physical activities that they enjoy with complete independence, and not surprisingly, they choose to hang onto these privileges. However, families of older drivers must look out for signs of deteriorating driving abilities. If a senior citizen is becoming increasingly forgetful and confused, takes a long time getting back home after a drive, or shows signs of diminished physical capacity, it may be time for family members to initiate that uncomfortable conversation.

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