Orlando Injury Law Blog

Florida Cities Rated Worst in America for Drivers

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

According to Allstate’s America's Best Drivers report for 2013, at least two Florida cities are some of the worst in the country for drivers. Miami and Hialeah were rated at the bottom of the list as being some of the worst cities in the country for motorists.

According to the report, the worst city for drivers in the country is Washington DC, where motorists have an average of 4.8 years between collisions. The average likelihood of a collision in this city is a staggering 109.3% higher than the national average. The national average between accidents is 10 years. In comparison, Miami drivers spend an average of just 6.3 years between accidents. The accident risk here is approximately 59.4% higher than the national average.

Motorists in Hialeah fare even worse. Here, they have just 5.6 years between accidents, and a collision likelihood that is 78.7% higher than the national average.

No Orlando car accident lawyer would be surprised by the fact that no Florida city features anywhere at the top of the list as being the best driving city in America.

Across the country, there has been a spike in the number of people being killed in traffic accidents. This increase in traffic accident fatalities, although very worrisome, is not really surprising. It is linked to an increase in the number of people involved in distracted driving accidents.

In 2012, there was an increase in the number of traffic accident fatalities in Florida, compared to the previous year. Florida continues to be among a handful of states that do not have laws against texting or cellphone use while driving. It's no wonder that our cities are ranked so poorly for highway safety.

12 Percent of All Red Light Violations Caused due to Distracted Driving

Friday, June 21, 2013

Inattention or distraction while driving can not only delay a person's response times, and slow down his reflexes, but it also increases a person's risk of running a red light. In fact, a new study finds that as many as 12% of all red light violations are the result of distracted driving.

The National Coalition commissioned the study for Safer Roads, and FocusDriven. The study looked at 118 intersections across 19 communities in the United States, which were all monitored and evaluated over a period of three months. All these intersections were equipped with red light camera systems.

On evaluating the camera images that were derived from these systems at these intersections, the researchers found that as many as 12% of the violations were the result of distractions. In fact, both of these organizations and their research claim that distracted driving could be responsible for as many as 7.3 million red light violations every year.

Red light violations typically lead to side impact accidents like broadside accidents, which result in very serious injuries to the occupants of the vehicle. That is because passengers may have very little protection from serious injuries when a vehicle from the side strikes them. Even with the existence of side airbags, these passengers may have a much higher risk of being killed or sustaining serious injuries in the accident.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also estimates that red light violations are a major cause of accidents across the country. It now appears that both red light violations and distracted driving are quite closely connected, and increase the risk of accidents for motorists. This only underscores the need for motorists to avoid using a cell phone for any purpose at any time behind the wheel.

AAA Predicts Increase in Thanksgiving Traffic This Year

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The AAA has predicted that there will be a slight increase in vehicular traffic this Thanksgiving, with approximately 39.1 million people expected to drive over the holiday. That is a 0.7% increase from the number of people who drove over the holiday last year.

The AAA expects 3.14 million people to take flights to their destinations this year. Overall, the AAA expects 42.6 million people to travel over Thanksgiving this year.

Those numbers are a steady improvement from back in 2008, when the economy was just beginning to tank, and there was widespread panic. That year, the number of people who traveled overall was just about 37.8 million people. Over the next couple of years, motoring traffic remained down, as people struggled to cope with rising costs, unemployment as well as high gas prices by cutting down on unnecessary or holiday travel.

Now, however, as the economy begins to recover, Orlando car accident lawyers expect an increase in travel, especially holiday travel and nonessential travel. That means more vehicles on the road.

This Thanksgiving, when there are more motorists in a hurry to reach their destination, it becomes even more imperative that people drive slowly, cautiously and avoid rash driving.

If you are among the thousands of motorists who will be driving across Florida this Thanksgiving, drive at low speeds, and drive defensively. With more motorists on the road, you cannot afford to be distracted. Switch off your cell phone and other electronic communication devices while driving. It goes without saying that you must avoid driving after having a few drinks, and stay at posted speed limits.

New Pedestrian Safety Initiative in Florida

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

A new Florida pedestrian safety initiative aims at cutting down the number of pedestrians injured or killed in accidents across the state of Florida. The crackdown is called Operation Best Foot Forward, and is aimed at cutting at least 50% of pedestrian-related injuries and fatalities in Orlando and across Orange County over the next 5 years.

The Best Foot Forward initiative includes the participation of public safety officials, educators, engineers, civic leaders, pedestrian safety advocates, Florida transportation planners, as well as concerned citizens of the state of Florida. The aim of the initiative is to prevent pedestrian-related injuries and fatalities, and make Orlando and Orange County roads safer for pedestrians to use.

Across Florida, Orlando pedestrian accident lawyers have found a concerted effort to encourage walking as a mode of transportation, and Best Foot Forward wants to encourage more people to walk, while making sure that there's a safe environment for them to do so.

Apart from education and awareness, the initiative also includes stronger law-enforcement activity. Orange County police officers have been committed to cutting down unsafe walking practices by pedestrians as well as risky driving practices by motorists. Over the summer, the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Orlando Police Department issued more than 1,600 warnings to drivers who did not yield to pedestrians at a marked crosswalk.

If you are a driver, you must know this. Under Florida law, you are required to yield to pedestrians when you see them on a crosswalk. Slow down when you approach a pedestrian on a crosswalk, and look out for pedestrians, even when you're not near a crosswalk. Yield to pedestrians when you see them at intersections, even if you do not find any pavement markings.

Florida Highway Patrol Blames Motorists for Gainesville Motor Vehicle Accident.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Florida Highway Patrol has hit back against allegations that its negligence caused a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 75 in Gainesville, which killed 11 people. The accident, which caught nationwide attention, also injured more than 46 people.

The pileup occurred in January this year, and began one Sunday morning when several motorists began driving into heavy fog and smoke on Interstate 75. The vehicles began crashing into each other as the fog reduced visibility to zero.

The multi-vehicle accident included more than 25 vehicles, including several semi trucks. The scene on the stretch of highway where the pile-up occurred was one of pandemonium, as several vehicles crashed into existing wreckage's. At the end of the carnage, 11 people were dead.

Orlando car accident lawyers had plenty of criticism for the Florida Highway Patrol, especially its decision to reopen parts of Interstate 75, after evaluating the smoke and fog situation in the area. Now the Florida Highway Patrol has given its own version of events, and its version blames motorists for failing to slow down when they entered the fog.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, weather conditions on the morning of the accident were rapidly changing, and the weather could not be predicted with complete accuracy. A review of the events of that day, the agency says, has found that the officers who made the decision to open up parts of the highway, acted reasonably.

The Florida Highway Patrol also claims that response personnel from the agency continued to travel through the Interstate every 10 minutes to evaluate the situation. They found that there was no deterioration of the foggy conditions that necessitated the closing down of the interstate. However, soon after, the crash occurred.

Florida Analysis Proves Red Light Cameras Prevent Accidents

Sunday, July 22, 2012

An analysis of red light camera systems in Hillsborough County indicates to Orlando car accident lawyers that the system has helped prevent accidents, leading to more than $100,000 in savings for the County officials. The analysis was conducted by the American Traffic Solutions website, which analyzes light camera systems at the intersection of camera Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road.

American Traffic Solutions has installed more than 3,000 such camera systems around the country. The group analyzed a number of red light camera systems around the country, and conducted a cost-benefit analysis of these systems.

The study found that in Hillsborough County, Florida, in 2011, the red light camera systems led to savings of as much as $175,604 at the Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road intersection. By the end of 2012, the same camera system is expected to save the county another $166,847. The analysis also found that by the year 2015, this camera system will save the county $795,337.

The savings come from a reduced rate of accidents involving drivers who comply with red light rules when they know an intersection has a red light camera. Red light camera violations are some of the most serious violations, and contribute to deadly accidents called broad-siding accidents. In these accidents, a motorist who runs a red light hits the side of another vehicle, leading to serious side-impact injuries. Passengers, who are involved in such side-impact accidents, can suffer devastating injuries because of the lack of protection against severe impact.

The red light camera systems also have great law enforcement benefits, allowing Sheriff’s deputies to be assigned to other law enforcement activities, thereby also saving money for the county.

24% of All Auto Accidents Involve Cell Phone Use While Driving

Monday, April 30, 2012

A new study indicates to Florida car accident lawyers exactly how important it is for the state to have some kind of law that will ban the use of cell phones while driving for all motorists.  Florida currently has no law that bans motorists from sending or receiving text messages while driving or using a cell phone while driving.  According to a new report by the National Safety Council, approximately a quarter of all accidents can be linked to motorists using a cell phone while driving.


The report says that 24% of all auto accidents can be linked to persons using cell phones while driving.  Those are scary numbers, especially in a state like Florida that has failed to take proper steps to prevent such reckless behavior by drivers.


The report titled State of the Nation of Cell Phone Distracted Driving, finds that cell phone use which includes both handheld as well as hands-free cell phone use contributes to about 1 million accidents every year.  That works out to approximately 21% of all accidents.  Another 3% of accidents every year are linked to motorists using text messaging devices.


Orlando car accident attorneys fear that the problem is even greater than the report mentions.  We simply do not have strong criteria by which to measure the amount of distraction that can cause an accident.  Also, many drivers choose to leave out the fact that they were using a cell phone while driving, when they are involved in an accident.  There are rarely witnesses to these accidents.  As a result, these accidents are under reported.

Using a cell phone while driving is not the most distracting thing that you could do while driving.  You could be distracted by other behaviors like talking with your passengers, or even snacking while driving.  However, if you are having a conversation with someone on a cell phone, most of your attention is focused on the conversation and not on driving, amplifying your accident risks.

Efforts to Minimize Speeding, Aggressive Driving-Related Accidents in Florida This Summer

Sunday, March 25, 2012

With spring here and summer just a few weeks away, Orlando car accident lawyers expect a spike in vehicular traffic and accident risks across the state. The Florida Highway Patrol is increasing efforts to prevent accidents related to speeding and aggressive driving.

The Florida Highway Patrol is dedicating the week from March 30 to April 4 to a campaign focused on increasing awareness about the risks of aggressive driving. The aim is to ticket drivers who drive at excessive speeds, change lanes rashly, and follow larger vehicles like 18-wheelers too closely. The agency is having more troopers stationed at South Florida's busiest highways and roadways, to ticket motorists who drive aggressively.

The Florida Highway Patrol has also announced that it is partnering with the Florida Trucking Association in a special initiative aimed at encouraging motorists to avoid the blind spots of a commercial tractor-trailer. Every commercial tractor-trailer driver has a few blind spots in his vision. These spots usually fall to the sides and rear of the truck. Motorists traveling in these blind spots may be invisible to the tractor-trailer driver. That means that the motorist is at a high risk of colliding with the truck.

The Florida Highway Patrol-Florida Trucking Association’s No-Zone Campaign encourages motorists to avoid these blind spots. The campaign is also raising awareness about the need for motorists to avoid driving too close to tractor-trailers. The agency plans billboard campaigns as well as radio spots to get the message out. Similar education efforts will be made at schools and community centers.

Over the next few weeks, there will be more motorists than usual sharing the road with you. Avoid driving under the influence, and using cell phones while driving. Drive at safe speeds. Speeding is linked to at least 1/3rd of all accident fatalities every year.

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.

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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