Orlando Injury Law Blog

STOP for School Buses

Wednesday, February 04, 2015
The current law in Florida requires drivers traveling in both directions to stop for a school bus that has its stop sign out.  On roads with a raised median, barrier or other open space, traffic heading in the opposite direction does not have to stop.  The fine currently is $265.00 and suspension of your driver's license.   After several recent severe injuries and fatalities to children, a new bill is up for Senate vote called "Gabby's Law" which would make it a crime to pass a stopped school bus, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $500.00.  A second conviction would bring the jail time up to six months and the fine up to $1,000.00.  Gabby was killed by a car shortly after getting off her school bus in DeBary in 2010.  She was 12.

Airbag Explosion of Metal Shrapnel Suspected of Causing Death

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Metal shrapnel from a faulty airbag, which exploded after an automobile accident, is thought to have caused the death of an Orlando woman.  Her family is pursuing legal action against the car manufacturer and maker of the airbags.  If you suspect you or a loved one has been injured by a faulty airbag, you should contact a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer to discuss your rights and time limitations to file a claim.  In any event, call the manufacturer of your vehicle to be sure the airbags in your car have not been recalled for the safety of you and your family.  Due to the high humidity levels found in Florida, the problem with the airbags appears to be worse.

Florida Trucking Company Ordered Out Of Service after Series of Violations

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared a Florida-based trucking company as an “imminent safety hazard.” The agency has ordered the company out of service.

The company, Ken’s Trucking LLC, based in Grand Ridge has been involved in at least five accidents over the past 12 months alone. The company operates a fleet that consists of 33 trucker trucks-tractors, and 29 truckers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered the company to immediately stop all commercial motor vehicle operations.

The order came after an investigation that was conducted by the federal agency into Ken’s Trucking operations. That investigation was launched in August. Investigators found that trucks operated by the company were involved in at least five recordable accidents over the last year alone. At least two of those accidents were linked to maintenance problems with the vehicle.

In fact, the owner of the company Ken Branch also seems to have operated as a CDL driver in the company, and he himself was involved in an accident earlier this year that was linked to malfunctioning truck components.

According to the federal agency’s order, the company has a poor maintenance program that does not include regular inspections, repairs and maintenance of its vehicles, increasing the likelihood of accidents and injuries involving its fleet. In fact, many of the company’s violations had the potential to cause serious accidents. The company chalked up a number of violations, including failure to oversee and maintain driver qualification files, allowing drivers who tested positive for drugs, or those with suspended commercial driver’s licenses to operate trucks and failure to monitor drivers to ensure that they complied with the federal Hours Of Service rules, limiting the number of hours that a trucker can drive consecutively.

Alcohol Use Could Increase Accident Risks for Senior Motorists

Sunday, March 02, 2014

The spotlight on driving under the influence of alcohol very often tends to focus on younger teenage drivers, because of widespread alcohol use in this population. However, the actual influence of alcohol on a person’s driving abilities may be much more acute in the case of senior motorists.

According to a new study, even moderate amounts of alcohol use by senior drivers can affect driving abilities. For example, a simple glass of wine may not have a very intoxicating effect on a 25-year-old, and a person who is driving with this amount of alcohol in his blood, is very unlikely to qualify as “legally intoxicated”. However, when that same glass of wine is being consumed by a senior motorist above the age of 60, there are likely to be considerable effects on his driving capacities. In fact, senior motorists, who are driving even with such small amounts of alcohol in their blood, could be at a high risk of accidents injuring themselves and others.

The research was conducted by scientists at the University of Florida, who wanted to see how drinking small amounts of alcohol impaired driving abilities of seniors. There were two groups of people analyzed as part of the study. One consisted of persons in the 25 to 35 age group, and the other consisted of persons in the 55 to 70 age group. There were 36 people analyzed in each of these groups.

The researchers found that while neither group had drunk enough number of alcoholic beverages to qualify as being legally intoxicated, older drivers seemed to have their driving abilities impacted by just one drink.

In fact, the researchers are actually calling for a re-evaluation of blood-alcohol levels for all drivers. A senior who is driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or above, which is the maximum permissible level, could be at a much higher danger of being involved in an accident, compared to younger motorists who can more easily tolerate alcohol.

Florida Continues Poor Performance in Driving Safety

Saturday, February 01, 2014

The state of Florida ranked at the bottom of the list in a study that focuses on driving safety state-wise, specifically on states’ implementations of several traffic safety laws aimed at preventing auto accidents.

The results released by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety state that in 2013, Florida ranked at the bottom of the heap with a total of just six of the required laws implemented in the state. The study was based on whether states have implemented 15 essential traffic safety laws that include everything from seatbelt use and teen driving safety to drunk driving.

Florida, according to the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, has only six of the laws that are recommended by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Some of those missing laws that the group would like to see are laws requiring primary enforcement for all seats, all-rider helmet laws, ignition interlock laws, and booster seat laws. Florida also does not have a ban on text messaging while driving for all drivers, and also does not have 4 out of 7 essential teen driving rules.

States were color coded and rated based on the number of laws implemented. Green states were those that had managed to implement 11 of the laws, including primary enforcement seat belt laws for front seat passengers as well as backseat passengers, or nine or more laws, including primary enforcement seat belt laws for both front and back seat passengers and all-rider helmet laws. Red states were those that had fallen dangerously behind in adopting the recommended optimal traffic safety laws.

Florida transportation safety agencies need to wake up and see that motorists in the state continue to remain at risk of injuries and fatalities, because of the state’s failure to enact these important laws.

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