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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

May is motorcycle safety awareness month

The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHST) has declared May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month; in Tampa, both local motorcycle riders and tourists are out in droves, enjoying the early summer weather. However, both motorists and motorcyclists need to be more aware of one another while on the road. In 2015 alone there were 571 motorcycle accidents in Pinellas County, 26 of those accidents were fatal. That's an average of over two fatal motorcycle accidents a month! In order to keep yourself safe while riding around Tampa, here are a few motorcycle safety tips to keep in mind.

How many motorcyclists are injured in Florida?

Motorcycles encounter unique dangers and vulnerabilities on the roadways but residents of Florida communities may wonder about the incidence of motorcycle accident injuries in their communities. During 2009, there were 8,202 motorcycle riders and motorcycle passengers injured in Florida. In 2008, 9,402 motorcycle riders and motorcycle passengers were injured in Florida. With the exception of 2009, which saw a small decrease, motorcycle accident injuries have been increasing in Florida since 2002.

Can hit-and-run pedestrian accident victims get help?

This blog recently discussed the serious dangers of auto-pedestrian accidents to pedestrians. At times, victims may be struck by a driver that leaves the scene resulting in a hit-and-run pedestrian accident. Victims of pedestrian accidents can suffer significant damages including physical, financial and emotional damages which can be worsened in circumstances when the negligent driver responsible for the accident is a hit-and-run driver. Victims of hit-and-run pedestrian accidents may wonder what options are available to them.

Despite potential challenges, personal injury legal options exist to protect victims of hit-and-run accidents. This includes circumstances in which the negligent driver cannot be identified. While the circumstances can sometimes be complex, protections are available to victims of auto-pedestrian accidents in a variety of situations. The legal process is designed to account for various situations including when a negligent driver has fled the scene of an accident. It is important for drivers to remain at the scene of an accident, especially if it has resulted in property damage or, worse, injury or death. A driver's failure to do so may result in criminal charges.

The importance of protecting victims of pedestrian accidents

Pedestrian accidents with cars can be devastating and result in serious and costly injuries for victims and their families. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 75,000 pedestrians are injured each year in auto-pedestrian accidents, and 5,000 victims die each year in pedestrian accidents. This means that, on average, a pedestrian is injured every 7 minutes in an auto-pedestrian accident.

Because of the size disparity between pedestrians and the cars and trucks that may strike them in a pedestrian accident, victims can suffer catastrophic injuries. Pedestrian victims may suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, crush injuries, internal injuries, complex bone fractures and paralysis. As a result, medical expenses, future medical care, lost wages, lost-earning capacity and disability expenses may all be huge expenses.

Takata airbag recall: What Florida drivers need to know

The Takata airbag recall is now the biggest automotive recall in history. About 28.8 million airbag inflators in 24 million vehicles in the U.S. have already been recalled. The airbags have been found to deploy improperly during a crash, shooting metal fragments into drivers and passengers. At least 100 injuries and 11 deaths have been reported across all makes and models.

The dangers of commercial vehicle accidents

Commercial vehicle accidents can be complex and can result in serious injuries and harm to victims. Commercial vehicles can be especially dangerous to passenger vehicles and other smaller vehicles such as motorcycles. It is important for both truck drivers and other motorists to be aware of the potential dangers commercial trucks present.

The size of commercial trucks and the high speeds commonly driven on the roadways can lead to catastrophic accidents. While there are different ways that drivers of passenger vehicles can act carelessly and thereby endanger other drivers such as drivers of commercial vehicles, there are also ways in which drivers of commercial vehicles may also act carelessly and cause serious accidents as a result.

Tips to avoid distracted driving and help keep everyone safe

This blog recently discussed some of the dangers truck drivers can encounter on the road. During April, which is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it is a good time to remember the dangers associated with distracted driving and review some tips to help avoid distracted driving and distracted driving-related car accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation began Distracted Driving Awareness Month in 2014 when it noticed an increase in distracted driving and decided to focus on bringing greater awareness to the problem.

Professional truck drivers, of course, spend a number of hours navigating roadways throughout Florida and the rest of the country. A group of professional truck drivers from the American Trucking Association have tips to offer to help keep everyone safe on the roadways. One professional truck driver notes that distracted driving is the biggest problem he faces and an easy one to solve. One of the simplest tips is to place cell phones on silent and out of view while driving.

Safely sharing the road with trucks is an important concern

Truck drivers can have a difficult time on the road, encountering pedestrians and motorists who may be largely unaware of the challenges truck drivers face. When pedestrians and motorists behave carelessly, and do not appreciate the dangers trucks can present, it can result in near misses. Failing to safely share the road with trucks can result in significant harm.

The American Trucking Associations reports that 75 percent of accidents involving trucks are caused by the other driver involved in the accident. It is important for all drivers to be familiar with the differences between handling a truck versus a motor vehicle. Truck drivers who have millions of miles on the road accident free can provide safety tips for drivers to be aware of.

How serious are pedestrian accidents?

Auto-pedestrian accidents can have a number of unwanted outcomes and can unexpectedly alter the lives of victims and families in an instant. As a result, many individuals may be familiar with the subject of pedestrian safety and wonder how serious the problem of pedestrian accidents and pedestrian accident injuries are.

During 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 150,000 pedestrian accident victims required emergency room treatment for injuries associated with pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians are treated for a number of different serious, and potentially debilitating, non-fatal injuries associated with pedestrian accidents each year. Injuries can include brain, head, neck, spinal cord and back injuries; broken bones and serious soft tissue injuries, as well as lacerations and contusions.

Florida motorcycle accident leads to injuries

Victims of motorcycle accidents have protections against negligent drivers. In a Florida community less than two hours southeast of the Tampa Bay area, a motorcycle accident recently resulted in several injuries to different victims.

Approximately one dozen motorcyclists were participating in a charity memorial ride for a friend who had passed away when the accident occurred. The motorcycle accident took place at an intersection. According to witnesses, the accident occurred when one of the cars involved failed to yield the right of way to the motorcycles while making a left turn on a green light. Authorities did not say whether or not the driver will be charged with a traffic infraction.

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