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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

The extreme dangers of cognitive distraction while driving

Have you ever arrived at your destination only to realize that you have no recollection of the time between when you left your house and when you parked your vehicle? Even with two hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, it is possible to be driving while distracted. An unfocused mind is actually quite dangerous, and it can lead to serious motor vehicle accidents.

There are many things that can take a driver's attention, and while cell phones are the worst problem, they are not the only concern. Things such as daydreaming, talking to a passenger and even listening to a good song on the radio can lead to cognitive distraction. This happens when a person's mind is far away from the task at hand even while actively engaging in it.

Who is to blame if you trip and fall outdoors?

When you are walking outdoors, your mind is probably not on the various things that could cause you harm. You may simply be walking to your vehicle in a parking lot, going to work or exercising, and the next thing you know, you could find yourself on the ground, injured. Dealing with a trip-and-fall injury can be overwhelming, and you may be unsure of what you should do next. 

You may assume that your accident was your own fault or was the result of your own clumsiness somehow. In reality, another party may be to blame for what happened to you. If you are not sure the factors that caused your injuries or you think legal action may be appropriate, it is in your interests to learn about the options available to you as soon as possible after an accident.

Wrong-way Florida driver in deadly crash

A Florida man was killed in an accident on Jan. 17 after driving the wrong way on the Don Shula Expressway in Miami. Around 2 p.m., an officer called in to report a Volkswagen sedan that was going north on the expressway's southbound lanes. The officer then turned around to try to pursue the vehicle.

However, before the officer could catch up, the Volkswagen sedan hit two other vehicles, a Jeep and another police car. The Volkswagen driver died in the accident. The police officer and two people who were in the Jeep were taken to the hospital although it was not known what their condition was.

Technology aims to stop drunk driving

Every year, thousands of people in Florida and across the country are severely injured in car accidents caused by drunk drivers. In fact, drunk driving has been one of the leading causes of injury crashes for over 100 years. With the wide range of advances in driving technology, however, it may be possible to stop drunk drivers and seriously cut down on the number of catastrophic crashes. One automaker is installing technology that aims to eliminate drunk driving without relying on breath test technology.

Volvo announced that it will begin producing vehicles in the coming five years that can detect drunk drivers before a potential crash. These cars will be equipped with a range of cameras and other automated technologies that aim to increase roadway safety and prevent motor vehicle accidents. Volvo is among several companies that are planning to introduce camera systems to monitor driver behavior, but it is the primary automaker that has indicated a focus on impaired driving specifically. In addition to cameras looking for signs of drooping eyelids and an inability to pay attention to the road, sensors will detect a lack of input at the steering wheel, intense veering from lane to lane or extremely delayed reaction times.

Coach bus accident causes multiple injuries

A coach bus traveling in another state went out of control on a major highway, ultimately causing a pileup involving other commercial vehicles as well as passenger cars.

This bus accident left dozens of people injured. The story attracted national media attention.

High drivers continue to pose a threat on the roads

According to a recent study, about 12 million people over the age of 16 admitted that they had driven while under the influence of marijuana at least once during the calendar year 2018. Additionally, 2 million people admitted to driving under the influence of other illegal drugs.

Some people say these statistics may not reflect the full extent of the problem of high driving. For instance, one person pointed out that the data was based on people's own admissions, and some might not have felt comfortable acknowledging that they had driven while under the influence of drugs.

New law makes using a phone while driving a primary offense

Tech enthusiasts are usually the first people to hop in line for the newest, most advanced smartphones, but they are not alone in their excitement. In fact, you might not even know anyone who does not own a smartphone. It might also be hard to find someone who does not use his or her phone while driving. That could change as Florida police begin to enforce a new law.

It is no secret that texting and driving is dangerous. Despite this, many drivers seem to have a lot of misplaced confidence in their abilities to multitask. Police can now issue tickets to texting drivers and, in some cases, may ticket drivers who have any type of electronic device in their hands.

Why is drunk driving such a problem over the holidays?

It probably would not take statistics to demonstrate to Florida residents that drunk driving is rather common around the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

Many people have probably heard police departments in the greater Tampa area warn residents that they will be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers, and many others may just plan to travel less because of safety concerns.

Bridge accident closes Tampa road; causes serious injuries

An accident on the Interstate 275 Howard Frankland Bridge left one person dead and one person with serious injuries. The bridge also had to be closed in one direction for hours while authorities investigated the accident.

The accident apparently involved a failed lane change. The driver of a pickup tried to move over a lane but wound up in the space of another personal vehicle, causing a collision. The pickup flipped over as a result of the collision, and the driver of the passenger vehicle was forced into the outside rail of the bridge.

Another study shows distracted driving laws are having low impact

Like most other states, texting and driving is prohibited in Florida, and Florida also has legal restrictions on motorists using a hand-held phone while behind the wheel. However, the problem with drivers in the Tampa area and throughout the country being distracted by their phones seems to be continuing. Over 3,000 people die from distracted driving each year according to official numbers from the federal government, and many experts believe that the actual number is higher.

Moreover, although the number of fatal accidents involving cellphones has been declining over the last five or so years, the number of injury accidents related to texting or talking on one's cellphone has increased. As of 2017, the number of injury accidents related to phones was over 40,000.

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