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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

What is a common carrier?

While most people don't think of them as such, any Tampa resident who has traveled on a bus, in a taxi or taken some other form of public transportation has likely traveled on a common carrier.

Basically, a common carrier is any business, or individual, which offers to take passengers from one place to another for compensation.

Rear-end accidents are plaguing the area's highways

A previous post on this Florida blog talked about how distracted driving remains a serious problem in Florida. The latest headlines in the news only demonstrate this point, as two recent accidents on local highways may both wind up being attributed to distracted or inattentive driving.

The first accident happened on Interstate 75. Traffic that was heading north in the early evening hours, at the tail end of the evening commute, apparently started to slow down after a passenger vehicle stopped on the road for a reason that was not clear.

Impaired driving happens well before a person reaches .08% BAC

Most people are aware of the dangers associated with drinking and driving, yet alcohol-related car crashes continue to be a major problem on Florida roads. Around 10,000 people die in these types of accidents each year, and it may be because people often underestimate the potential danger of consuming even a small amount of alcohol behind the wheel. In reality, drunk driving or driving after drinking even a little bit can have serious consequences.

Drunk driving accidents are completely preventable. People are responsible for the choices they make behind the wheel, especially if they cause harm to others. It is against the law for a person with a blood alcohol content of .08% to drive, but there is evidence to suggest that impairment can start well before a person reaches that BAC level

Drowsy driving is a bigger problem than many think

If you have ever gotten behind the wheel while a little sleepy, you are not alone. Every driver has been tired while operating a vehicle at some point, but there is a difference between being a little sleepy and dangerously fatigued. Overly tired drivers can be dangerous drivers, increasing the chance of an accident for every person on the road.

Drowsy driving is a bigger problem than many people think. When you think of dangerous things people do while driving, you probably think about things such as texting, driving drunk or speeding, but you may not think about how dangerous it can be to drive fatigued. In reality, it can slow reaction times and make it more likely that a crash will occur.

Report: distracted driving remains a deadly problem

While Florida and other jurisdictions have continuing to take measures against texting and driving, it seems that, at least according to recent statistics, distractions behind the wheel continue to be a deadly problem on the roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, as of two years ago, just under 10 percent of all fatal accidents involved a distracted driver. In raw numbers, this means that over 3,150 people in 2017 died due to distracted driving.

Pedestrians and others who were not actually in a motor vehicle at the time of the accident were hit particularly hard by distracted drivers, with almost 600 non-occupants, like pedestrians or bicyclists, losing their lives because of distracted driving. Perhaps, not surprisingly, NHTSA's study found that the youngest drivers, ages 15 to 19, were most likely to be involved in a fatal accident involving distracted driving.

Review of when punitive damages are available in Florida

Several posts on this blog have discussed how, in some cases, an injured victim in the Tampa Bay area can recover punitive damages after the victim has suffered an injury in a car accident. A review of punitive damage in Florida may therefore be helpful.

Basically, punitive damages are available in those cases where it is appropriate to make an example out of the person responsible for the accident. As the name implies, punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, go above and beyond compensation for medical bills and the like, as they are designed to punish the wrongdoer for behavior that is simply unacceptable. Punitive damages also serve as a warning to others not to engage in such behavior.

Hands free in school and work zones is the law

Distracted driving continues to be a problem in Florida and across the United States. There are so many distractions that can affect a person's driving. Besides the distractions caused by typical activities, like eating, playing music, putting on makeup, etc., cell phones have become the major driving distraction in recent years. Our state, like many other states, is passing laws trying to combat the use of cell phones while driving to help prevent accidents.

A law recently went into effect on October 1 that mandates drivers in our state must be hands free in work zones and school zones. Hands free means that drivers cannot have their cell phones in their hands while they are driving through a construction zone or school zone. Florida already has a ban on texting while driving, and this mandate is an extension of that law that went into effect earlier this year. Beginning on January 1, 2020, drivers who are caught with their cell phones in their hands in these zones will receive a citation with fines and point reductions on their driver's license.

Criminal sentence delivered after drunk driver caused fatal crash

Hearing on the news, or through the grapevine, that anyone has been injured in a car accident is certainly hard to hear. However, when car accident fatalities happen, this is another level of tragedy. Such was the case when a mother, father and child were killed in a hit and run car accident. This happened back in 2017 and the criminal case has just announced sentencing for the accused.

According to reports, the woman not only hit and ran in the fatal accident, but was speeding in excess of 120 mph and was intoxicated at the time of the crash. It was determined that the fatal accident occurred when her vehicle struck the family's vehicle which sent it into the oncoming lane of traffic, causing it to collide with two other vehicles before promptly bursting into flames. The circumstances of the crash were terrifying and the deaths were definitely not only criminal, but negligent.

The most common causes of car accidents

As you commute to work or head out to run errands around town, you are probably not thinking about the potential risks you could be taking simply by getting behind the wheel of your vehicle. In reality, driving can be risky, especially because you cannot control the actions of others. Car accidents are often the result of negligent or reckless actions of other people on the road. 

If you are the victim of a car accident, you may have grounds to pursue legal recourse for your pain and suffering. In order to have a valid claim, you must be able to prove that the choices or actions of another party caused you harm. It may help to learn more about the most common causes of car accidents and how you can protect your interests.

Tired drivers could be endangering others on Tampa roads

When you are driving down a Tampa-area road, you probably do not assume you will be involved in an accident on your way to your destination. However, you are still cautious and careful, making sure that you remain attentive to the rules of the road and the actions of others. Even the best and safest of drivers have little control over the reckless or negligent choices of others, such as the decision to drive while fatigued.

If you listed dangerous behaviors that can cause car accidents, you may be thinking about things such as drunk driving, distraction or speeding. You are likely not thinking about a person being so sleepy that he or she is dangerous behind the wheel. In reality, fatigued driving is a serious safety threat, and it is probably more prevalent than you realize.

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