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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

Motorcycle accidents are common and often preventable

Motorcycles may be a fun and efficient way to travel across the state of Florida, but they can also be a very dangerous mode of transportation. Even when a motorcyclist takes every possible safety precaution, educates themselves on how to drive in different conditions and places, and follows all of the laws of the roads, they may still suffer serious harm in a collision. That is because it is often the fault of vehicle drivers who do not pay attention to their surroundings and collide with otherwise safe riders.

In some cases, drivers simply do not see other vehicles on the road while they are operating their own vehicles. Because motorcycles are so small, they can get missed by drivers when they scan their surroundings.

Hundreds lose their lives in drugged driving crashes in Florida

Earlier this year, Florida repealed its ban on smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes. This may mean that more people will be using smokable marijuana than before the repeal. While this might not seem like such a big deal to some, when it comes to operating an automobile, a drugged driver can be just as dangerous as a drunk driver.

A report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles states that, in 2018, over 420 individuals lost their lives in crashes involving marijuana. Driving while high is a serious issue. But, detecting whether a motorist was high when a crash occurred is difficult, as the THC found in marijuana can remain in a person's system long after the high has worn off.

Floridians who drive high can cause serious accidents

Most people in Florida understand that drunk driving is dangerous. If they cause a drunk driving accident, they could end up injuring innocent people.

In Florida, drugged driving is treated just as seriously as drunk driving. This is because drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine or heroin, can affect a person's mental and physical abilities. Even certain over-the-counter drugs or prescription drugs can have side effects that impair a person to the extent that they cannot safely operate an automobile.

How safe are self-driving cars, really?

You are probably already aware of the fact that self-driving vehicles could be on the road with you in the near future. Many companies are currently in the testing phase of rolling out vehicles that will actually drive themselves. You, like many others, may have significant concerns about how safe these vehicles actually are and whether they pose a safety risk to Florida drivers.

The companies looking to produce self-driving vehicles insist they are safe, but there are reasons why you may think otherwise. Recent headlines have shown that some of these automated cars have been involved in accidents that resulted in serious or fatal injuries. Safety is a serious concern, and it may help you to learn more about how these cars work and what the statistics really say about safety. 

Is Florida too dangerous for cyclists?

When a person on a bicycle is in a collision with a moving vehicle, the individual on the bike is likely to suffer serious injuries. A cyclist is largely unprotected against the weight and force of a large vehicle, even when wearing a helmet and safety gear. Motorists have the responsibility of driving carefully and cautiously when in the vicinity of a cyclist.

Florida is a state where it is popular to travel, commute and sightsee by bike. However, there are statistics that indicate it may actually be a dangerous state to do so. Sadly, the state leads the nation in the number of fatal cyclist-involved accidents. If you are a cyclist, you may want to learn more about the dangers you could be facing and how you can stay as safe as possible.

How does comparative fault apply to legal claims in Florida?

There can be many scenarios that lead to a motor vehicle accident. For example, perhaps you were speeding when you were t-boned by a distracted driver at an intersection. The distracted driver clearly wasn't paying attention to the road and violated traffic laws when the incident occurred. However, you were speeding, which also breaches a motorist's duty of care. Because you were partly at fault for the crash, does this mean that you cannot pursue a legal claim against the other driver?

When it comes to lawsuits, Florida follows the laws of contributory fault. If you are suing based on negligence, the amount you will be awarded in damages will be diminished proportionally based on the amount of fault attributed to you. The judgment against each responsible party will be based on the percentage of that party's fault. Florida does not base judgments on the doctrine of joint and several liability.

Federal regulations aim to prevent commercial vehicle accidents

Commercial vehicles are a common sight on Florida roads, specifically buses. People travel to and from work and shops on city buses. Other buses transport people from one part of the state to another, for business or pleasure purposes. However, it is important that commercial vehicles be driven with care. This is because the large size of commercial vehicles makes any accident involving one potentially catastrophic.

There are many reasons why an accident could occur. One common reason is driver fatigue. Drivers of commercial vehicles often spend many hours on the road and may be given a financial incentive for reaching their destination quickly. Because many commercial vehicle accidents are due to driver fatigue, the U.S. has regulations dictating when a driver must rest.

Sharing the road with driverless vehicles in the future

There are have been many headlines lately about driverless vehicles and the safety of these types of vehicles. Like many others, you may be wondering how safe these vehicles really are, and how it can possibly be smart to have completely autonomous machines making potentially life or death consequences.

If you are a Florida driver, it is possible that you could be sharing the road with driverless vehicles much sooner than you expect. Recently, state legislators passed a measure that would now make it legal to operate a driverless vehicle on any state roads. As a person who will potentially be sharing space with autonomous vehicles in the near future, it could be in your interests to learn as much as possible about what this means for you and your safety.

Texting and driving bill headed to Governor's desk

A bill that would raise texting and driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense was recently passed by the Florida House and is now awaiting the approval of Governor Ron DeSantis. The bill also makes it illegal for motorists to use a cellphone in school or construction zones. However, using GPS is still lawful, unless the motorist is in a school or construction zone. This measure would allow Florida to catch up with other states in the nation on this issue, as it is one of only four states in which texting and driving is a secondary offense.

Currently, texting and driving is a secondary offense, meaning that the police must have a reason other than observing a motorist texting for making the traffic stop. Under this bill, if an officer observes a motorist texting and driving, that alone can provide them with the authority to pull the motorist over. Under the bill, the first time a motorist is ticketed for texting and driving, they will be fined $30. A second or subsequent violation will lead to a $60 fine. In addition, the bill provides a grace period: until January, officers are only permitted to issue a warning for texting and driving.

We help those injured in pedestrian accidents

Pedestrians are a common sight in Florida, especially when the weather is pleasant, as it is much of the year in the Sunshine State. Moreover, many major cities in the state aim to be pedestrian-friendly. Pedestrians have every right to be out and about.

Unfortunately, that means that auto-pedestrian accidents will occur. Motorists are often in a hurry or are distracted, and they may simply not see a pedestrian before it is too late. Even pedestrians who are following the rules, crossing in crosswalks when they have the right of way at an intersection, can be struck by a car.

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