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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

Is online shopping leading to a rise in accidents?

We're living in complicated times, so nobody can blame you if you just find it safer and easier to do your shopping online. The super-fast shipping offers from Amazon, in particular, make online shopping very enticing.

Everybody else is pretty much doing the same thing, and Amazon has seen exponential growth in the last few years. Unfortunately, Amazon may be guilty of prioritizing profits and growth over safety. Investigations indicate that Amazon delivery drivers have been involved in numerous fatal crashes that might have been prevented.

An iguana in the road leads to a wreck in Florida

In mountainous or wooded areas, it's common to hear about drivers seeing deer in the road -- but you don't often hear about an iguana causing a wreck.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a driver on U.S. 1 near Marathon saw an iguana in the road and came to a complete stop to avoid hitting the animal. Unfortunately, a box truck traveling behind that vehicle wasn't able to stop in time. When the truck hit the back of the car, the smaller vehicle was propelled into the opposite lane, directly in the path of an oncoming pickup truck. In the end, two people were seriously injured and had to be transported by helicopter to Jackson South Hospital.

Could safety features reduce the chance of an accident?

Cars are smarter and more technologically advanced than ever before. In fact, you may soon be able to get behind the wheel of a vehicle that can drive you to your destination. It's logical to assume that safer vehicles would mean a lower rate of car accidents in Florida, but it is also important to consider that humans will still make mistakes behind the wheel. A mistake while driving can have devastating consequences, leaving other people with serious or fatal injuries. 

One way that cars can make the roads safer is to help drivers make safer decisions behind the wheel. Studies seem to suggest that these features do work, but that does not mean you will not suffer because of the actions of another driver. Any time you suffer because of the negligent or reckless actions of another person could be grounds to pursue compensation through a civil claim.

Why even crosswalks aren't safe for pedestrians

Being a pedestrian in Florida can mean risking life and limb sometimes. Florida has the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the nation, and 9 out of the country's "deadliest cities" for pedestrians are in the state. Pedestrians are regularly admonished by local authorities to use the crosswalks and obey the "Walk" and "Don't Walk" signs at intersections.

Even that may not be enough to stop you from being the victim of a negligent driver, however. Intersections -- with or without crosswalks and lights -- are still very dangerous for pedestrians. Here's why:

  • Speeders trying to beat the lights: Drivers who are rushing along may spot the yellow light at an intersection and keep on going -- whether pedestrians are about to be signaled to step off a curb or not.
  • Distracted drivers: Distracted driving has always been an issue on the roads, but the digital age has only enhanced the problem further. A driver may glance at their phone for "just a second" and not even see someone in a crosswalk.
  • Drivers making a right turn: A lot of drivers simply slide up to a spot where they can turn right on red and keep on moving even if there are people trying to cross the road in a crosswalk.
  • Drivers trying to get around other vehicles: Patience is often in short supply among city drivers when they see a stopped vehicle ahead waiting to turn or making deliveries. They may go around it without thinking about the foot traffic just out of sight.
  • Nighttime visibility can be poor: Sometimes drivers get confused by the array of lights and signs at an intersection in the dark, or they're so focused on the lights that they don't spot someone walking in the road.

Drunk driver just hit your car? Do this

By now, everybody knows that drunk driving isn't just a bad idea -- it's illegal. Yet, there are plenty of people who will still get behind the wheel of their vehicles after having a few drinks. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were over 5,000 crashes involving confirmed drunk drivers in the state in 2018 alone.

If you're in a wreck, how do you know if the other driver is drunk? What should you do? Here are some suggestions:

What counts as distracted driving? More than you think

When a driver is behind the wheel, his or her main responsibility is to drive safely and pay attention to the task at hand. Unfortunately, many drivers fail in this responsibility and allow certain things to distract them. This can result in car accidents that are completely preventable. Distracted driving is a serious safely threat for Florida drivers.

If you consider distracted driving, you probably think about cell phone use. Cell phones are certainly a big part of the problem, but there are many other things that can cause dangerous levels of distraction as well. It may be in your interests to learn more about what counts as distracted driving and how you can shield your interests in the event a distracted driver causes an accident that leaves you injured. 

Why do truck accidents keep increasing?

You can hardly look at the news without seeing something about another major truck accident. Despite all of the attempts to increase safety regulations over the years, the number of fatal truck accidents keeps increasing even though road accidents in general are down.

According to reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more fatalities related to truck accidents in 2018 than any year since 1988. The number of fatalities involving crashes had risen for the fourth year in a row -- and pedestrian deaths involving trucks had increased a tragic 13% over the previous year alone.

There are no 'minor fender-benders' with motorcycles

When a passenger vehicle bumps the fender of another passenger vehicle in traffic or in a parking lot, it's usually summed up as nothing more than a "minor fender-bender." There may be a little property damage, but people are seldom seriously hurt.

The same is not true where motorcycles are concerned. If a car, truck or sports utility vehicle taps the back of your bike while you're riding, you can go careening out of control and into the pavement.

Are self-driving cars the key to safer Florida roads?

Like many other Florida drivers, you may have concerns about how safe self-driving vehicles will truly be. You know that many auto manufacturers are working diligently to be the first to release an autonomous vehicle for widespread consumer use, which means you could be sharing the roads with a car or truck that is driving itself in the near future. Is it possible these vehicles will make Florida roads safer? 

Experts and automakers claim that self-driving vehicles will be safer because they will remove the human element from the driving equation. Humans are prone to mistakes, and even a small mistake has the potential to result in devastating consequences. However, there is reason to believe that self-driving technology may not reduce the numbers of accidents like many presume.

Why does fault matter after a car accident in Florida?

Every state follows its own rules when it comes to personal injury claims. Florida is one of the few states that has what's commonly called "no-fault" rules for car wrecks. Injured drivers are generally expected to pursue compensation for their injuries from their own insurance companies first before seeking compensation from the other party.

So, why does it matter who is actually responsible for a wreck? Your insurance may not cover all your damages. It's still may be necessary to pursue a claim against the other party if:

  • Your injuries need long-term care
  • You have permanent injuries or scars
  • You develop a permanent disability
  • You can't return to your job
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