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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

Taxis, buses and limos are held to a high standard

Residents of Tampa put a lot of trust in the drivers of limos, buses, taxis and other forms of commercial mass transit, This even includes the relatively new ride-share companies that are now common in Florida, like Uber and Lyft.

Sadly, it sometimes turns out that this trust is misplaced, and the driver of one of these vehicles gets involved in a serious accident. A passenger can get severely and permanently injured as a result of these types of commercial vehicle accidents.

Could an app on the phone help reduce distracted driving?

As Florida readers know, distracted driving is one of the most critical issues threatening the health and safety of motorists. Distraction is now one of the leading causes of accidents, and authorities have tried many things to make drivers more aware and reduce accidents. Despite safety awareness campaigns and other measures, it remains a problem.

One professor from MIT noted that distracted drivers are rarely able to quit using their phones while driving "cold turkey." He and another professor considered the problem and developed an app that could help motivate drivers to make better decisions. The experiment with this app has been largely successful, and it could point to meaningful ways to combat distracted driving.

Do Florida laws really protect you against drunk drivers?

When a Florida driver faces arrest for drunk driving or causes an accident because he or she is drunk, you might assume that he or she will lose the right to drive. In many states, a person arrested for suspected DUI immediately loses driving privileges, but that is not the case in Florida. There is concern over how much the law actually protects law-abiding citizens and keeps drunk drivers off the road.

Because of fine print in Florida laws, drunk drivers may be back on the road much sooner than you would expect or assume to be appropriate. You may not know that every DUI citation contains wording that allows a driver to use the citation as a temporary driver's license for 10 days. This technically allows individuals with a history of drunk driving back on the road over and over again. 

St. Petersburg man hit by car, seriously hurt

A man in St. Petersburg suffered what police called life-threatening injuries as we crossing the street in the city, which most readers recognize as part of the greater Tampa Bay area.

According to police, the man was crossing the street but was in the middle of a city block when doing so. The driver of the vehicle that hit the man, who apparently stopped and cooperated with the police, claimed he simply had not seen the man. The accident happened in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day.

E-scooters causing alarm for pedestrians and riders

You may be noticing e-scooters popping up all over Tampa and other parts of Florida. The dockless scooters will be arriving in full force within a few months, and while many are excited about the new option for commuting, others are skeptical about their safety.

You can rent one through an app on your phone, which will tell you the location of the nearest scooter. You then unlock the lightweight scooter and ride it wherever you want by standing on its narrow footboard and operating it with hand levers. When you are finished, you just leave the scooter where you stop and lock it, and the app will charge your credit card and log the location for the next person who wants a ride. Unfortunately, you may be parking it outside the emergency room.

Most hit-and-run drivers are never found

It is a sad fact, but the number of deaths due to hit and run accidents has been on the rise over the last decade. In fact, the 2,046 recorded deaths due to hit and runs in 2016, which is the most current statistic, was the highest since the government started tracking this number in 1975.

It also represented a 35 percent increase in deaths since 2012 and a 60 percent increase in deaths since 2009. The vast majority of these victims, over two-thirds, were pedestrians or bicyclists.

Thanksgiving travel is looking to be busy this year

The roads are typical busy in the Tampa area and throughout Florida every Thanksgiving, and this year will likely be no exception.

In fact, the American Automobile Association, or AAA, is anticipating the busiest traveling season this Thanksgiving in 13 years, that is, since 2005. The AAA suggests that even in the face of higher gas prices, the strong economy has given travelers the financial security and confidence boost to hit the roads.

Teen drivers pose particular threat to pedestrians

Most residents of the greater Tampa area probably think that teenage drivers pose a higher risk on the road than drivers with more experience.

There are good reasons to think this based on current statistics. For example, according to one recent study, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19, who are in all likelihood inexperienced motorists, were involved in over 1 million crashes that affected over 2.8 million different people.

Will the time change lead to more sleepy drivers on the road?

When a person does not get enough sleep, it can make it difficult for him or her to perform daily tasks such as driving. Tired drivers are often dangerous drivers, even when they do not realize they are too fatigued to drive safely. When anything compromises a person's ability to safely operate a vehicle, that person will more than likely be found responsible for damages from any accident that occurs.

Florida readers are aware that with the fall time change, people set their clocks back an hour. This signals an end to daylight savings time, but it can actually make people sleepier than normal. Despite the fact that this time change allows people to "gain" an hour, it causes a disruption in sleep schedules and can lead to exhaustion. More tired drivers on the road may mean more car accidents. 

Driver hits several Tampa-area school children

As part of what seems like a nationwide epidemic of drivers hitting students trying to get on school buses, rescuers in the Tampa area had to take 7 people 5 children and 2 adults to the hospital. The children in the auto-pedestrian accident at their bus stop, while the adults were rescue workers who got hurt while traveling to the scene.

According to reports, two of the victims had what police called serious injuries. One of the children was critically injured, but authorities expect all of the victims to survive the accident. Some of the children involved were under 10.

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