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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

Extra steps to keep the roads safe from holiday drunk drivers

Every year, there's an uptick in the number of drunk drivers out there on the road during the holiday season.

From "Drunksgiving," (the day before Thanksgiving) until New Year's Day, there always seems to be an excuse to make merry -- and many people do that with beer, wine and other spirits.

How does the Dutch Reach save lives?

When someone is on a bike or a motorcycle, there are a dozen different ways that they can get hurt. While you're probably conscious of their danger, you may not realize that you could be part of the problem -- just by opening the door of your vehicle the wrong way.

If you want to reduce the chances that you can cause a serious accident (or be in one someday yourself when you're biking) it's time to learn more about the Dutch Reach. Then, spread the words to others.

How do you avoid hydroplaning on wet roads?

When water accumulates on the road, there's always a risk that you'll end up hydroplaning. That happens when your car's tires can't cut through the water well enough to grab the road. The lack of traction can throw you out of control, leaving you unable to brake or steer.

Serious accidents are always a possibility when hydroplaning occurs, so it's smart to learn more about what you can do to avoid it. Here are some tips:

  • Keep your tires inflated and in good repair. Your tires can't do their job on the road when they aren't in good condition. If your tread is low, get your tires replaced.
  • Beware of both standing water and gentle rains. Hydroplaning can happen any time the road is wet, but the first 10 minutes after a light rain starts can be particularly dangerous for drivers. When rain mixes with oil residue on the roads, it creates an especially slick area.
  • When the road is wet, slow down. The higher your speed, the easier it is for your tires to lose contact with the road. If the road is particularly wet, put your car in a lower gear so that you increase the amount of traction you have.
  • Avoid sharp turns and hard brakes. Both of those actions can make it harder to retain control of your vehicle and increase the likelihood that you'll slide out.
  • Don't use your cruise control on wet roads. If your vehicle does start to hydroplane, cruise control will cause your wheels to accelerate instead of slowing down. It could also make it harder for you to react quickly to what's happening.

Why do you need photos after a car wreck?

Ask anyone for tips on how to handle the aftermath of a car accident and one thing you'll often hear is, "Take photos at the scene."

Why does that matter? You can, after all, get photos of the damage to your vehicle at any point later. Plus, once the police get to the scene, they're likely to cite the responsible driver. That seems like enough, surely, to submit with your claim to the insurance company involved, right?

How can you guard against a wrong-way driver?

What could be more heart-stopping than to realize that the headlights you see ahead of you on the road at night are actually in your lane and coming toward you? That's the reality you can experience when you encounter a wrong-way driver.

Wrong-way accidents commonly occur on highways after a driver mistakenly gets turned around and either crosses the median or somehow confuses an off-ramp for an on-ramp. Because they usually involve head-on collisions at a high rate of speed, they can be among the deadliest of roadway accidents someone can have.

Who has the right of way in Florida - pedestrian or car?

There are a lot of rules of the road, and it's hard to remember them all. It never hurts to run through a few reminders, especially when it comes to situations that tend to provoke confusion, like who really has the "right of way" to carry on without stopping when a pedestrian and a motor vehicle cross paths.

In Florida, who yields to whom depends on the situation. The law works like this:

  • Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks, including unmarked crosswalks at intersections. While pedestrians are generally expected to exercise caution and obey the traffic signals, drivers are required to slow down or stop when they see someone walking through any crosswalk or intersection.
  • Drivers have the right of way when a pedestrian attempts to cross the road diagonally or when someone is "jaywalking" by crossing in the middle of a street instead of at intersections.

Know that not all motorcycles are equally safe

A study carried out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2006 showed that the number of motorcycle-involved fatalities reached 4,810, a number that was double what it was ten years before. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 88,000 motorcyclists injuries that same year. These alarming statistics motivated safety analysts to start delving deeper into whether some bikes are safer than others.

The researchers determined that racing, or supersport bikes, are particularly dangerous as they have significantly higher horsepower than most other sports motorbikes on the road.

Beware the Amazon delivery driver this fall and winter

October is here, which means that a lot of folks are already gearing up for the holiday season. Amazon Prime Day 2020 -- with all its steals and deals -- is coming up soon.

With that in mind, it's smart to start being cautious on the road. When the online holiday orders get started, the delivery trucks multiply -- and Amazon has repeatedly chosen speed over safety.

Top distraction for drivers is still cellphone use

When a Florida driver is behind the wheel, his or her main priority should be the safe operation of the vehicle. Most drivers would agree that they should keep their eyes on the road and their focus on driving safely, but many of them are still tempted by various things that take their attention. Distracted driving remains a significant safety concern, and cellphones play a large part in this.

Cellphones are more common than ever, and they represent a great temptation for many drivers. It may seem harmless to pick up the phone for a second or glance at a text, but the reality is that even a moment of distraction can have devastating consequences. Drivers are responsible for the choices that they make behind the wheel, especially if they cause harm to an innocent motorist.

Ironic drunk driving accident in Florida highlights the problem

Drive anywhere in Florida and you'll see signs blazing the warning to all would-be drinkers: "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."

People still don't listen. Despite all of the warnings, the social stigma now associated with drunk driving and the stiff legal penalties drunk drivers face when they're caught, there are still plenty of people who take chances with their lives -- and the lives of others -- every day.

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