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Tampa Personal Injury Law Blog

How well are laws against texting and driving working?

Florida and other states have taken steps to reduce the ongoing problem with distracted driving. Among other steps, lawmakers have been willing to pass measures aimed at curbing texting and driving by giving law enforcement the tools they need to pull over and fine offending motorists.

However, there is some question as to how effective these measures are at reducing distracted driving, particularly distracted driving involving the use of technology. While the laws seem to stop the behavior they prohibit, there was no consensus as to whether there were actually fewer accidents because of these laws.

NTSB again calls for lowering legal drinking limit

A previous post on this blog talked about an emerging movement to lower the legal blood alcohol content limit from .08 to .05. As that post discussed, there is considerable scientific evidence that even a driver operating at .05 BAC is potentially dangerous.

Now, the federal National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, has again recommended that states take up the baton on this movement and consider changing their laws to allow police to make drunk driving arrests more easily once a motorist's blood alcohol content exceeds .05.

Florida's traffic safety laws have gaps according to report

A group that is focused on promoting traffic safety across the country recently released their annual report on the status of each state's efforts to improve highway safety through the making of important laws.

According to this group, Florida has several deficiencies in their laws that create opportunities for drivers in Tampa and elsewhere in this state to engage in unsafe driving habits without the fear of getting pulled over or facing punishment. The end result is that there are more car accidents on this state's roads than there otherwise would be.

Automated cars with no driver -- what does it mean for you?

As Florida readers know, the race is on between various companies to be the first to widely market and sell automated vehicles. Technology companies and auto manufacturers are working on their version of a vehicle that will ultimately be able to drive with no human intervention. You may wonder how soon you will be sharing the road with these types of vehicles. 

Like others, you may wonder how safe these types of cars will be. Despite years of development and testing, there are still many reasons to be concerned about what automated vehicles could mean for your personal safety. Florida wanted to be one of the pioneering states for automated vehicles, and now it is looking to hold onto that status by allowing automated vehicles to operate without a backup human driver.

Overview of Florida's bad faith statute

A victim of an automobile accident in Tampa, Florida, will likely have to deal with the insurance company of the other driver who was at fault for the accident.

Normally, this is the best way for a person to recover compensation for that other driver's negligence, as the other driver will rarely have assets to pay for the injury directly. Moreover, in most cases, the driver could always seek out bankruptcy protection.

Will more teen drivers mean more accidents?

After years of decline, it seems that, of late, there have been more teen drivers getting their licenses, and, presumably, taking to the roadways of Florida and the rest of the country. In the mid-1980s, the number of teenage drivers in this country peaked out, with about 40 percent of 16-year-olds holding a license to drive. Around the same time, the number of 17-year-olds holding a license was close to 70 percent, or over 2 out of 3 drivers this age.

By about 2010, the number of 16-year-olds who could drive legally was closer to 30 percent, while just under half of all 17-year-olds held a valid license. While most people still have a license by the time they are 18, even this number has steadily gone down over the years.

Student crossing street struck by teacher

Especially since they are places known to experience lots of foot traffic and bicycle traffic, pedestrian accidents are fairly common in and around the schools of the greater Tampa area.

In one coastal suburb north of the city, a high school freshman got hit by a car while she was walking to classes. According to initial reports, the student was not within a crosswalk when the driver, who is a teacher at the school, collided with her. The student was unconscious after the accident and had to be flown via helicopter to the closest hospital. She was listed in critical condition following the accident.

There are significant differences between truck and car accidents

If you are a victim of a truck accident, you understand how complex and overwhelming the aftermath of this type of accident can be. Truck accidents can be quite severe, and you may find yourself dealing with the effects of both physical injuries and property damage. The expense and emotional trauma can be significant.

Truck accidents are quite different from other types of vehicle accidents. Due to the larger size and heavier weight of semitrailers and other commercial trucks, even a low-speed accident can have catastrophic consequences. The risk for injury is great. It may be beneficial for you to learn more about what makes this type of accident more complicated than other motor vehicle collisions.

Getting justice after an accident with a drunk driver

A previous post on this blog talked about how many people, including the lawmakers in one state, are realizing just how much of a line in the sand the common .08 blood alcohol content limit, or BAC, really is. Nevertheless, Florida uses .08 as its legal limit with respect to criminal DUI charges.

As that post discussed, the reality is that, depending on the circumstances, even a small amount of alcohol can profoundly affect one's driving, even to the point of causing a serious accident.

Should Florida pass tougher laws on distracted driving?

Distracted driving continues to be one of the most pressing safety concerns for motorists, both in Florida and across the country. Many states have tough laws in place to combat distracted driving, and many believe Florida should follow suit. One step in the fight against distracted driving is to implement laws that prohibit phone use while driving.

There are a few Florida lawmakers who are currently working to make that happen. They are pushing for tougher laws that will increase penalties for those who user their phones while operating a vehicle. One reason for this push is because Florida's distracted driving deaths are increasing while the national average is decreasing. This may be indicative of the need for tougher laws.

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