Law Offices of Paul K. Schrier, PLLC

Florida Accident Law Blog

Does giving tickets for not wearing seat belts save lives?

You have probably heard about motor vehicle accidents in which the driver or a passenger flew out of the vehicle or bounced around inside of it during the impact and either died or suffered severe injuries. The police and the media are quick to point out that if that person had been wearing a seat belt, he or she might have walked away unscathed.

The fact that there is truth in that statement often makes the courts consider seat belt use when determining liability in auto accidents. After all, the research shows that your seat belt can save your life. Yes, wearing your seat belt is important, and it could very well save your life, but that does not mean that you bear all of the responsibility for your injuries if you are the victim of an accident.

Bovines cause car accidents that killed Florida man

There are likely many obstacles and hazards that Florida drivers are always on the lookout for while traveling throughout the state. Unfortunately not every scenario can be planned for and avoided if it appears without expectation, which could result in serious car accidents. Recently, several drivers came upon an unexpected hazard in the form of escaped bovines.

According to the report, three drivers were caught unawares when three cows somehow escaped the fenced field where they were previously confined. One motorist, a 51-year-old man from Miami, was traveling in the westbound side of the local road. As he came upon the large animals, he apparently was unable to avoid colliding with one. At about the same time, a 61-year-old man was headed east on the same road. This driver also was unable to take evasive measures to avoid hitting a cow.

Car accidents: 1 dead in Florida

Police have confirmed that one person is dead and two others are injured following a crash on Highway 90. Florida Highway Patrol, which responds to car accidents on the state's highway system, were on the scene of this accident the evening of Nov. 6. Charges are not expected to be filed as the individual believed responsible for the crash perished. 

According to the police report, a vehicle driven by a 54-year-old man was headed westbound on Highway 90 when, for reasons that are currently unknown, his vehicle veered into the eastbound lanes at an apparently extreme angle. As a result, his vehicle was T-boned on the front driver's side by an approaching car. The force of the impact killed the driver of the westbound vehicle. 

Red-light cameras put a stop to intersection accidents

Have you ever received an envelope in the mail from the Miami Red-Light Camera Enforcement & Intersection Safety Program? If so, you probably found inside a notice of violation and a snapshot of your car from various angles, including a closeup of your car's rear license plate, as you crossed an intersection on a red light. The notice informed you of the details of the infraction and the fine you owed, which was not cheap.

Nevertheless, you likely remembered the moment when you saw the light turn red and hurried through the intersection anyway. It was a bad decision, and you knew it. Just by luck, no one else was trying to get through the intersection at the same time. You may not always be so lucky, and many cities are using red-light cameras to change these dangerous behaviors.

The season is changing and the deer are on the move

Fall is quickly turning into winter, and the holidays are coming faster than you may like. One thing that often comes along with this change in temperature is the appearance of more deer.

Waking up in the morning and seeing a deer wandering through your backyard might bring a smile to your face. However, seeing one wandering on the roadway while you drive is quite another set of emotions, indeed. You may be wondering what you can do to avoid a run-in with one of these animals and avoid an accident that could result in injuries to you, your passengers (if any) and others on the road, along with the deer.

When dirt bike 'flash mobs' appear on the roadways

The words "flash mob" may bring up videos on YouTube of a group of people suddenly breaking out in song at a local mall. Those videos often make people smile, and you may be one of them. However, a much more dangerous type of flash mob appears to be gaining popularity on the roadways, and you will more than likely not be pleased to see one.

Groups of dirt bike riders wreak havoc on public roadways across the country. Make no mistake; people have suffered injuries at the hands of these mobs. Police attempt to identify and capture the members of the mobs, but they tend to scatter easily when police arrive. These are not your traditional motorcycle gangs, and you need to exercise caution if you see one on a Florida roadway.

Crossing the street shouldn’t mean walking into danger

Pedestrians face certain risks due to careless and inattentive drivers, and statistics indicate that the risk of injury could be increasing. According to a study released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, last year was the deadliest year for pedestrians since 1996. In fact, even seemingly safe actions, such as crossing the street at a marked pedestrian walkway, could be more dangerous than before.

A study of accident numbers indicates an increase in the number of pedestrian-related accidents over the last decade. Between 2006 and 2015, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased approximately 12 percent. Of all traffic accident fatalities, pedestrian fatalities comprise 15 percent of that total number.

Florida sees the highest numbers of pedestrian accidents

Florida is often the retirement destination for countless seniors. Unfortunately, it is also the location for the highest numbers of pedestrian accidents with resulting deaths than any other state in the nation. While Tampa and Miami residents are not in as much danger, the risk throughout the state is higher than average.

From 2004 to 2014, an estimated 5,142 residents were killed by automobiles. That statistic was complied by an organization called Smart Growth America, which publishes a report known as Dangerous by Design, tracking the top 100 areas that present the most danger to pedestrians. The report ranks cities and other areas by what is referred to as the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI), which tracks population, pedestrian numbers and the total figures for fatal accidents.

Tampa bicycle accidents: Even worse when hit-and-runs?

Bicycle accidents are bad enough, but a hit-and-run accident involving a cyclist is almost like adding insult to injury. In a city right across the bay from Tampa, just such a hit-and-run bicycle accident occurred recently. Luckily, police believe they may have found the driver who was involved, though the incident is still under investigation.

The accident occurred in St. Petersburg on a recent Saturday night when a 23-year-old college student was cycling against traffic. He was hit by an SUV, described by witnesses as either maroon or red. Apparently, the driver stopped the vehicle briefly after the collision before driving away from the scene, leaving the injured cyclist behind.

How does the time change affect motorist safety?

Florida readers know that the end of daylight saving time is coming up soon, but few people fail to figure how the twice yearly changes in time affect people. Studies suggest that when the time changes, it can negatively affect a driver's abilities and reactions times. 

Many countries have been following daylight saving time for decades or longer. The premise is that by giving people more daylight in the summer, it can actually save energy and let people work longer. You may know that many of the reasons for changing the clocks twice per year are no longer applicable, and it is possible that it is actually doing more harm than good at this point.

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