May 31, 2012

Defective Products in Fort Myers and Elsewhere Threatening Child Over Summer Break

Summer is here and kids of all ages are being released from school.

Many of our young students are getting to spend a little more time at home because of it. With kids home more often, parents are urged to review some of the latest safety recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to make sure they their child isn't playing with something that could potentially cause child injuries in Fort Myers or elsewhere.

Parents are one of the biggest influences on a child's risk for injury. For that reason, our Fort Myers injury attorneys are here to talk with parents about some of the latest safety recalls. Each and every day, more and more products are released on the market that could seriously injure consumers. Make sure that you review the recall list from the CPSC often to make sure that none of these dangerous products are in your household or in the hands of loved ones.

Ridley Bikes Recalls Bicycle Stems:

More than 100 of the 4ZA Threadless Carbon Bicycle Handlebar Stems have been recalled by Race Productions because the bicycle handlebar stems can break or crack and pose a serious fall hazard for users. The company has already received one accident report of a handlebar step breaking causing injury to the rider. Under the recall are the 4ZA 31.8 threadless bicycle handlebar stems. These items were sold individually. They're black and have the words "4ZA Cycling Performance" painted on them. They were sold at various bicycle stores and online from 2005 through April of 2010. Call the company at (877) 745-7703 for information on a free replacement.

Porter Athletic Recalls Climbing Ropes:

More than 40 of the Athletic Climbing Ropes have been recalled by Porter Athletic because the rope can slip through the clamp on the top of the device and can pose a serious fall hazard to users. There have already been three accident reports filed to the company. One of these accidents resulted in both wrist and back injuries. Model numbers involved in the recall include 00118 and 00119. They were sold at various athletic stores from September of 2009 through September of 2011. If you have one of these items, calls the company at (888) 277-7778 for a free repair.

Children's Trampolines Recalled by Aqua-Leisure:

About 40,000 of the First Fitness® Trampolines with Handlebars have been recalled by Aqua-Leisure Industries Inc. It has been determined that metal fatigue can cause the handlebar to break, posing a risk of laceration and a fall hazard. There have already been four accident reports submitted to the company. Model number FF-6902TR and Toys R Us SKN 491463 is affected under the recall. The items were sold at Toys "R" Us stores across the country from September of 2010 through April of 2012. If you have one of these products, call Aqua-Leisure for a full refund. Call (888) 912-7087.

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May 30, 2012

Fatal Car Accidents in Naples and Elsewhere Up 12 Percent in 2012

More people are dying in car accidents in Naples and elsewhere this year than last year, according to preliminary data from the National Safety Council (NSC).

During the first 3 months of 2011, there were less than 7,300 people who were killed in car accidents across the country. During that same time in 2012, NSC officials estimate that roughly 8,200 people have been killed under the same circumstances. That's a 12 percent increase in the number of roadway fatalities!

Why the increase? That's what officials are trying to pinpoint, too. There are a number of reasons that could have led to the increase, officials report. Some are saying that it's the improving economy that's fueling the increase. With a recovering economy, more Americans are feeling better at the pump and are taking more road trips because of it. With an increase in vehicle miles traveled, we see an increase in the risks for accidents and ultimately an increase in the number of roadway fatalities. Another reason, officials say, could be the mild winter we just experienced. Across the country, states were blessed with a calm winter season. With less snow and ice on the road, more northerners were able to hit the road for winter vacations. Again, an increase in driving could have led to the increase in accidents. The number of total miles driven across the county has been on the rise since December.

Our Naples injury attorneys understand that an increase in roadway accidents not only leads to more lives lost, but it also leads to costlier bills. In 2011, the cost for motor vehicle-related fatalities topped $250 billion. Included in the costs of fatal motor vehicle accidents are the bills for lost wages and productivity, administrative expenses, medical expenses, property damage and employer costs.

“The Council will be keeping a close eye on our monthly traffic fatality estimates to discern if this increase is just a temporary blip,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council.

Drivers are asked to take this information and use it to make improvements in their own driving habits. Remember that driving is a privilege. A driver’s license gives you a certain level of freedom, but it also gives you an enormous amount of responsibility.

Behind the wheel, drivers are asked to:

-Focus on the road.

-Always drive defensively.

-Never drive after consuming drugs or alcohol.

-Always wear a seat belt.

As we head into the summer travel season, drivers are asked to review their own driving skills and make the alterations to be a better and safer driver on our roadways. The fight against fatal car accidents in Naples and elsewhere starts with you.

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May 26, 2012

Risks of Car Accidents in Fort Myers and Elsewhere Reduced with Headlights!

It's those first few rain drops that signify danger.

As we head into the rainy season, you may have noticed a lot more black clouds over the city and a lot more scattered showers. It's important for drivers to adjust their driving habits in rainy conditions to help to avoid a potentially fatal car accident in Cape Coral and elsewhere throughout Southwest Florida.

Even after the showers start, the risks for a potentially fatal accident continue to increase. Our Cape Coral accident attorneys understand that our roadways are the slipperiest when the rain begins. Oil dropped from cars on our roadways mixed with the falling rain leads to some serious accident risks. We have a few simple safety tips to help you to safely navigate your way through the rainy season on our Florida roadways. Listen up!

Turn on your headlights! As soon as you see the rain start to roll in make sure to kick on your headlights! Turning on your headlights when it's raining not only helps you to see better, but it helps other motorists to see you as well!

In the state of Florida it is a law to drive with your headlights on when driving in inclement weather (Florida's Driver's Handbook Online 2009, Pages 19, 25 and 26).

It's also important for you to slow it down on our roadways when the rain starts falling. In heavy rain, like we've seen recently, your tires can wind up riding along on our roadways on a thin film of water. This is kind of how skis work. It's called hydroplaning. This is when you're driving along and you tires aren't actually touching the road. In these cases, you can easily lose control of your vehicle and skid out of control. You always want to keep your tires on the road by slowing down a bit when it's raining. You should also make sure that your tires are in good condition, that the air pressure is correct and that the tread isn't too worn.

Another thing you want to keep an eye on while you're driving through the rain is your vehicle's brakes. In deep water and in heavy rain your vehicle's brakes can get wet, which may cause them to pull to one side or to not hold at all. In these cases, you're urged to slow down and lightly push on the brake until they're working again. If they get too bad, your best bet is to pull over, stop and wait it out.

As we head into the rainy season that we all know so well, remember to adjust your driving habits to accommodate the dangerous weather. When it doubt, turn on your headlights. If you need more info on how to handle your vehicle in the rainy weather, feel free to visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) for a free copy of the Florida's Driver's Handbook Online.

Lastly, we also ask that you be courteous while driving. Keep off the high beams when you're following another driver or when a vehicle is heading your way. When you have your high beams on it can blind other drivers and can cause serious accidents.

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May 24, 2012

Dog Bite Claims in Fort Myers and Elsewhere Cost Insurance Companies Nearly $500M in 2011

Our Fort Myers dog bite injury attorneys understand that more than 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year. More than half of these dog bite victims are in fact children. The second leading group of victims is Postal Service workers. Of all of the victims, nearly 1 million rely on medical attention for the treatment of these injuries. About 20 victims die each year.

These accidents are no joke and because of it, the third full week of each May is designated as National Dog Bite Prevention Week. During this time, members of State Farm, of the American Veterinary Medical Association and of the U.S. Postal Service, team up to raise awareness. They release nationwide statistics and launch a number of campaigns to help to promote dog safety.

A dog's tendency to bite can be caused by a number of factors, including health, socialization, behavior, training and heredity.

According to the ASPCA, about half of all children in the U.S. will be bitten by a dog before they turn 12-years-old. What's most alarming is that a majority of these dog bite incidents will involve a dog in the family or a neighbor's dog.

According to Florida statues, dangerous dogs are covered under dog bite laws. The owner of a pup that bites a person, when they're on allowable grounds, is liable for the damages that are suffered by the victim, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners' knowledge of such viciousness.

However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by a corresponding percentage.
If a dog has already been deemed as a dangerous dog or has been involved in prior attacks and the dog acts out again, then the owner will face misdemeanor charges, the pup will be impounded for ten days in which time an owner may request a hearing.

It's important to contact an experienced attorney when dealing with dog bite claims. These issues are complex. Contact and experienced attorney to help you to navigate your way through the system and to help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve!

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May 18, 2012

Fort Myers Beach Accident Results in Injury

A South Fort Myers woman, 22-years-old, was recently cited by beach officers for failing to yield the right of way to an elderly pedestrian in a crosswalk. The citation was the result of a pedestrian accident on Fort Myers Beach.

The South Fort Myers driver slammed her vehicle into a pedestrian who was crossing Estero Boulevard. The female driver now faces a mandatory court appearance, according to The News-Press.

The pedestrian accident happened in the crosswalk near the Holiday Inn. The elderly pedestrian was visually impaired and was using her cane to get across the road when the accident happened. Officials are still investigating the accident. The pedestrian, 81-years-old, was last reported to still be in the hospital but was listed in stable condition.

Our Fort Myers Beach accident lawyers understand that our local beach is one of the areas hottest spots to visit. It can also be one of the most dangerous spots in the area. During this time of year we've got visitors from all over the country making this their vacation destination. We've also got all of the locals enjoying their time away from work, soaking up some sun, catching some waves and hitting all of the hot spots along Estero Boulevard.

Unfortunately, with good times come large crowds and increased risks for accidents, especially pedestrian accidents. Drivers are asked to be especially cautious and alert when driving along our beach and in other areas where pedestrians are likely to be found, like in school zones and in residential neighborhoods. Safe and alert driving habits can help to preserve the safety of our area's on-foot travelers.

"It's not only during the tourist season, it's off season as well, where we experience fatalities, pedestrians, bicycles, people getting hit by cars," said Larry Kiker, Fort Myers Beach Mayor.

To help to keep pedestrians safe on our roadways, walkers are urged follow these safety tips from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV):

-Always walk on sidewalks when they're available.

-Only cross the street at crosswalks or at intersections. Jaywalking is dangerous!

-Dress so that motorists can see you. Wear bright-colored clothing. If you're traveling at night, consider wearing reflective materials or carrying a flash light.

-Avoid walking while engaging in distractions. Put down the phone and take off the headphones. Pay attention to what's going on around you.

-Always follow the pedestrian signal, not the overhead traffic light, when crossing at lighted intersections.

-Always make eye contact with motorists before crossing the street.

-Always walk predictably. Stay away from fast-traveling traffic.

-When there are no sidewalks available, walk facing road traffic.

-Avoid walking under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

"I mean, people are dying on the streets and when people are dying, something needs to be taken care of right away," said Fort Myers Beach business owner and resident, Al Durrett.

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May 17, 2012

Bicycle Accident in Naples with Country Truck, Cyclist Ticketed

After a recent accident in Naples, involving a bicyclist and a Collier County work truck, the bicyclist involved has been ticketed, according to WINK News. The accident happened on U.S. 41 and Vanderbilt Beach Road and left the bicyclist pinned under the work truck until emergency response officials arrived. Officials say it was all the cyclist's fault though.

Since the accident, the bicyclist has been treating a number of broken bones along with a severed liver. Now, she suffers from a costly ticket and she's not happy about it.

Our Naples accident attorneys understand that accidents involving government vehicles can be tricky. Many times in these investigations, it's the government who is investigating its own. In general, it's critical to contact an experienced attorney if you've been involved in an accident with a city, county, state or federal vehicle. You need experienced representation in these cases to make sure that your rights are preserved and that your side of the story is heard.

According to the Collier County accident report, the bicyclist was riding along in the left-hand turn lane and was approaching a red light on Vanderbilt Beach road when the accident occurred. Further details state that the bicyclist veered her bike to the right and into traffic that was stopped in the lane. When the light switched from red to green, the driver of the country work truck attempted to pass through the intersection and drove right over the bicyclist in the process.

Since 1896, there have been nearly 55,000 bicyclists killed in traffic-related accidents across the United States. In just 2009, the state of Florida witnessed approximately 100 bicyclist fatalities and another 4,450 bicyclist injures as a result of traffic-related accidents. The state of Florida has the largest number of bicycle-traffic accidents of any state. Many people would think that California would have more fatal bicycle accidents than the state of Florida. Yes, California is larger and has about twice as many residents, but Florida still racks up more fatal accidents every year. This continues to happen year after year, too.

Florida is provided with beautiful weather all year long and bicyclists sure do take advantage of it. With the summer riding season, locals, residents and tourists will be hitting two wheels on roadways across the state. Drivers are asked to be extremely cautious during this time to help to reduce the risks of a potentially fatal bicycle accident. We can all share our roadways safely together. It just takes a little bit of effort. Let's work together to travel safely in unison.

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May 16, 2012

Risks for Car Accidents among Teens with Passengers Present

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a study showing the correlation between the age and the number of passengers in a teen's vehicle and the risks of getting into a car accident in Cape Coral and elsewhere. The newly-released study, "Teen Driver Risk in Relation to Age and Number of Passengers," revealed that the risks of accidents associated with 16- and 17-year-old drivers increased significantly with each passenger in the teen's car. With zero young passengers but only older passengers present, teens had the lowest risks for auto accidents.
Our Cape Coral car accident attorneys understand that teens are being let out of school and they're hitting the roadways in full force. It's a time for them to get out and hang out with their friends.

Unfortunately for them, hanging out in the car isn't a good idea. It's also a time when we see a significant increase in the number of car accidents among this age group. It's important to set ground rules within your family regarding the number of passengers allowed in your teens' car. Florida's graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program does not set forth any passenger restrictions for these young and vulnerable drivers.

Passengers and risks for car accidents among 16- and 17-year-old drivers:

-Accident risks increase by nearly 45 percent when one passenger under the age of 21 is present.

-Risks double when two passengers under the age of 21 are present.

-Risks quadruple when three or more passengers are in the car that are under the age of 21.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, when passengers over the age of 34-years-old are present in the vehicle, the risks among these young drivers for a fatal accident decreases by more than 60 percent. In the same scenario, their risks for a police-reported accident decrease by nearly 50 percent. This illustrates why it's so important to ride with your child frequently. Providing them with plenty of supervised driving time allows them to develop safe and cautious habits behind the wheel. These habits can turn into life-long safe driving skills.

In this study, accidents and the number of miles driven within this young age group were analyzed to look at the effect of teens' habits behind the wheel and their passengers' influence on their habits.

The study also concluded that states that have strict GDL programs and passenger-restriction rules typically see lower rates of teen car accidents.

“We know that carrying young passengers is a huge risk, but it’s also a preventable
one,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of AAA.

The bottom line is that parents can help to take control of these situations and can enact household rules regarding how many young passengers are allowed in the vehicle with their teen drivers.

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May 11, 2012

Cape Coral Car Accidents: Use Your Blinker

Turn signals are a thing of the past, or so it sometimes seems.

According to a recent study conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers, drivers fail to use their blinkers when changing lanes nearly 50 percent of the time. Drivers also fail to use their blinkers when making a turn about a quarter of the time. That means that drivers fail to use their signals about 2 billion times a day or nearly 800 billion times a year, according to MSNBC.

Why is this?

Is it laziness, a lack of courtesy or poor training? Whatever the reasons, researchers say that the problem causes roughly 2 million car accidents every year. That's about twice as many accidents as the near 1,000,000 that are linked to distracted driving.

“This is a first of its kind report on a subject that amazingly, has never been studied,” said Richard Ponziani, P.E., and author of the report.

Our Cape Coral auto accident attorneys understand that turn signals are such a simple and effective way to help to reduce the risks of accidents. Researchers say that there's an alarming lack of compliance among most drivers on our roadways. Researchers say that drivers have an obligation to use these devices, just as they have an obligation to stop at a red light and at a stop sign.

Many believe that drivers don't typically use blinkers because it's not a top priority of law enforcement officers. They're more focused on red-light runners, speeders and stop sign runners. Other than urging authorities to focus more on drivers' use of the turn signal, researchers also suggest the use of the new "Smart Turn Signal."

The "Smart Turn Signal" would be able to prevent accidents by turning off a driver's turn signal after they've made a lane change. It would work much like how blinkers shut off after making a turn, only the car would do it after switching lanes.

For drivers who don't use their turn signal in the first place, the "Smart Turn Signal" would work much like those seat belt reminders do. The vehicle would repeatedly beep and flash a little reminder if a driver continues to ignore turn signals.

According to Ponziani, the new system would be easier to use and would be less expensive than the mechanisms that are currently being used. He says that this new technology would be the perfect opportunity to help to reduce the risks for potentially fatal car accidents in addition to cutting down on the costs of vehicles and making drivers a lot more courteous and friendly across the country.

Turn signals have been proven effective in helping to reduce the risks of car accidents across the country. It's getting drivers to habitually use their blinkers that's proving to be the tough part. Safe driving habits should be everyone's number one priority behind the wheel.

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May 9, 2012

Two Motorcycle Accidents in Fort Myers in One Evening

As our Fort Myers accident lawyers recently discussed, the entire month of May is used to raise awareness about motorcyclists on our roadways. It's Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). During this time, drivers are asked to be more cautious. Up north, riders are getting their bikes out for the spring and summer. In Florida, riding weather is year around but riders are gearing up for the summer riding season.

During this time of the year, motorcycle accidents are much more common on roadways nationwide.

In Lee County, local police officers had to respond to two Fort Myers motorcycle accidents in the same night, according to WINK NEWS.

The first of the accidents happened on Blount Street when a motorcyclist was struck by a car. The second of the accidents happened on Martin Luther King and Fowler Street when a pickup truck stopped for passing first responders who were responding to an accident. As the pickup truck stopped, a motorcycle slammed into the back of it. That biker was transported to a local hospital.

Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics, 2009:

-There were more than 8,310 motorcycle accidents.

-There were nearly 7,440 motorcycle rider injuries.

-There were nearly 400 motorcycle rider fatalities.

-Motorcycle accidents accounted for more than 15 percent of all traffic-related fatalities even though they only accounted for about 6 percent of the motoring public.

-Drivers between the ages of 45- and 54-years-old were involved in the most accidents.

-The median age of riders who were killed in 2009 was 42-years-old.

-Nearly 95 percent of the motorcyclists who were killed in accidents in 2009 were Florida residents.

-Lee County was one of the top counties that accounted for the most motorcycle fatalities.

-Nearly 50 percent of motorcyclists weren't wearing a helmet when a fatal accident happened.

-About a quarter of all motorcycle accidents involve a motorcyclist falling off of the motorcycle, hitting another object, overturning or running off of the road.

-More than 30 percent of motorcycle accidents happen between March and May.

-Nearly 45 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents occur during the weekend.

-About a third of all motorcyclist fatalities result from a traumatic brain injury.

-The total costs for hospital charges for motorcyclist injuries in 2009 was nearly $400,000,000.

-The average hospital charge for one of these injuries was nearly $3,000.

Motorcyclists face some serious risks for injury and death in the event of an auto accident. As a matter of fact, these riders are injured roughly 80 percent of the time while occupants of passenger vehicles are injured about 20 percent of the time.

Continue reading "Two Motorcycle Accidents in Fort Myers in One Evening" »

May 7, 2012

Speed-Related Car Accident in North Fort Myers Sends Three to Hospital

Three people were seriously injured in a multi-vehicle car accident in North Fort Myers. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) reports that a 34-year-old driver was heading east on Littleton Road when he attempted to cross over US-41 at a high rate of speed. When crossing over the highway, his car went airborne and came down in the eastbound lane. Once landing on the roadway, he lost control of the vehicle, swerved into another lane and headed down the wrong way of the westbound lanes of Littleton Road.

According to ABC7, the driver then slammed his vehicle into two other vehicles, forcing one to be pushed off the road and flip over into a ditch. After striking the first vehicle, the speedy driver's car slammed into a second one, driving over its hood and windshield. The speedy driver, his 15-year-old passenger and a 10-year-old passenger of one of the other vehicles were seriously injured in the crash and were transported to local hospitals. There were three others who were also taken to the hospital. Charges on the speedy driver are pending.

Our Fort Myers car accident lawyers understand that speed has been identified as a key risk factor in traffic-related injuries, influencing the risk of an accident as well as the injuries that result. Controlling your speed on our roadways may be one of the most beneficial ways to help to prevent car accidents and to reduce the impact when they do happen, lessening the severity of injuries sustained by the victims.

The truth of the matter is that the faster a vehicle is going, the higher the risks are for an accident. The forces that are experienced by the body in a collision increase exponentially as the speed of the vehicle increases.

The posted speed limits on our roadways have been carefully formatted and chosen by traffic experts. These limits are in place to help keep traffic flowing smoothly and to help keep motorists safe. Still, speeding continues to be a deliberate and calculated driving habit in which the driver ignores the danger. According to recent polls, about 90 percent of drivers say that they've sped on our roadways at some time in their driving career. About three fourths of all drivers say that they do this on a regular basis.

Look at it this way: Every year, there are roughly 6 million auto accidents on roadways nationwide. In these accidents, nearly 40,000 people are killed and another 3 million are injured. Two million of these injuries are reported to be permanent injuries. Excessive speed counts for about a third of these fatalities and injuries. That means that thousands die and millions are injured on our roadways every year because of completely preventable accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speed-related car accidents cost society more than $40 billion each and every year.

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May 7, 2012

Motorcycle Accidents in Fort Myers and Elsewhere the Focus of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcyclists face some of the highest risks for fatal accidents in Fort Myers and elsewhere. Recent statistics reveal that more and more drivers over the age of 45 are riding. Still, riders of all ages are at serious risks for accidents.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), nearly 45 percent of motorcycle driver who were killed in 2010 accidents were over the age of 44. To help to minimize the risks of these accidents, Governor Rick Scott has declared the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, according to ABC27.

“Motorcycle riding is an activity that can be enjoyable for a lifetime, and all riders should get endorsed and take steps to ride safely,” said Julie L. Jones, DHSMV Executive Director.

Our Fort Myers motorcycle accident lawyers understand that motorcycle drivers in the state of Florida are required to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their driver's license before they can operate a bike on the road. To get this endorsement, drivers are required to complete a basic rider training course through the Florida Rider Trainer Program. Still, with all of this training and education, far too many motorcycles are involved in fatal accidents on our roadways. Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the country for these kinds of accidents. The beautiful year-round weather we're blessed with provides a prime opportunity for motorcyclists to hit our roads at any time they want. The more riders, the higher the risks are for accidents.

State Laws for Motorcycle Drivers:

-Drivers under the age of 21 who are not covered by at least $10,000 in medical benefits through their insurance policy are required to wear a helmet while driving.

-Drivers are required to wear eye protection. The windshield on the bike is not considered eye protection.

-All bikes must have foot pegs for passengers.

Additional Safety Measures for Riders:

-Drivers are urged to wear adequate footwear. Protective shoes offer support to the ankle and helps to give drivers a good grip on the surface of the road.

-Wear gloves to keep hands well protected.

-Jackets and pants are a must when providing protection against abrasions, dehydration, windburn and sunburn.

In 2009, there were more than 8,300 motorcycle accidents in the state of Florida. In these accidents, more than 7,430 motorcyclists were injured, according to Ride Smart Florida. In addition to those injuries, there were nearly 400 motorcyclists who were killed in traffic accidents during that same year. Of these people who were killed in these accidents, nearly 95 percent of them were Florida residents.

Drivers are asked to be cautious of one another when traveling along our roadways. Safe driving habits may be the one and only way to help keep our roads safe for all travelers. Take the vow to fight for road safety!

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May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo and Car Accidents in Fort Myers a Common Pair

This weekend is Cinco de Mayo and we're sure thousands of residents and visitors will be hitting the town in search of a fiesta, some tequila, a corona and a good time. Luckily, Fort Myers and the surrounding areas offer a plethora of events to celebrate the big holiday. Unfortunately, this is also a time when we see increased risks for alcohol-related car accidents in Fort Myers and elsewhere.

For that reason, our Fort Myers injury lawyers are encouraging visitors and residents to celebrate responsibly. Designating a driver or ensuring another sober ride home may be one of the best ways to help prevent a potentially fatal car accident. Holidays, including Cinco de Mayo, have some of the highest risks for alcohol-related car accidents. And Memorial Day is just around the corner.

So, before you head out for the big event make sure you've got your after party plans made and you've got a safe and reliable way to get home.

Before heading out to celebrate, you're urged to make sure you've got a sober ride home if you're planning on drinking. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is here to offer you a few simple tips to help keep you out of an alcohol-related car accident. Please review these tips and share them with your friends and family to help reduce the risks of an accident.

Safety Tips:

-Make sure you designate a sober driver before you head out to your Cinco de Mayo events.

-Be sure to eat during your evening's events. Try enjoying some of your favorite Mexican foods. Eating will help you to avoid getting sick and over-drinking.

-If you're left without a sober driver, it's okay! Call a friend, call a family member or call a taxi to take you home. Whatever you do, stay away from the driver's seat.

-Can't find a ride? Stay at a friend's house or grab a hotel room for the night.

-If you see someone you know who has been drinking and has their keys in their hand, step in and take them away. Never let someone you know and love to drive after consuming alcohol.

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May 4, 2012

Injuries in Naples Minimized through National Work Zone Safety

National Work Zone Awareness 2012 is kicking off the summer construction season, according to Laurie Sanderson, a spokesperson with the Florida Department of Transportation.

This campaign is so important to Florida transportation officials because in 2010, there were nearly 70 work zone fatalities and more than 6,000 similar injuries just in our state. During the campaign, officials will be targeting work zone safety and spreading the message to drivers as well -- the message is about maintaining alert and safe driving habits in work zones across the state. With this campaign, officials hope to reduce the risks of work zone accidents in Naples and elsewhere.

“These zones demand slower speeds and increased awareness of people and equipment moving in the area,” said Sanderson reported.

Our Naples injury attorneys understand the risks that roadside workers face. All too often, motorists zoom through work sites with little to no regard for the workers within them. It's important for drivers to slow down and abide by posted instructions to help keep everyone safe in these areas. The theme for this year's campaign is "Don't Barrel Through Work Zones! Drive Smart to Arrive Alive".

The National Work Zone Awareness campaign started back in 2000, according to the Federal Highway Administration. This is the campaign's 13th year on the books and it continues to grow and advance with each passing year.

With the Spring here, beautiful weather across the country is rolling out along with those orange barrels signifying work zones. During this time, motorists need to be extra careful behind the wheel in these areas to help keep our workers safe -- the workers who are hard at work improving our street.

Nationwide, work zone accidents in 2010 killed nearly 600 people and injured nearly 40,000 more. Road work is a dangerous job and comes with some high risks. As a matter of fact, roughly 15 percent of work zone deaths occur to workers. The other 85 percent occur to passing motorists. You see, National Work Zone Safety Week isn't just working to protect roadside workers, but it's also working to protect the motorists who pass through these areas every day.

Luckily, these accidents are preventable.

Who is involved in National Work Zone Awareness Week 2012:

- American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)

-Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)

-American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

-American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA)

-Federal Highway Administration

-National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Tips to Help You Stay Safe Driving through Work Zones:

-Expect the unexpected.

-Slow it down.

-Avoid tailgating.

-Stay away from workers and work equipment.

-Keep an eye out for and obey flaggers.

-Curb the distractions.

-Stay with the flow of traffic.

-Be patient and stay calm.

Continue reading "Injuries in Naples Minimized through National Work Zone Safety" »

May 2, 2012

Dog Attack in Fort Myers Worries Local Residents

During her early morning walk, Frances Peltier made her last round when she ran into a 3-year-old pit bull who had escaped a home on Euclid Avenue. This short encounter would be one to remember as the dog sprinted towards Peltier, latching on and ferociously attacking, according to the victim. The Fort Myers dog bite injuries to her thigh and her abdomen required hospitalization. A passerby witnessed the attack and reached out to 9-1-1 for help.

“I could see this dog running like a bullet,” said Peltier.

Our Fort Myers injury attorneys understand that the phone call to local authorities may not have been enough as the pit bull attacked both Peltier and the witness before authorities arrived. Although the viscous attack targeted the two victims, the owner of the dog claims that the victims are overreacting and that the pit bull, Sasha, is innocent and isn't the attacking type.

According to Dr. Sophia Yin, a California-based veterinarian and animal behaviorist as well as a board member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, you have to treat dogs that bite like they're going to bite again. Dr. Sophia Yin was brought into the case after a phone call from a witness. The call was to help bring attention to the fact that there are not county laws in place that allow officials to seize and destroy dogs deemed dangerous, according to The News-Press.

According to a spokeswoman for the Lee County Domestic Animal Services, Ria Brown, the dog owner has been cited for letting the dog run unsupervised and for its threatening and menacing behavior. This citation counts as strike number one. Upon strike number two, a dangerous dog investigation will be conducted. If the investigation concludes that Sasha is "dangerous" then the owner faces a $1,500 fee and another $500 yearly registration. In these cases, dogs are required to be muzzled in public and fenced in at home. If a dangerous dog bites another victim, the owner could face time behind bars.

Still, there are no laws that permit Animal Services to take the dog into custody after an attack. Even with the way the ordinance is written, Sasha wouldn't be considered a dangerous dog. An attack has to be life-threatening to land a pup with a "dangerous" title.

Florida Law Defines a Dangerous Dog As:

-A dog that has aggressively attacked, bitten, endangered or has inflicted a "severe injury" on a person. A severe injury is defined as one that has caused disfiguring lacerations that require reconstructive surgery or sutures, has broken bones or has engaged in multiple bites.

-A dog that has, on more than one occasion, severely injured or killed another domestic animal on the owner's property.

-A dog that has been trained in dog fighting practices.

-A dog that has, without provocation, approached or chased someone on the street in a menacing fashion or with an apparent attitude of attack.

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