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Thanksgiving is the busiest travel weekend of the year. But it also signals the beginning of the long holiday travel season and the beginning of winter tourism season in Southwest Florida.drivefast-300x224

Early darkness, holiday stress, more cars on the road, and a large number of visitors and tourists, all increase the risks of motor-vehicle collisions through the remainder of the year.

Last year, AAA reported about 54-million people traveled during the Thanksgiving holiday. And by the end of the year, 112-million people total traveled for the holidays. The agency is expecting to see that trend to continue this year. That means about 1-in-3 Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles from home this year, or about 300,000 people traveling to or from Lee County this holiday season.

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The end of Daylight Savings Time on Sunday Nov. 3 means many motorists can expect darkness during their morning and afternoon commutes. It will get light a bit earlier, but seasonal darkness will eliminate most of that advantage, meaning morning motorists must remain alert, particularly for pedestrians in residential neighborhoods and along main thoroughfares. Motorists will face early darkness in the afternoon as their commute actually takes place an hour later.night-highway-1450204-300x184

Once used to give farmers extra summer daylight, and used extensively during the World Wars to conserve energy, Daylight Savings Time is either loved or hated, depending upon your perspective.

But what is not up for debate, our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know, is the role visibility often plays in traffic collisions. Rain can make for particularly hazardous driving conditions, especially during the height of rainy season. But with seasonal rains quickly dissipating, it is the early darkness descending upon Southwest Florida that will increase traffic risks through the remainder of the year.

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With early darkness approaching and the year-end holidays just around the corner, local road-safety advocates are warning residents and visitors alike to make safety a priority.boatinginjury-300x156

Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers see an increase in crashes each autumn. We have written recently about the collision risks associated with back-to-school, as well as Halloween pedestrian safety. However, early darkness brings with it its own risks, not the least of which is the return of snowbirds and other winter residents.

Florida saw a record 126 million visitors last year. But the record is expected to be short-lived, with even more people expected to visit the Sunshine State this year. More than 1 million of those will visit Southwest Florida during the year-end holidays, according to the Lee County Visitors and Conventions Bureau.

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A woman in Key West recently suffered serious injuries after being struck by the propeller of a private airplane. The incident highlights the risks faced by those who enjoy Southwest Florida’s thriving private aviation community.

USAToday reported she lost her right hand and two toes of her right foot when a propeller blade hit her Saturday as she was helping to prepare a private plane for takeoff at Key West International Airport. The airplane accident involved a a 1966 Cessna model 172S plane rented in Fort Myers. The plane was being piloted by her husband; the couple resides in Fort Myers. cessna-300x204

The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation of the accident. The 46-year-old victim was initially taken to Lower Keys Medical Center and later flown out to Ryder Trauma in Miami. Continue reading →

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Wrongful death lawsuits are distinct in a number of ways under Florida law. Unlike personal injury lawsuits, which are filed by the victim, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed by the estate of the deceased, and must seek recoverable damages on the part of one of more living parties. surgery-300x225

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune recently looked at a gap in Florida wrongful death law, which may leave young, single adults over the age of 25 without a party that can bring an actionable claim for damages in the wake of a negligent death.

Our wrongful death attorneys in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know many of the same law firms that advertise representation of personal injury victims, also handle wrongful death claims. However, victims need to understand that these two claims are vastly different, both in terms of proving damages and in how they are pursued in a court of law.

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A series of serious and fatal motorcycle accidents in Lee County has authorities renewing calls for safety and awareness as we head into the height of the winter riding and tourist season.motorcycle accident

The News-Press reported a motorcycle accident occurred on Bayshore near I-75 when the victim was thrown from his 2006 Kawasaki. The pickup truck driver fled the scene on foot but was later apprehended and charged with failing to report a crash, driving on a suspended license and obstruction. The victim was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital with serious injuries. The Naples Daily News reports a man was killed and another critically injured after a motorcycle collided with a motor vehicle in Charlotte County.

A Cape Coral man was killed and a Michigan man was injured in separate motorcycle accidents last week, according to media reports.

Our Fort Myers injury lawyers have long been advocates for riding safety and rider rights. We know October is the beginning of peak riding season in Southwest Florida, as the temperatures moderate and the rains abate. While northern riders are storing their bikes for winter, Southwest Florida sees a significant increase in the number of riders on the road. Add to this the increase in visitors and seasonal traffic, many of whom are unfamiliar with the area and not used to looking for motorcycle riders during winter months, and the number of serious and fatal motorcycle collisions typically increases as the winter riding season gets underway.

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Early darkness and Halloween are a dangerous time of year for pedestrian accidents, particularly those involving younger children in residential neighborhoods. The most dangerous time is right at dusk.halloween-1322330-300x225

But our Fort Myers injury lawyers know Halloween is also a time of year of increased accident and injury risks from other causes. Defective product injuries increase around Halloween and remain elevated through the long holiday gift-giving season. Injuries on private property, drunk driving collisions, and an increasing number of injury incidents at organized events, including the well-publicized tragedy at the 2015 Zombicon in downtown Fort Myers, have made Halloween among the most dangerous times of the year.

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swimminginthepool-300x225Four Southwest Florida drowning deaths have occurred in less than a month, prompting authorities and safety advocates to renew calls for better water-safety awareness as we head into the tourist season.

The Naples Daily News reported child safety officials are pledging to beef up education campaigns to families about never letting their guard down and following safety practices. One child drown at a pool party, another died after a sliding door was left open. A third drowning death reportedly involved an autistic child. Charlotte County authorities have released few details about a fourth drowning death under investigation last week.

With drowning deaths in all three of Southwest Florida’s coastal counties, authorities are reminding residents to practice open water safety, but to not forget the risks posed by backyard swimming pools. Two drowning deaths in Collier County, a drowning death in Lee County, and the drowning death in Charlotte County all involved swimming pools. Florida leads the nation in the number of private swimming pools.

Fort Myers injury lawyers know the state’s more than 1 million residential swimming pools pose a significant risk to the public. Children are at especially high risk, but vacationers and tourists visiting during the winter months also face increased risk of drowning or near-drowning accidents.

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National Fall Prevention Week is a critical reminder of the risk of serious or fatal injuries resulting from falls, particularly when it comes to older adults here in Southwest Florida. slip and fall

The National Safety Council is promoting fall accident prevention from Sept. 23-29, noting that every 20 minutes an older adult is killed in a fall in the United States. While younger fall victims are more easily able to escape serious injury, older adults are much more prone to suffering serious, permanent disability, as well as loss of independence and mobility after a fall accident.

Injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know many of these falls are preventable. Those who think fall injuries too often result in frivolous lawsuits have never suffered a serious fall. The fact is, fall injuries can be devastating. Not only do they account for the leading cause of death among older Americans, they account for one-third of all non-fatal injuries reported in the United States.

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Internet juggernaut Amazon is under increasing fire for traffic collisions involving its next-day delivery service.deilvery-300x225

Media reports, including this one on BuzzFeed.News, continue to illustrate how the company works to escape liability.  In one instance, a 3-ton delivery van, working a neighborhood during the holiday rush a few days before Christmas, barreled into an 84-year-old grandmother, nearly killing her. In another case, an Amazon driver working a Chicago neighborhood was charged with reckless homicide.

Our Fort Myers injury lawyers blogged recently about liability Amazon faces for selling dangerous or defective products. In those cases, Amazon is also working to escape liability, by blaming third-party vendors.

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