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While the Super Bowl is behind us, we have entered the height of tourist season. Winter residents and visitors will be followed by spring breakers and the start of spring training for the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins. Southwest Florida’s role as a vacation destination substantially increases the risk posed by drunk drivers. uninsured accidents

The National Safety Council is pushing a clear message: “Impairment Begins with the First Drink.

Only it’s not just alcohol impacting the judgment of drivers in Southwest Florida. The opioid epidemic and increasingly permissive views on marijuana use also add substantially to the road risks.

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Florida remains by far the most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrians, according to the results of an updated report that primarily blames the risks on a lack of infrastructure and poor urban planning.

So far 2019 has gotten off to a deadly start with two pedestrians killed in back-to-back North Fort Myers pedestrian accidents.  The Fort Myers News-Press reports 10 people were killed on Lee County roads in January, compared to a total of 84 traffic deaths reported for all of last year. In addition to increasing risks for these vulnerable population groups, our pedestrian injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers continue to see these cases result in serious or fatal injury.pedestrian accident

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a report last week that found observable cellphone use has increased more than 50 percent in recent years. While the study linked at least 800 deaths to distraction caused by cellphone use in 2017, advocates believe distraction is responsible for about one-third of road deaths each year, killing some 10,000 motorists. Cellphone use is by far the leading cause of driver distraction.hit-and-run

Observational studies are a better indicator of road risks.

Our injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers wrote last month about the growing risks of traffic accidents in Southwest Florida and so far 2019 has gotten off to a dangerous start. The Fort Myers News-Press reports 10 people were killed on Lee County roads in January. Last year, 84 people were killed in traffic accidents in Lee County after back-to-back years of more than 100 deaths.

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The apathy and inaction of lawmakers is having a major impact when it comes to increasing the dangers motorists face on Florida roads,  according to the 2019 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws released by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Florida has fallen woefully behind many other states when it comes to using the law to improve traffic safety, despite being among the most dangerous states in the nation for all types of traffic collisions, including car accidents (3rd), motorcycle accidents (2nd), bicycle accidents (1st) and pedestrian accidents (1st). truck accident lawyer

Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers continue to advocate for safer roads in Southwest Florida. Current trends are alarming, particularly when you consider how long safety improvements take to enact and have a measurable impact on road safety.

 

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The news is both good and bad when it comes to road safety in Southwest Florida.

Lee County ended 2018 with fewer than 100 traffic fatalities (84) for the first time in three years. However, Florida continues to be among the deadliest states in the nation for all types of traffic collisions, including car accidents, drunk driving collisions, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents.car accident

Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Naples continue to see far too many clients injured or killed by reckless, careless, or negligent drivers. Yes the risks are significant in Southwest Florida, but so too is the impact safe driving habits can have on our roads.

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Uber is in the news again this week, as CNN reports investigators inside the ride-sharing company’s special investigations unit are overworked, underpaid and at times emotionally traumatized by the 1,200 cases a week pouring into the company’s Phoenix headquarters.

A memo by an outside risk-management consultant depicts a 75-employee department tasked with investigating nearly 1,200 cases a week, including allegations of sexual and physical assault, as well as serious and fatal traffic collisions.uninsured accidents

Our Uber accident attorneys in Southwest Florida have written before about the meteoric rise of these ride-sharing services, and some of the unique aspects of establishing liability and making an Uber claim after injury.

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The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is reminding motorists that January is Move Over month.

We recently reported on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog about the risks of highway driving, including the need to understand what to do after a vehicle breakdown or a traffic collision, both of which put you at risk of a secondary collision. It’s always a good idea to move away from vehicles stopped along the roadside. But Florida law requires drivers to slow down and/or move over when approaching roadside vehicles with activated emergency lights.

Last year, the Florida Highway Patrol reported 231 crashes and nearly 17,000 citations issued to motorists who failed to obey the law. car-breakdown-1444959-200x300

 The Move Over Law was added to section 316.126, Florida Statutes, in 2002 and requires drivers to move out of the lane adjacent to stopped safety traffic whenever it is possible and safe to do so, and to otherwise reduce speed to 20 mph below the limit in areas where the speed limit is greater than 25 mph. Utility and sanitation workers were added to the law in 2014.

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trucking accidentSafety advocates are asking what can be done to make the roads safer in the wake of a deadly tractor-trailer collision this month that claimed the lives of 5 boys traveling to Disney World in a church van.

The Ocala Star Banner noted South Florida’s burgeoning growth has put tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicle traffic at increasing odds with other motorists on the road, making trucking accidents in Southwest Florida a growing threat. In this most recent incident, a tractor-trailer burst into flames after colliding with another vehicle, before running through the median and into oncoming traffic, where it struck the church van and another tractor trailer. Seven motorists were killed and eight others were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

While we recently wrote about highway traffic safety on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, the fact remains that motorists are largely at the mercy of large tractor-trailers when driving on the interstate or on many of Southwest Florida’s main thoroughfares. Economic growth and the birth of the delivery economy continues to put an increasing number of commercial trucks on our highway and byways, and even on suburban neighborhood streets, where pedestrians and cyclists face increased risks.

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Five children on their way to Disney World were among seven victims who were killed in a deadly South Florida highway collision.highway-300x184

The News-Press reported eight others were hospitalized after what authorities say was one of the deadliest traffic collisions in state history. The crash on Interstate 75 south of Alachua spilled diesel fuel across the highway. The Florida Highway Patrol reports the children were in a Pentecostal church van headed to the theme park when the collision occurred outside Gainesville. The van was an hour north of the park when a tractor-trailer collided with a car and burst into flames before running through the median divider and into oncoming traffic, where it struck the van and another semi, according to The Washington Post. 

The tragedy is being compared to a January 2012 crash south of Gainesville that killed 11 motorists and sent 18 others to the hospital after a chain-reaction collision caused by low visibility. Our Fort Myers injury lawyers remind drivers there are steps they can take to improve travel safety as we enter the height of tourism season in Southwest Florida.

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Using a hand-held device while driving could soon be illegal in Florida.

The Tampa Bay Times reports lawmakers are considering a measure that would turn Florida’s texting ban into a law that would prohibit all drivers from using a hand-held device behind the wheel. The newspaper urged drivers to make it a 2019 resolution, noting it was not hyperbole to call distracted driving an epidemic.car accident

Our car accident attorneys in Fort Myers and Cape Coral agree. We have marked the New Year with a number of driving-safety blogs aimed at reducing car accident deaths and identifying vulnerable road users.

No driving behavior creates more accident risks than driving distracted. Cell phone use is blamed for more than 1.5 million traffic collisions each year, according to the National Safety Council.

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