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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 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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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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An investigative report on the state of Florida’s nursing home industry brings sobering news.

A series of reports by the Naples Daily News, Fort Myers News-Press and the USAToday Network, reveal Florida agencies responsible for investigating serious cases of nursing home neglect and abuse rarely fulfill their critical mission.nursing homes

Of 54 nursing home deaths reported by other state agencies to have resulted from nursing home neglect or abuse in the past 4 years, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration rarely took action. The AHCA is the state agency tasked with keeping nursing home residents safe. Yet in three quarters of nursing home neglect deaths reported by the Florida Department of Children and Families, the agency took no action against the home. The AHCA admitted to failing to even investigate 10 of the deaths. It’s unclear whether 18 other deaths were reviewed as the deaths are not even mentioned in the agency’s inspection reports.

It’s a staggering revelation that illustrates why it’s so vital that loved ones properly review a home when placing a loved one. Our nursing home injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Naples also urge those visiting nursing homes to speak up about concerns.

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As we reported recently on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, we bring more new products into our home during the holidays than at any other time of the year, which increases defective product injury risks, particularly among children.skateboard-197x300

Our child injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know their are some identifiable risks associated with many products marketed to children, and understanding those risks can go a long way toward keeping your child safe. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 19, claiming more than 12,000 young lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 9 million children are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year after unintentional injury. The most common causes include transportation accidents, suffocation, drowning, falls and animal bites.

In some cases, a product defect may lead to child injury risks. Lack of sufficient age-use warnings may also result in child injury. In other cases, a product is inherently dangerous. Riding toys, such as a bicycle, scooter, dirt bike or skateboard, are the leading cause of toy-related injuries. Those gifting such presents to a child should always check with the parents first, and such gifts should always come with necessary safety gear, including helmets.

Good Housekeeping’s rank of the 20 most dangerous toys of all time include an easy bake oven, fidget spinners, hover boards, lawn darts, slip-n-slides, toy crossbows, toy guns, sling shots, trampolines and even a Cabbage Patch doll.

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As part of our focus on road safety as we enter 2019, it’s important to note the vulnerable road users at highest risk of being involved in a serious or fatal traffic accident in Southwest Florida.

As we reported recently on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, Lee County and Collier County continue to see an increasing number of traffic deaths. 

Through Christmas Day, more than 12,000 traffic collisions have been reported in Lee County this year, injuring nearly 5,000 motorists and claiming 86 lives. More than 100 traffic fatalities were reported in Lee County in both 2017 and 2016, compared to 71 traffic deaths reported in 2011. biccylesafety-300x281

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Lee County is nearing 100 traffic deaths for the third year in a row.

The News-Press reported a series of fatal traffic accidents that claimed five lives the week before Christmas, including the death of a 58-year-old safe-cycling activist. The 58-year-old rider was struck on U.S. 41 as he cycled northbound ahead of a 2016 Dodge Ram pickup truck, which rear ended his bicycle, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Our injury lawyers in Southwest Florida know Lee County traffic collision risks have increased substantially in recent years. Other holiday traffic deaths this year include:ambulance-300x201

  • A 19-year-old pedestrian was killed in a crash on State Road 82 at Buckingham Road.
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A series of high-profile drunk driving collisions has authorities concerned as we head into the heart of the holiday season.

This week, First Coast News reported the Florida Highway Patrol arrested a 46-year-old woman accused of causing a collision that killed a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office employee. The victim was driving with her husband and two children when the defendant’s vehicle reportedly struck the family’s car, causing it to rollover.

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In South Florida, CBS4 Miami reports a Coral Springs firefighter is facing a DUI manslaughter charge, after allegedly driving into a group of motorcyclists on the Florida Turnpike after attending a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Closer to home, a Lee County man was arrested and accused of drunk driving Thanksgiving weekend after a crash at Summerlin Road and Pine Ridge Road. He told officers he thought he was in an Uber on the way to jail.

Our Fort Myers injury lawyers support Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other education and prevention efforts to keep intoxicated motorists off our roads. In addition to alcohol intoxication, driving under the influence of drugs has increasingly become a concern.

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When it comes to auto insurance, Florida and Maine tell a tale of rags and riches.

Florida has more uninsured motorists on the road than any state in the nation and ranks dead last in the nation when it comes to required auto insurance. Maine has a spot near the front of the pack in both categories. The New Year is often a time when we make commitments,  drop or extend insurance coverages, and make other changes to the paperwork of our lives. car accident

Our car accident attorneys in Fort Myers and Naples know unless you’ve taken specific steps to assure you are protected, it’s very likely the auto insurance premiums you pay each month could be for a policy that is worthless in the event you are involved in a serious or fatal traffic collision. We’ve been reporting a lot recently about the dangers of holiday traffic and the increased risk of motor-vehicle collisions as we head into tourist season. While we hope you read the road advice and heed the safe-driving warnings, updating your auto insurance policy is vital to protecting you and your family in the event of a collision.

Uninsured Motorist Collisions in SWFL

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