COVID-19 restrictions continue to increase demand for bicycles, scooters, and e-vehicles. Purchases have reached record highs and an increasing number of rental options are also reporting high demand throughout South Florida.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Association is among the organizations highlighting the increased need for bicycle and e-scooter safety campaigns amid the coronavirus pandemic. This is true in vacation and resort locations like Southwest Florida, and in large urban centers where residents continue to flee the subway and other public transportation options, in favor of bicycles and scooters.
Our injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers continue to see an increase in the number of incidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists and scooters. This was true even before the pandemic’s social distancing restrictions increased the popularity of such open-air independent and environmental friendly modes of transportation.
Southwest Florida boat dealers and marinas are reporting significant increases in boat sales and rentals as families look for COVID-friendly alternatives for vacation and leisure.
In April, our Fort Myers boat accident attorneys reported in Boating Injuries a Pandemic Risk that an increase in boaters – particularly an increase in novice boaters – would likely lead to an increased risk of reportable accidents during Southwest Florida’s summer boating season, which is typically the slowest time of the year.
Florida is a boater’s paradise. The state’s 1 million vessels puts more boats off Florida’s coast than anywhere else in the nation, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. But with all that fun in the sun comes an assumption of risk, and potential liabilities.
Covid concerns and social-distancing restrictions have safety advocates worried about swimming pool accidents this summer as families and friends gather to make the best of this challenging time.
Our Fort Myers injury lawyers urge families to take proactive measures to keep swimmers safe at private pools this summer, especially in cases where toddlers or young children will have access to those irresistible backyard waters.
For those venturing out to public pools and swimming facilities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines in time for Memorial Day weekend. While the swimming might be safe, it’s the interaction with others that carries the risk. Recommendations include wearing a mask until getting into the water, staying six feet apart, covering coughs, frequent hand washing and not sharing goggles or other equipment.
Brick-and-mortar businesses were in trouble long before COVID-19, thanks to the increasing ease and convenience of ordering from online retailers like Amazon. But the flu pandemic has brought a new wave of shoppers to the Internet, many of whom are likely to continue to rely on delivery of everything from toilet paper to televisions long after the economy restarts and local retailers reopen their doors for business.
There are many as-yet unknown consequences to this shift away from local businesses in favor of this international online bazaar of retailers. Dangerous and defective products are an often overlooked risk. And. as our Fort Myers injury lawyers know, holding multi-national companies responsible can be much more complicated. Amazon, for example, has more than 2.5 million independent sellers.
But perhaps nothing drives the risks home like the battalions of gray Mercedes Amazon vans and white cargo vans that can be seen zipping through almost every neighborhood in Southwest Florida. If you are ever at one of their distribution centers, including the one off Treeline Avenue, hundreds of delivery vehicles can be seen exiting these facilities dozens of times a day, bound for neighborhoods across Lee County.
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.
September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is sponsoring events all month to promote recovery services. The agency’s theme this year is “Join the Voices of Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.”
About half of all fatal traffic accidents involve alcohol or drug use. Alcohol alone is confirmed to be involved in one-third of traffic deaths each year, claiming more than 10,000 lives nationally, and more than 800 here in Florida. The increasingly permissive use of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes also increases the risks on the road. In addition, the nationwide opioid epidemic is now blamed for more than 35,000 overdose deaths annually, which surpasses the number of motorists killed on the nation’s roads each year, an untold number of whom were under the influence of a prescribed or illicit opioid narcotic at the time of a motor-vehicle accident.
The personal injury lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, have been representing car accident victims in Southwest Florida since 1971, and continue to support Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and local law enforcement efforts to get impaired drivers off the road, including sobriety checkpoints and enforcement blitzes.
Lightning safety is in focus in Southwest Florida through the height of the hurricane season, which runs through November 30.
But lightning is a primary threat throughout Southwest Florida’s long rainy season. In fact, South Florida is the lightning capital of the United States, with Rwanda being the only place in the world where lightning is a bigger threat. As a result, South Florida leads the nation in fatalities and injuries resulting from electrical storms.
Fort Myers injury lawyers know injuries resulting from lightning can include muscle pain, broken bones, burns, cardiac arrest, hearing loss and seizures. Lightning burns are characterized by a unique pattern of skin lesions. Alternative names for them include “keraunographic markings”, “feathering”, “ferning”, “Lichtenberg figures,” “lightning flowers” or “lightning trees”.
We wrote recently about driver liability for motorcycle collisions. Most traffic collisions involving a motorcycle and another vehicle are the fault of the vehicle’s driver. The vast majority of riders understand the risks and do whatever they can to help ensure they return home safely to their families.
But there are still a number of things riders can do to help reduce the risks of being involved in a motorcycle accident. Our Fort Myers motorcycle accident lawyers have been fighting for the rights of motorcycle accidents victims and their families since 1971 and have built a reputation throughout Southwest Florida as staunch advocates of motorcycle rights, both on the roads and in the courtroom.
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.
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.