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Ghosts and goblins running loose in the streets next week herald an even scarier risk: The increased accident risks that will come with early darkness.halloweensafety-300x225

Trick or Treat always increases the risk of pedestrian accidents or other injuries involving children. According to the Safe Kids USA organization, children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween night than at any other time of the year. Safe Kids reports only one-third of parents talk to their children each year about Halloween safety, even though three-quarters of parents report being worried about their child’s safety.

Halloween Safety in SWFL

According to Safe Kids:

  • Children under 12 should always trick-or-treat with an adult.
  • Always use sidewalks and paths and walk facing traffic as far off the roadway as possible. Cross at marked crosswalks and street corners and use traffic signals.
  • Parents must also consider safety when it comes to a child’s costume. Does it obstruct vision or make walking clumsy? Is it visible after dark?

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The third year was the best yet for the Annual Bruce L. Scheiner Charity Poker Tournament, held last Saturday Oct. 20 at the Naples Fort Myers Track and Entertainment Center in Bonita Springs.

The event raised more than $5,000 for the March of Dimes Bikers for Babies campaign. Prizes included two pair of round trip tickets on Key West Airline, A Private Plane flight to Miami for dinner and tickets to see the Miami Dophins vs. New England

“Thank you to all who came out to support a night of charity benefiting a great cause as we head into the holiday season,” Bruce L. Scheiner said. Bruce was joined by wife Cheryl, and son Preston J. Scheiner, as well as many friends and office members at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured. It’s the first of several Bikers for Babies events this fall.

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Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is again providing sponsorship for this season’s Cape Coral Bike Nights.

“We are pleased to sponsor Southwest Florida’s largest family-friendly motorcycle event,” Bruce L. Scheiner said.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, has been providing sponsorship to the four-night event for more than a decade. This year’s events will be held on Oct. 13, Dec. 8, Feb. 9, and April 13. Operated by the Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department, the events occur along SE 47th Terrace in Cape Coral. In recent years, a number of headline entertainers have performed. Quiet Riot, the 1980s heavy-metal legends, headlined this year’s first event on October 13. bikenight-300x225

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We are entering the most dangerous time of the year for drunk drivers.

Recently we have written about the threat of early darkness. Back-to-school dangers. Holiday and tourism traffic. And the increase in cycling traffic that comes with fall weather. But no discussion of autumn road safety is complete without mentioning the outsized risk of intoxicated motorists — a threat that reaches its annual peak during the fall football and end-of-year holiday seasons.drunk driving accident lawyer

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Hello Darkness My Old Friend 

While Sound of Silence was recorded 55 years ago, early darkness comes to Southwest Florida every autumn. night-highway-1450204-300x184

By the time Daylight Savings Time begins November 4, we will all be dealing with dusk or darkness during our evening commute. Love it or hate it, early darkness will be with us again until spring.

A report published by the National Institutes of Health found an increased risk of car accidents immediately after the autumn shift in Daylight Savings Time. However, it also found a similar increased risk with the spring shift (which provides more light later in the day.) Researchers believe it likely that the time-shift’s impact on sleeping patterns is likely responsible for making the roads more dangerous.

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Cool October weather brings welcome relief from the heat and humidity of a long summer. The National Weather Service indicates that by mid-October average daily temperatures in Southwest Florida will be nearly 10 degrees cooler, even as the insufferable humidity of September disappears.

Fall also begins the long cycling season in SWFL, as even the most dedicated riding masochist sees less road time amid summer’s scorching temperatures and frequent storms. Many riding events are planned for autumn. The increasing number of riders on the road will also coincide with early darkness and the return of snowbird and tourism traffic. cyclistsunset-300x199

An investigate report by The News-Press recently examined five years worth of bicycle crash data in revealing that Lee and Collier counties were among the most dangerous counties in the state for serious and fatal bicycling accidents. And the risks are on the rise in both counties, with Collier crashes up almost 40 percent in three years. Crashes in Lee County spiked more than 70 percent.

According to News-Press statistics, more than 100 serious or fatal riding accidents occur each month from September to May. Riding risks peak from January-March, with about 140 accidents a month reported to local law enforcement. Statewide, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported more than 6,500 bicycle crashes claimed 133 lives in 2016, making Florida the most dangerous state in the nation for bicycling accidents.

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Safety improvements to Lehigh Acres roads and a recent settlement against the City of Cape Coral highlight the risks of dangerous road conditions in Southwest Florida.

NBC News reports Lehigh Acres is eliminating several dangerous traffic turns after a series of traffic collisions. streetsigns-300x200

There have been nearly 20 reported collisions in the last two years because of left-hand turns at Fifth Street West and Gunnery Road. Cars from every direction turn left around traffic coming off of the main traffic light on Lee Boulevard. On Thursday, work crews will extend an already-existing median so that no one can turn left at Fifth Street West.

Residents are happy crews are improving the crash-prone spot because of how close it is to Lehigh Senior High, Varsity Lakes Middle School and Tortuga Elementary School. The much-needed safety improvement cost the county just $5,000 and will be completed by the end of the month.

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A four-vehicle crash closed Southbound Interstate 75 in North Fort Myers this week, after a semi, a camper trailer and several vehicles were involved in a collision.highway-300x225

FOX4 News reported the incident closed the highway at  mile marker 147, which is near the Tucker’s Grade and Bayshore exits. The Florida Highway Patrol reported a speeding car could not avoid hitting the rear-end of a tanker truck. The car went out of control and spun into the path of a tractor trailer, which veered into the path of a pickup truck towing a camper. Traffic on I-75 was diverted onto Tucker’s Grade while authorities cleaned up the mess.

The 34-year-old driver was uninjured. He was charged with careless driving and failure to provide insurance at the scene of a crash. Several other motorists involved in the incident were transported to Lee Memorial Hospital.

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A car rammed into Fins Seafood & Dive Bar in Cape Coral over the weekend, stunning inside guests and killing the driver.

Guests were startled but unhurt after the vehicle smashed into an outside wall along the restaurant’s seating area. Authorities believe the 50-year-old driver may have suffered a medical emergency. She was transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead according to The News-Press. 

storefront crashes

The incident occurred about 5:30 p.m. Friday, when a 2001 Nissan Xterra SUV, continued north along the center median where it collided with a bush and several trees, veered left and entered the southbound lanes of Del Prado, crossed all three southbound lanes and hit the curb in front of Fins Seafood & Dive Bar at 3422 Del Prado, according to the Cape Coral police report.

Our property injury lawyers in Fort Myers and throughout Southwest Florida know area residents are at high risk of such incidents for a number of reasons.

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New research suggests parents should leave their children in rear-facing car seats until they have outgrown them.

While it’s unclear when Florida will update its own recommendations, parents and caregivers should start using the new guidelines as soon as possible. USA Today reports the new car-seat guidelines for rear-facing seats are designed to save lives. Safety advocates now say children should use the seats until they reach the height and weight limit suggested by the manufacturer. Newer, stronger seats are allowing parents to use them for larger children.

Previous guidelines suggest use of rear-facing car seats until a child reached the age of 2.carseat-218x300

“Fortunately, car seat manufacturers have created seats that allow children to remain rear-facing until they weigh 40 pounds or more, which means most children can remain rear-facing past their second birthday,” said Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, lead author of the policy statement and chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. “It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This is still the safest way for children to ride.”
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