New statistics and growing anecdotal evidence suggest our most vulnerable road users may not be benefiting from the reprieve we have seen in serious automobile accidents during the three months Southwest Florida has hunkered down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Our experienced injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers highlighted the likely risk as COVID restrictions began in mid-March. Pedestrian Injuries a Spring Risk in Southwest Florida and Pandemic Scare has More People Cycling in Southwest Florida both highlighted the fact that our most vulnerable road users have always faced high risks, but the coronavirus pandemic may actually be increasing the dangers. intersection1-300x225

Certainly, that is holding true when it comes to cyclists. Media outlets nationwide are reporting a huge increase in demand for bicycles, with many locations reporting long wait lists for cycles under $2,000. The News-Press recently reported bicycle sales in Lee and Collier county are up more than 100 percent compared to the same period last year.

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. swimmingpool33-300x225

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.

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The number of Florida traffic fatalities last year helped make the Southeast the only area to report an increase in road deaths. Reduction in traffic deaths resulting from COVID-19 aside, the new statistics show Florida still has a lot of work to do when it comes to keeping motorists safe on the road.

Jacksonville News Channel 4 was among the Florida media outlets to report an increase in Florida traffic fatalities was a leading driver in making the Southeast United States the only region to see an overall increase in traffic fatalities last year.

The preliminary report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 36,120 people died on U.S. roads last year. That would be a 1.2 percent decline compared to the 36,560 fatalities in 2018. The reduction comes after years of increase amid the growth and economic expansion following the Great Recession.  However, in the Southeast Region, which includes South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida, road deaths are expected to be up about 2 percent. Final figures will be available later this year. car accident

It remains to be seen what impact COVID-19 and the “Safer-at-Home” order has on this year’s statistics, although it’s a given there will be a significant reduction during the second-quarter, when Southwest Florida typically experiences the height of tourism season. Continue reading ›

May is motorcycle safety awareness month.

The National Safety Council’s campaign notes motorcycle safety is a two-way street, with both riders and motorists urged to make safety a priority as the summer riding season gets underway.

While Memorial Day signals the start of the summer riding season up north, our injury lawyers in Fort Myers know riding is a year-around activity in Southwest Florida. COVID-19 restrictions have impacted many past-times this spring, but riders can still hit the road solo or in small groups in fine social-distancing fashion.

Riders have benefited from lighter road traffic amid the “Safer-at-Home” orders, but as more motorists return to the roads, the risk of motorcycle accidents will continue to increase. Despite being too often unfairly stereotyped as daredevils, most riders respect the risks and do whatever they can to stay safe and return home to their families.

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As Florida and the nation move toward a re-opening amid the coronavirus pandemic, there is much that remains uncertain about what the “new normal” might look like.

Uncertainty is what the COVID-19 crisis has brought to every corner of the world. History shows us that the world adapts. Polio and the 1918 pandemic are just two 20th century examples. Hotels and motels are in the process of re-opening as we approach Memorial Day weekend. And, while traffic is expected to be lighter for the traditional holiday weekend kickoff of the summer travel season, many predict a sharp uptick in the number of families traveling by car this summer. car accident

CNN reports European destinations are pushing to re-open in time for the annual summer tourism season. But uncertainty means many American families are likely to avoid international air travel. Airlines will try to combat the uncertainty with bargain rates, but that same uncertainty will make many cautious about booking and paying for airfare over the coming months.

Evidence is increasingly clear that Florida’s nursing home industry has failed to protect residents from the devastating consequences of facility-wide coronavirus outbreaks, even in the weeks since those risks became the world’s dominant news story. nursing homes

The risks have been clear from the outset– the first outbreak in the United States occurred at a five-star care facility outside Seattle, Washington.

By mid-April, at least 14 Lee County nursing homes or care facilities had tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a list Gov. Ron DeSantis finally released under pressure from the media and the threat of lawsuits from elder-care advocates.

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Auto insurance companies have grabbed headlines this month by announcing save-driving rebates as the COVID-19 pandemic brings traffic to a standstill in many parts of the country.intersection11-300x225

In Southwest Florida, our Fort Myers injury lawyers know March and April are typically the deadliest months of the year on the roads. Baseball spring training, spring break and the Easter end of the winter tourism season all combine to create peak road risks for all types of road users.

But this year, the coronavirus pandemic has brought life to a standstill.

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Well, you can still get out on the water.

But boaters off the coast of Southwest Florida are not guaranteed the peace and tranquilly paradoxically offered by local malls during the coronavirus pandemic.boats-300x225

COVID-19 has turned life upside down in Southwest Florida. In mid-March, we were preparing for spring training and spring break, in mid-April we are “safer at home.”

A look at the traffic on the roads of Southwest Florida during the “Safer-at-Home” order makes it clear that few non-medical occupations have been deemed more “essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic than the construction industry.

Sometimes it seems the building will never stop. Certainly, we have proof now that a pandemic won’t stop it. In the last month, everything from new-home communities to major road projects have continued with construction, virtually around the clock, even as most non-essential workers have been strongly encouraged to stay home.cementtruck-300x187

To be sure, construction is a primary driver of Southwest Florida’s economy. This has been true for decades. When Bruce L. Scheiner built his law firm’s headquarters near Page Field in 1971, it was located at the edge of town! Even today, the quieting wrought by the flu pandemic has brought to a standstill nearly everything but construction.

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.busdriver1-300x225

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