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We celebrated the first day of spring a few days ago.

The vernal quinox marks one of the two times a year when day and night are nearly the same length. The term equinox comes from the Latin word equinoxium, which means “equality between day and night.” That was March 20 this year, and always occurs on either March 19, 20, 0r 21, CNN reported. beach-300x226

While for northerners it means a return to longer days and better weather, in Southwest Florida we know it as the time of year spring breakers hit the beaches and the equipment haulers for the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox roll into town. Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know the risk of tourist injuries will be highest through the next six weeks.

This year’s crowds in Southwest Florida are reaching their peak, and tourists face a variety of risks.

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The Florida Highway Patrol brought extra enforcement to Southwest Florida to open the spring break and baseball spring training season.

“Operation Safe DRIVE” is the patrol’s campaign to reduce serious and fatal traffic accidents through Distracted Reckless Impaired Visibility Enforcement.car accident

“Motorists can reduce crashes if they share the roads safely, avoid aggressive driving behaviors and exercise additional caution when driving near larger vehicles,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral have posted here about the added risks of driving in Southwest Florida, particularly from now until Easter.

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The New York Times reports Uber lawyers are racing to clean up the company before it goes public amid anticipation of the release of an audit containing past complaints from passengers of sexual assault by ride-sharing drivers.

More than 200 sexual misconduct cases were reported to the company in 2017. Uber is just 10 years old this year and yet is expected to go public with a valuation of more than $120 billion. Such growth has come with many, many growing pains, some of which have been self inflicted as the company has aggressively marketed its services, moved against taxi companies in many of the nation’s largest metro markets, and reduced liability by categorizing drivers as independent contractors.

As our Uber injury lawyers in Southwest Florida reported last year, more than 100 Uber drivers have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers. More than 30 drivers have been criminally convicted and dozens of others are facing criminal or civil charges. In fact, we have been writing about the company since 2015, when we reported Uber was being sued for misrepresenting driver safety to the public.

The ride-sharing giant has since raised more than $22 billion in private funding and is operating in more than 600 U.S. cities as it prepares to become a public company.

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Cycling events are kicking off in Southwest Florida as prime riding season gets underway.

We recently wrote about the risk of motorcycle accidents as Daytona Bike Week gets underway March 8. But in Southwest Florida its two-wheel riders of a different kind who will hold one of the year’s largest events. Cyclists will participate in the 21st Annual Royal Palm Challenge on March 9 & 10. Our bicycle injury lawyers in Naples and Fort Myers urge motorists to use extra caution and to respect the rights of cyclists on the road. A moment of inattention or impatience can cause a tragedy.cyclingsafety-300x225

Spring is prime season for cyclists in Southwest Florida. Moderate temperatures, cool breezes and little chance of heavy downpours make it perfect riding weather. A large number of visitors and tourists add to the mix. In most cases, a collision with a rider is the fault of the motorist, and almost always results in the rider suffering very serious or life-threatening injuries.

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The opening of Daytona Bike Week starts prime winter riding season in Southwest Florida.

This year’s event runs March 8-March 15, and will bring thousands of riders from across the country to Florida roads. Statewide, the risk of motorcycle accidents reaches annual highs over the next several months. The risks in Southwest Florida will be no less than those in the Daytona Beach area, as riders travel back and forth or choose Florida’s quieter West Coast for a ride down the state to the Everglades and Florida Keys.

Our motorcycle injury lawyers urge motorists and riders alike to use caution on the roads. motorcycle

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Florida lawmakers are looking for ways to reduce drowning risks in the Sunshine State.

Florida leads the nation for drownings of children under the age of 5. Now, ABC7 News reports some lawmakers want to increase safety requirements under Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act. Our Fort Myers injury lawyers support any measure that reduces the risk of these senseless tragedies.swimmingpool33-300x225

FOX 13 News in Tampa reports the bill is being backed by lawmakers and the mother of a 2-year-old who drowned in a friend’s backyard pool in September 2017. The mother said her child exited the house through a sliding door and was able to get past a defective pool fence.

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When it comes to the injury risks in Southwest Florida, it’s hard to overstate the risk of walking.

Nationwide, the risks have reached epidemic levels, and Florida has long been the deadliest state in the nation for pedestrians.

NPR reported this week that pedestrian deaths have reached levels not seen in decades. A new report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association identified 6,227 pedestrians who were killed by motor vehicles last year.

As our injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers recently reported, Florida is the deadliest state in the nation for pedestrian accidents. The Fort Myers-Cape Coral area is among 8 metro areas in Florida to be named to the nation’s 10 deadliest areas for walkers, according to Smart Growth America’s report, Dangerous by Design, which largely focuses on inadequate infrastructure, like sidewalks and crosswalks.

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Fall injuries are a serious concern. Only those who have never dealt with the consequences of a serious fall think of a”slip and fall” lawsuit as someone who is just trying to make a buck.

As the New York Times reported this week: Falls can kill you. 

Southwest Florida’s aging population, and wet tropical climate are just two factors that make the region particular susceptible to fall injuries. Our injury lawyers want fall victims to know they have certain rights, although these cases can be complex and consultation with an experienced law firm is best done as soon as possible after an accident.slip and fall

It’s no longer enough to prove injury occurred by falling on a substance or hazard while at a business. Florida’s tourism industry and business-friendly environment helped lawmakers push through an amendment that now requires a business to have had actual or constructive knowledge of a hazard and to have failed to correct it. Constructive knowledge generally means a hazard existed for a length of time sufficient enough to have been discovered.

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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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