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The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a significant increase in the number of fostered and adopted pets in Southwest Florida.dog-1361477-300x200

The New York Times reports animal shelters across the country are seeing increased interest in pet fostering and adoption. From a practical standpoint, spending weeks working from home can be a perfect time to introduce a new pet into the home and get past the worst of the house and obedience training. However, our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral urge you to do your homework before bringing a new pet into your home. Particularly if you have small children, choosing a pet can have a significant impact on risk of injury.

While the pandemic has most of us familiar with the workings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta as it relates to combating the flu and other viruses, the agency conducts research on a broad range of health topics, including pet ownership.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has many Southwest Floridians in isolation. An increasing number are venturing out for long walks or bicycle rides. While bicycling can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors in a solitary pursuit, taking care to avoid injuries during these challenging times should be a priority.bicycle-lamp-1480863-300x225

May is traditionally Bicycle Safety month, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsors campaigns to remind drivers and bicyclists to do their part to help reduce deaths and injuries on our roads. However, bicycle shops in Southwest Florida are already experiencing unprecedented demand for sales and service as home-bound adults look for options for outdoor activity.

Our experienced injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know that novice adult cyclists are among the most likely to be injured as they embark on a new hobby and, in many cases, relearn a skill from childhood.

The San Francisco Chronicle is among the media outlets reporting the surge in cycling during the pandemic. Currently, 40 million California residents are under a shelter-in-place order and walking and cycling are among the few remaining outdoor options. In major metropolitan areas, including New York City, which has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, authorities have actually promoted cycling as the safest transportation option.

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A number of new reports have the focus on seniors and the rising risk of car accidents.nursing home abuse lawyer

The Florida Times-Union is among the media outlets reporting more drivers over the age of 65 are killed in Florida than anywhere else in the country. Last year, 682 fatal traffic accidents in Florida involved at least one senior driver, according to TRIP, a national nonprofit transportation research group in Washington.

Florida is second in the nation in the number (3,341,250) of drivers 65 or older. TRIP’s report says 23 percent of the 3.3 million licensed drivers in Florida are 65 or older, based on 2012 to 2016 statistics.

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Law enforcement safety campaigns and media stories continue to draw attention to the severe risks faced by vulnerable road users this time of year, particularly bicyclists and pedestrians.

Operation Vision Zero was launched in Central Florida, according to Chanel 6 News in Orlando. More than a dozen law enforcement agencies are participating in the enforcement blitz through March 31. The effort aims to stop hundreds of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians who violate traffic-safety laws.bicycle11-225x300

The effort follows a report by ABC Action News in Tampa, which highlighted the fact that Florida is one of just 5 states that account for half the nation’s pedestrian deaths. Continue reading →

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Spring training and spring break are upon us as Southwest Florida enters the height of the winter tourist season.

Traffic is reaching its annual peak in Lee and Collier counties, as the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox bring thousands of visitors to the area. On the beaches, spring break and visitors escaping frigid northern temperatures mean hotels, resorts, bars and restaurants are managing burgeoning workloads and reaping profits that will sustain them through the slower summer months.

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While visitors can be injured at any time of the year, our experienced injury lawyers in Fort Myers know March is statistically the most dangerous month. Everyone faces an increased risk of car accidents this time of year. However, vulnerable road users, including bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcycle riders, are at even higher risk. Visitors are not only more likely to be bicyclists or pedestrians, but are traversing unfamiliar areas often crowded with vehicle traffic and lacking the adequate sidewalks, bike lanes and signs and signals that could help reduce the risk.

 

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The remainder of the tourist season in Southwest Florida will be the deadliest time of the year for motorcycle riders. A series of high-profile riding events, great riding weather, and burgeoning visitor and tourist traffic brought by baseball spring training and spring break, mean the risks to motorcycle riders will reach their annual highs. motorcycle safety

As part of our Be a Better Driver 2020 focus, we continue to emphasis the high risks faced by vulnerable road users in Southwest Florida, including bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcycle riders. But the next three months are undoubtedly the most dangerous of the year for motorcyclists.

This year’s Daytona Bike Week runs March 6 to March 15. One of the nation’s largest annual motorcycle destination locations, the event will draw thousands of motorcycle riders from across the nation. Many of those riders will spend the next several weeks riding Florida’s coastline, visiting the Florida Keys, and otherwise taking advantage of the best winter riding weather in the nation.

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Florida ranks as one of the nation’s worst states for safety laws and enforcement, according to a new report by the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety.intersection11-300x225

The Miami Herald reports the Sunshine State is one of a dozen states listed as “Dangerously Behind,” and the only state in the Southeast to be rated so poorly. Our Fort Myers injury lawyers noted in a recent blog post about enforcement of Florida’s updated texting and driving law that our state lawmakers continue to underperform when it comes to improving the safety of Florida’s roads.

Inadequate primary rear seat belt laws, lack of a motorcycle helmet law, and weak child seat laws, were all among the reasons cited. Florida is one of 31 states without a motorcycle helmet law for riders over the age of 21.  The state gets middling marks for efforts to discourage distracted driving. While it bans text messaging during driving, the organization finds Florida’s efforts to restrict cell phone use are inadequate.

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One of the nation’s largest manufacturers of car booster seats is under fire amid allegations it put profits ahead of critical child safety issues.

ProPublica reports that a Congressional subcommittee is opening an investigation to consider whether the company violated the law. The news agency reported earlier this month the results of an investigation that found Evenflo marketed its child car booster seats as side-impact tested, even though company testing had revealed that children using the seats in a side-impact collision could be paralyzed or killed.carseat-thumb-300x225

Evenflo’s top-selling Big Kid booster seat is marketed for use by older children who are not yet ready for an adult seat and seatbelt. Evenflo, a subsidiary of China-based Goodbaby International Holdings Ltd., has sold more than 18 million Big Kid boosters. Six other carseat makers currently sell their booster seats for children as small as 30 pounds.

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The tragic death of a woman walking her dog in South Fort Myers is a sobering reminder of the risks faced by pedestrians in Southwest Florida.

Kate Johnson of Fort Myers and her beloved dog, Diva, were walking when they were struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver. WINK News reports loved ones have purchased a billboard and taken other steps to locate the at-fault driver. It was a light-colored Nissan that hit Johnson and her dog, and the driver left them to die along McGregor Boulevard at the intersection with Water Lane.schoolbusstop-300x225

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The booming Southwest Florida economy is thanks in no small part to the housing and construction industries. However, an increasing concern is the growing number of serious and fatal construction accidents that result from such rapid development.https://www.injury-lawyer-florida.com/files/2018/06/Roofing.Accidents-300x213.jpg

The Palm Beach Post reports the number of serious and fatal construction injuries in South Florida has skyrocketed, up 140 percent in the 7 years since we exited the Great Recession.

More than 100 fatal construction accidents were reported for the first time in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2011 the department reported 42 construction fatalities in Florida. That means that in just seven years, the fatality rate more than doubled. Continue reading →

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