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New Requirement for Trucks

trucking injuries and crashes

It is estimated that the rule would eliminate approximately 1,115 fatal crashes and require minimal investment by carriers since most heavy trucks already have limiters on board. The first efforts for rulemaking on this subject came in 2006 when petitions were brought by the American Trucking Association (ATA) and Road Safe America (RSA). They said that a key strategy in preventing large truck fatal crashes is to reduce the top travel speed of the trucks. Studies were cited showing that large trucks moving at high speeds have much longer stopping distances than the same trucks operated at lower speeds. According to...

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Teenagers & Distracted Driving

car accident attorney

"Novice drivers are more likely to engage in high-risk secondary tasks more frequently over time as they became more comfortable with driving." Traffic studies reveal that drivers from 15 years to 20 years of age represent 6.4% of all motorists on the road, but account for 11.4% of fatalities and 14% of police-reported crashes resulting in injuries. Cell phones and other electronic devices have garnered the most public and media interest, but even the simplest distractions can put a young driver at risk. In the New England Journal of Medicine study, titled “Distracted Driving and Risk of Crashes Among Novice and Experienced...

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Couple File Suit Against Golf Cart Dealership

A lawsuit was recently filed by a Florida couple against a Perry, Florida-based golf cart dealership after the wife was left partially disabled after an accident.  Danielle and John Pfeil of Arcadia, Fla., filed the lawsuit in federal court in Macon, Georgia against Mike’s Golf Carts, a company located in Perry, Florida. Danielle Pfeil was seriously injured in the golf cart accident on November 25, 2011, at Jewel Mint Plantation, the lawsuit states.  The lawsuit alleges that a golf cart modified by Mike’s Golf Carts malfunctioned, resulting in the golf cart overturning on Danielle Pfeil (who was driving it).  The lawsuit states...

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Seatbelts Will Soon Be Required On Large Buses

New tour buses and buses that provide service between cities must be equipped with seatbelts starting in late 2016 under a new federal rule, a safety measure sought by accident investigators for nearly a half century. Beginning in November 2016, all new motorcoaches and some other large buses must be equipped by manufacturers with three-point lap-shoulder belts, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said.  The rule will not apply to school buses or city transit buses. Every year, an average of 21 people are killed in large crashes, and almost 8,000 others are injured annually, according to the NHTSA. It’s estimated...

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Texting While Driving–It’s Illegal in Florida

distracted driving accidents texting while driving

The Florida Legislature recently passed a bill that made texting while driving illegal in the State of Florida.  This law represents a significant step to further ensure that our loved ones are safe on the roads.  The bill, SB 52, which Gov. Rick Scott signed into law on May 28, prohibits motorists from using their cellphones to text or email while driving, with some exceptions. Drivers are allowed to use their devices while reporting criminal activity, listening to music or using text-to-talk systems such as Siri.  They may also text or email while stuck in traffic or at red lights. The...

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Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Generally In 2000, motorcycle fatalities accounted for about 8% of all traffic fatalities in Florida, but by 2008 the percentage had increased to 17.8%. By 2010, motorcycle fatalities dropped to 14.3% of all traffic fatalities. In 2011, motorcycle fatalities have returned to 2008 levels, accounting for 17.0% of all traffic fatalities. Alcohol and Motorcycle Accidents: In 2011 in Florida, impaired motorcyclists with blood alcohol content (“BAC”) of .08+ accounted for 26% of motorcycle fatalities, while impaired motorcyclists with a BAC of .01+ accounted for 32% of motorcycle fatalities. Nationally, in fatal crashes in 2011 a higher percentage of motorcycle riders had BAC of .08 grams per...

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Let’s Make Our Roads Safer

truck crashes

Nearly four thousand people were killed in truck crashes in 2011.  While fatal truck crashes often cost over $4.3 million, federal law only requires cargo truck drivers to maintain insurance policies for $750,000 dollars.  Injured motorists and taxpayers are left to pay the difference. If trucking companies are not accountable, the safety and financial security of all drivers is at risk.  Congress has not updated this minimum insurance requirement in over 30 years and as a result unsafe trucking carriers are prevented from being held fully accountable. H.R. 2730, the Safe And Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels (SAFE HAUL)...

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Is a Modified Golf Cart a Motor Vehicle?

florida personal injury attorney

In the recent case of Angelotta v. Security National Insurance, the 5th District Court of Appeal addressed the question of whether a golf cart can be considered a “vehicle.” Facts In 2008, a resident of The Villages was operating a modified golf cart on a public roadway when he “sideswiped a car and then crashed into a lawfully stopped golf cart operated by John Angelotta.”  Mr. Angelotta was severely injured and sued to recover for injuries he sustained as a result of the collision.  Unfortunately, the defendant’s insurance company, Security National, denied the claim and asserted that the policy covered “autos”–defined as...

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Slower Golf Cart = Reduced Insurance Premiums

On July 1, 2013, Governor Scott signed a law that will give Florida residents the option of reclassifying their “low-speed vehicles” as golf carts in order to save on registration and insurance fees. The law allows the conversion of a “low-speed vehicle” to a golf cart by reducing the maximum speed to 20 mph.  Specifically, it establishes procedures to allow a vehicle titled or branded and registered as a “low-speed vehicle” to be administratively converted to a golf cart upon verification of the conversion by the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, which is accomplished by the owner’s submittal of an...

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Legislative Proposal Seeks Tougher Penalties for Drivers Who Leave the Scene of an Accident

A recent proposal in the Florida Senate, known as the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, seeks to create tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a hit and run bicycle accident.  The proposed legislation is named after Aaron Cohen, a triathlete and father who was killed when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Michael Traverso in February 2012. Investigators found evidence suggesting Traverso had been drinking before he struck Cohen. However, they were unable to test his blood alcohol level because he drove away.  Traverso was sentenced to 364 days in jail for leaving the scene of...

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