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Distracted driving has reached epidemic proportions and it appears to only be getting worse.  A survey recently conducted by State Farm reveals that drivers continue to text and drive at higher rates, and are now accessing the internet while driving at twice the rate they were in 2009.  Interestingly, even drivers who admit to smartphone use while driving state that they believe distracted driving laws should be strengthened.  Improving laws so as to provide greater legal deterrents would, they report, lead to diminished cell phone use.

Texting and Driving in Florida is a Secondary Offense

In the state of Florida, we do have laws in place banning texting and driving.  However, these laws make texting while driving a secondary offense.  This means that in order to cite a driver for texting while driving, police officers would need to pull the driver over for something else first.  Secondary laws make it difficult for police officers to truly enforce a texting ban because so many drivers will not have committed another offense that allows the officer to stop them.  Continue reading →

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Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) surprised many by formally recommending the installation of seat belts on school buses.  This issue has been debated for years and the NHTSA used its public message to make it clear on where it stood on the installation of three seat belts on school buses.  The NHTSA administrator stated recently that children across the country should be protected by seat belts while traveling to school.  Currently, just six states require the use of seat belts in school buses, though some individual school districts have elected to install seat belts on their own accord. Florida has already passed laws requiring the installation of seat belts on large school buses, though there are some exceptions to the law.

The NHTSA has vowed to take any necessary measures to push for the installation of seat belts in buses.  It intends to launch a series of steps designed to increase the installation of seat belts, including new research, funding, and eventually a state wide mandate. Our personal injury lawyers believe this is an important step forward in school bus safety and hope that with the NHTSA’s formal support for a seat belt mandate, school districts across the country will take action to ensure the safety of our nation’s children. Continue reading →

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Our car accident attorneys report on a recent news story where a California police officer had quite a surprise when he pulled over a car, only to find no driver inside.  The Mountain View, California police officer stopped one of Google’s self-driving cars for traveling too slowly.  The car was apparently traveling at 24 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone.  Traffic had backed up behind the slow moving vehicle.  As the officer approached the car, he realized it was one of Google’s self-driving vehicles.  Although the car had no driver, it did have a passenger.  The officer asked the passenger how the car selected its speed and informed the passenger as to a section of the legal code that relates to impeding traffic.

The Google Self-Driving Car Project admitted that the car was driving slow, noting that none of the vehicles have ever been ticketed.  Company spokespersons explained that the smart cars have been capped at speeds of 25 miles per hour for safety reasons and so that the public views the vehicles as friendly, not zooming, potentially frightening vehicles.  Ultimately, the officer found the car had not broken the law and no ticket was issued.  Continue reading →

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Statistics show that “selfie-related” accidents have killed twice as many people around the world as unprovoked shark attacks.  The Conde Nast Traveler reported in September that at least 11 people have died in selfie-related accidents, while only eight died in shark attacks.  This tally has recently increased after a tourist died trying to snap a selfie at the Taj Mahal, falling fatally down a long flight of stairs.

A selfie is a self-photograph, generally taken with a cell phone camera by either holding it by hand or using a selfie stick.  The selfie phenomenon has taken off in recent years and while it is generally harmless, it can be dangerous when individuals attempt to take selfies in unsafe places or while driving.  The South Florida car accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, and Urbano are saddened to hear of these preventable deaths and hope that with increased education as to the potential dangers of taking photographs in certain situations, these accidents will decrease. Continue reading →

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Daylight savings time recently ended and most of the United States “fell back” one hour.  Unfortunately, the time change brings about an increased risk for automobile and pedestrian accidents according to statistics found by our Miami personal injury attorneys.  Many drivers have a hard time adjusting to this annual time change, which brings new low light and dark conditions in the evening hours.

Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cautions drivers to be more alert and use extra caution as the sun sets earlier during evening commutes.  The hours between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. are extremely dangerous once daylight savings time ends because drivers are faced with at times heavy traffic, along with decreased visibility and reduced reaction time and awareness.  As dusk now falls during the busiest commute hours, drivers are more likely to become careless or drowsy.  Darkness is one of the leading causes of pedestrian and automobile accidents, making it no surprise that the time change can bring about more accidents. Continue reading →

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On any given day, you and your family will likely walk through a parking lot.  Parking lots are everywhere and provide essential parking close to your favorite stores, attractions, and more.  While generally no harm will befall you when walking or driving in a parking lot, on occasion, parking lot accidents can occur.  Last year, a parking lot accident turned fatal when an older woman trying to back out of a space hit a group of people, killing three of them.  Our Miami pedestrian accident attorneys have found a report, released by the Florida Highway Patrol, that states the 79 year old driver was backing out of a parking spot in a Chevrolet Tahoe when she kept going and rammed the group of pedestrians.  Three died as a result of their extensive injuries.

A Fort Lauderdale accident the year prior killed two men.  A young woman who was intoxicated at the time of the crash killed two homeless men.  She failed to negotiate a turn and drove into a parking lot, striking the men that had been sitting there.

The Miami pedestrian accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano have assisted in a number of parking lot accidents, some involving pedestrian accidents and others involving multiple vehicles.  Pedestrian accidents are among the most serious of parking lot accidents.  The following is a look at some parking lot safety tips designed to keep you and your family safe while parking or walking in a parking lot. Continue reading →

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Our Miami personal injury attorneys report that State Representative Greg Steube, a Republican from Sarasota, has filed legislation that could change Florida’s laws concerning serious dog bites.  The bill comes in response to a case arising out of Bradenton involving a dog named Padi.  Padi, a Labrador mix, bit off part of a child’s ear over the summer.  He was condemned to euthanasia under Florida’s current law that requires all dogs that inflict serious injury to another person be put to sleep.  No exceptions exist under the law.  Many were outraged by the law’s implications for Padi due to the circumstances of the attack.  Apparently, Padi was in his owner’s office when a child, under the care of a babysitter, entered and began throwing toys at the dog.  Accounts differ from here, with some believing the child lunged at Padi and others saying he went to grab a toy near the dog.  In either case, the incident raised further awareness as to the plight of dogs that bite.

Steube’s bill would offer exceptions in the event the person injured was unlawfully on the property or was abusing the dog.  The bill would not actually help Padi, whose case is currently before a local court and could move to the court of appeal.

Dog Bites and Strict Liability in Florida

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Chain reaction crashes” are an unfortunate common event on many Florida roadways.  Over the summer, a chain reaction accident on I-75 in Pembroke Pines claimed the lives of two people, including a high school graduate.  Investigators report that a tractor trailer loaded with concrete was pulling out onto the highway when a vehicle collided with it and traveled underneath.  The car was torn apart as it continued under the truck until it finally ran off the road.  A second car then collided with the truck, causing concrete to fall out of its back.

The Dangers of Chain Reaction Accidents

While any car accident can be serious, multiple vehicle accidents hold the potential for fatal or severe injuries.  Thousands of people are killed annually in chain reaction crashes across the country.  It is believed that nearly half of all traffic fatalities are the result of multiple vehicle accidents.  Continue reading →

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A road ranger was killed while attempting to move a stalled vehicle in Miami.  Florida Highway Patrol reports that the accident occurred on the Florida Turnpike in Miami-Dade County.  Specifically, the 47 year old road ranger was slowing down traffic so that he could bring the stalled vehicle across the road and off to the shoulder.  A dump truck was unable to slow down in time and struck the ranger, who attempted to move out of the way, but was unable.

Road rangers provide free highway assistance to those experiencing issues on the highway.  They help to improve safety and reduce delays.  The loss of a long term road ranger in an accident such as this is tragic.  The Miami car accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano offer the following look at Move Over laws and what you should do in the event you see a road ranger attempting to assist someone.  It is our hope that if more people understand the Move Over laws, emergency personnel will stay safe while offering aid.  Continue reading →

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In September, a wrong way crash on Interstate 95 killed two sisters from Broward County.  Now, the driver is being charged with DUI manslaughter and driving without a license causing death.  The accident killed 23 and 24 year old sisters from Pompano Beach who were driving home from Walt Disney World.  Authorities report that the driver headed north on southbound I-95, colliding with the sisters’ car.  Records show the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

The South Florida car accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, and Urbano are aware of several major wrong way accidents that have occurred in the South Florida area in recent months.  We hope that this alarming trend does not continue and support the use of innovative measures to prevent wrong way accidents, such as wrong way signs triggered by wrong way vehicles and poles to block wrong way cars. Continue reading →

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