Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Uber knowingly leased unsafe cars to its drivers in Singapore, according to new reports.

One of those cars, a recalled Honda Vezel with an Uber driver at the wheel, spouted flames from its dashboard in January, melting the car’s interior and cracking its windshield. The driver had just dropped off a passenger when he began smelling the smoke.

Uber had bought more than 1,000 of the defective cars, which were recalled by Honda in April 2016 due to an electrical component that can overheat and catch fire.

And though Uber knew the cars needed repairs to make them safe, the company continued to lease them to drivers unfixed.

Word of the fire apparently reached Uber’s executives in San Francisco shortly after the company’s insurer in Singapore said it wouldn’t cover the damage to the scorched Vezel due to the known recall.

When Uber launched in Singapore in early 2013, it marked the company’s first expansion into Asia.

It was a good market to enter: In addition to all the rain you might expect in a tropical climate with two monsoon seasons, owning a car in Singapore is extremely expensive. The government requires owners to buy a certificate of entitlement, which represents “a right to vehicle ownership and use of the limited road space for 10 years.” The certificates are released through competitive bidding, and recently they’ve fetched prices from $44,000 and up.

That kind of expense made it hard for Uber to find drivers, and so the company created a unit, Lion City Rentals, that would lease cars to drivers. It represented a new approach for the company, which avoids owning assets.

Instead of buying cars from authorized Honda and Toyota dealers, the company reportedly began importing hundreds of used cars a month from small dealers in the “gray market”, where safety standards are hard to enforce. At least one of those dealers didn’t get the Vezels fixed before selling them to Uber. While Uber was aware of the problem and asked the dealer to hasten its repairs, the company continued to lease the defective vehicles to drivers without warning them of the safety issue.

Even after the fire, Uber told drivers that the Vezels needed “immediate precautionary servicing” — without mentioning the risk of fire and overheating.

Uber says it took action, but “could have done more.”

“As soon as we learned of a Honda Vezel from the Lion City Rental fleet catching fire, we took swift action to fix the problem, in close coordination with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority as well as technical experts,” Uber said in the statement. “But we acknowledge we could have done more—and we have done so. We’ve introduced robust protocols and hired three dedicated experts in-house at LCR whose sole job is to ensure we are fully responsive to safety recalls. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve proactively responded to six vehicle recalls and will continue to do so to protect the safety of everyone who uses Uber.”

Uber lost nearly $3 billion in 2016 but is nevertheless is one of the largest privately held companies, valued at nearly $70 billion.

Uber’s actions are quite appalling. Uber reportedly bought the defective, recalled vehicles from what is known as the “grey market” and knowingly leased them out to drivers. Knowingly leasing defective vehicles to drivers, knowing that drivers and passengers are at a great risk of suffering injuries or even being killed, is absolutely shocking. Uber should be held accountable for its careless actions and it is extremely likely that federal regulators will launch a full blown investigation into the type of vehicles that the company is leasing out to drivers in the United States.

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The 4th of July is officially upon us! Most people are focused on planning barbecues, fireworks, pool parties and drinking right about now. While there is nothing wrong with a good party, Independence Day festivities can sometimes lead to severe injuries. What you may not even know is that the 4th of July is one of the deadliest holidays. However, most of the injuries suffered on this holiday are entirely preventable.  

Being aware of the most common injuries can help you avoid them. When you know what to look out for, you can take extra safety precautions and be prepared. The following is a breakdown of the injuries seen on the 4th of July holiday:  

Car Accidents

The National Safety Council estimated that 466 people were killed and 53,600 more suffered serious injuries in auto accidents during the three-day 4th of July holiday period last year. Sadly, this was an all-time record.

Drunk driving is one of the biggest causes of car accidents. If you plan to drink this 4th of July, please make alternative plans for getting home safe. There are too many outlets nowadays (Uber, Lyft, taxis, DDs, etc.) for you to not be able to avoid driving drunk. If you cannot find a ride, then stay put! Don’t jeopardize your life or anyone else’s because you had too much to drink.  

Fireworks Injuries

Fireworks are fun, but also quite dangerous! If you want our advice: leave the fireworks to the professionals!

If you’re planning a holiday fireworks show, you  should be aware that not all fireworks are legal in Florida. Even if you see it at a store or roadside stand, this does not mean that it is legal to buy or use it.

The only fireworks legal for use by consumers who don’t possess a special permit are sparklers. If you’re unsure of what fireworks are legal, the Florida Fire Marshall publishes a full list of legal sparklers each year, and you can view the list here.

Please keep in mind that in Florida, possession or use of illegal fireworks is classified as a misdemeanor. Violating this law can result in fines up to $1,000 and up to one year behind bars.

Heat Stroke

It is hot! If you stay outside too long in the hot sun, you could be at risk for dehydration and heat stroke. If you feel weak, faint, confused, dizzy, or have a headache, this is a sign to get to a shaded area and drink some water.  

Swimming Injuries

Swimming and alcohol do not mix. When people become drunk and are near large bodies of water or a swimming pool, they can make poor judgement calls that can result in serious injuries, or even death.

Make sure all children are supervised by an adult when swimming. Drowning accidents and other tragedies can occur in the blink of an eye.

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A motorcyclist was killed Sunday after traveling the wrong way on an entrance ramp to Florida’s Turnpike and smashing into a Toyota Corolla.

The 42-year-old Orlando man was ejected from the motorcycle and died, according to a crash report.

The Toyota was driven by a 37-year-old Kissimmee man who was traveling southeast approaching a toll plaza on the ramp.

It’s unclear at this time as to why the biker was driving the wrong direction.

The Toyota driver, who was driving in the correct direction, couldn’t avoid the motorcycle, and the front left of his car struck the motorcycle.

Troopers are still investigating the crash.

Wrong way crashes occur when a car drives the wrong way in a lane, against the flow of traffic. This usually requires a driver who enters a highway or interstate entrance or exit ramp the wrong way. These tend to end pretty badly, with two cars colliding head-on at high speeds.

Wrong way collisions are almost always fatal. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, wrong way crashes have a fatality rate of up to 27 percent compared to .3 percent for all other highway collisions.

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A school bus accident in Williston sent 13 students to Regional General Hospital with minor injuries Wednesday.  

According to reports, Levy County school bus 0409 was stopped at a railroad crossing in the 800 block of East Noble Avenue shortly after 7:30 a.m. when the driver of a 2006 Dodge truck struck the bus from behind.

The driver of the Dodge truck was cited for following too closely, according to reports. The students on the bus attend Joyce Bullock Elementary and Williston Elementary schools.

As a parent, there is nothing scarier than finding out your child has been injured while getting to and/or from school on a school bus. When you send your children on a school bus, you trust that they will arrive at their intended destination safely. Even though school buses are widely considered to be the safest form of transportation for school children, the reality is that injuries on school buses can and do happen. If your child suffers an injury on a school bus, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any medical bills or other damages endured. After an accident like this, you should always contact a Levy County Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible to discuss a potential legal claim.

There are many complicated issues surrounding school bus accident cases and it is important to make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for your child’s losses. Losses/damages can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disabilities
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

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Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday celebrated today- the 5th of May! The date is observed to recognize the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is heavily celebrated. Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to help you celebrate safely. Here’s how to have an unforgettable and safe Cinco de Mayo:

Plan Ahead

A former Nease High School student was struck by a vehicle while riding a skateboard Monday afternoon on Ray Road near the high school, according to authorities.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said the young man was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries.

No further information is available at this time.

Skateboarders, just like pedestrians, can suffer serious injuries when they are hit by cars. Because skateboarders are exposed, any impact from a vehicle can result in severe bodily harm. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident while skateboarding, our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help.

Liability in these types of accidents can depend on various factors. Was the driver abiding by all traffic laws? Was the driver operating their vehicle at the appropriate rate of speed? Were they in the proper lane? In many of these cases, drivers are not operating their vehicle properly. A driver that failed to observe the  rules of the road will likely be found liable for all injuries they cause.

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Today, November 8, 2016 is an important day for all U.S. citizens, but the focus today is not just on who to vote for. It is important to highlight that roads today are more dangerous than usual as the distractions and emotions run high today!

According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, going all the way back to 1976, on average 24 more people die in car crashes and 800 more people suffer serious injuries during presidential election voting hours than on any other Tuesday in October or November. Our Florida Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to encourage you to rock your vote safely today!

What are the reasons for this increase in roadway hazards? Researchers have blamed the following:  

  • There are more people rushing to get to and from their polling venue. People can vote early in the morning before work, on their lunch break, or hurry to get there after work before the polls close.
  • Some voters do not know where they are going and are unfamiliar with how to get to their particular voting spot.
  • Many voters emotions are running high today, making it easier for them to focus on their worries regarding on the election instead of getting from Point A to Point B safely. Expect to see more distracted drivers on the roads today!

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A 64-year-old moped driver who was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Orange County last week has died, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The crash happened at 4:40 a.m. at the intersection of Colonial Drive and Forsyth Road.

According to troopers, the moped driver was stopped at the intersection in a left turn lane of westbound Colonial Drive, where he was trying to make a U-turn.

As he made the turn, troopers said a Honda Accord, traveling eastbound, hit the back of his moped. He was run over by the car. The driver of the car fled the scene.

The moped driver was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he later passed away.

The Honda, which was reported stolen, was found the day after the crash.

According to FHP, the crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a moped accident, or if you have lost someone close to you in an auto accident, our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We are dedicated to helping victims and families throughout the state of Florida who have suffered personal injuries or wrongful death due to the negligence and carelessness of other people. We know that no amount of money can bring back your loved one, but we are prepared to fight for the money you deserve.

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A driver was killed in a road rage incident in the early morning hours of Monday near South Kirkman Road in Orlando.

According to reports, the accident happened around 12:45 a.m. Monday when two cars pulled off Windhover Drive near Universal Studios.

Orlando police believe one of the drivers was run over by a vehicle just one mile away from Universal Studios.

According to investigators, the deceased was involved in some sort of road rage incident which led him to pull over. He stopped on the side of Windhover Road to confront the driver of the vehicle which was tailgating him.

Moments later, police believe the driver of that other vehicle stepped on the gas and ran over the other driver, killing him.

For now, investigators are searching through surveillance footage, and are questioning witnesses and his friends in hopes of finding out who did this.

Orlando Police are also asking for the public’s help. Anyone with more information about what may have happened are encouraged to contact OPD at 321-235-5300.

Injuries or wrongful deaths caused by an aggressive driver are sadly not that unusual throughout the United States or in Florida. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 27,000 deaths annually occur due to aggressive drivers.

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A teen on a skateboard in Deltona was critically injured Sunday after an SUV hit him.

According to Volusia County deputies, the incident occurred around 6:44 p.m. The SUV was traveling north on Providence Boulevard near Tacoma Avenue when the victim entered the roadway from the sidewalk.

The SUV struck the victim, who was subsequently transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital.

The victim is still listed in critical condition.

Skateboarding is a popular sport across all age groups, and is especially popular in Florida with its year-round warm climate. Sadly, many skateboarders are seriously injured when they are hit by oncoming traffic. Since skateboarders are exposed and have virtually no protection from vehicles, any impact can result in significant harm. To make matters worse, in most skateboarder vs. car accidents, drivers will try to manipulate the facts to place the blame on the skateboarder.

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