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Articles Posted in Rear-End Collision

December is a month filled with holiday cheer, time with family and all kinds of celebrations. The unfortunate truth is that many people celebrate to excess, and choose to get behind the wheel of a car when drunk or impaired by drugs. To raise awareness of the dangers of driving while impaired, December is recognized as National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.

Drunk Driving Is Dangerous

According to a 2012 study conducted over a 20-month period by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Drivers with an alcohol level of 0.08 were four times as likely to be in an accident as a sober driver.
  • Drivers with an alcohol level of 0.15 percent were 12 times as likely to be in an accident as a sober driver.

Other drunk driving statistics from the NHTSA show the following trends:

  • More than 10,000 people lost their lives in drunk driving crashes in 2013. This equates to approximately one life lost every 52 minutes that year.
  • Drunk drivers caused 31 percent of fatal car crashes in 2013.

Even after just one drink, alcohol begins to suppress a driver’s reaction time and ability to control their actions and thoughts. As the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream increases, a driver’s ability to concentrate decreases and motor skills become more impaired.

Drugged Driving Is Just As Dangerous As Drunk Driving

Drugged driving is driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of an illegal substance, prescription drug, or over-the-counter medication.

Many prescription and OTC medications come with warnings about driving while taking the medication because they can often cause drowsiness or impairment. Drivers must pay attention to these warnings.

On the other hand, illegal substances like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy can cause severe impairment. Some drugs can cause extreme highs and erratic behavior, which can increase the risk of speeding, swerving in traffic, and ultimately result in reckless driving. Some drugs may cause euphoria and dulled senses, which can result in slower reaction times, an impaired sense of reality, and the complete inability to control a vehicle.

Drive Sober This Holiday Season

Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton would like to remind everyone to please drink responsibly and be aware of your medications’ warnings when driving. Even responsible, sober drivers are affected when other motorists choose to drink or use drugs and drive.

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The death toll on U.S. highways rose 8.1 percent in the first half of 2015.

According to new figures from the Transportation Department, low fuel prices have contributed to a jump in miles driven by Americans.

The preliminary figures represent a “troubling departure” from a general downward trend over the past decade, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a report released Tuesday.

In 2014, the fatality rate hit an all-time low.

Americans drove about 51.9 billion miles more in the first half of 2015 than the same period last year, which equates to about a 3.5 percent increase, according to the NHTSA. Job growth and low fuel prices also may be factors in the sudden, unexpected surge in highway fatalities, the agency said. There was also more leisure travel and driving by young people, which can contribute to higher fatality rates.

The sad news is that the death rate also increased. Fatalities per million vehicle-miles driven rose in the first half of 2015 was 1.06 percent, or 4.4 percent higher than the same period in 2014.

In final figures for 2014, 32,675 people died in U.S. motor-vehicle crashes, a 0.1 percent decline from 2013. The fatality rate declined to 1.07 deaths per million vehicle-miles traveled, which was a record low for a complete year.

States in the Southeast — Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee — saw a 15 percent increase in fatalities. The second highest increase, 11 percent, was recorded in a group of Western states: Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. California and Arizona saw no increase in fatalities, and the New England region saw an increase of 1 percent.

The biggest factors in traffic fatalities remain the lack of seatbelt use and drunk driving, according to reports. Nearly half of all people killed in road crashes do not wear seat belts, and one-third of all fatalities are in crashes involve intoxicated drivers.

Distracted driving accounted for 3,179 deaths in 2014, about 10 percent of the total. Drowsy driving was involved in 2.6 percent of the fatalities.

States without mandatory motorcycle helmet laws saw a “far higher” number of fatalities than states with mandatory helmet laws, according to reports. There were 1,565 motorcycle deaths in 2014.

Bicyclist deaths declined by 2.3 percent, but pedestrian deaths rose by 3.1 percent from the previous year. In 2014, there were 726 cyclists and 4,884 pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes.

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A federal court has agreed to hear an appeal on whether drivers in Palm Beach County and across Florida should be granted class-action status in their claim that HCA hospitals, including JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, are severely overcharging for services under the state’s car insurance system.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta agreed this week to consider an appeal of a lower-court decision in Florida that drivers could pursue lawsuits individually, but not as a group. The plaintiffs allege that the hospitals are draining Personal Injury Protection benefits by charging up to 65 times what Medicare pays.

4838079960_bea63b1287_zAn HCA statement issues said the case lacks merit and the company intends to defend it vigorously.

Recently, the Florida state legislature has taken steps to reduce the amount of fraud in the insurance system, reduce payment delays and limit use of the court system. The following changes were implemented:

  • In the past, injury victims had an unlimited time frame to make an injury claim, but now injury victims only have 14 days to seek medical treatment that may be covered by PIP.
  • Under the new law, people with minor injuries might be limited on the amount of financial recovery that they will receive from PIP coverage.
  • PIP compensation is limited to 80 percent of your medical costs.

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Fireworks are definitely dangerous, but they are not the only dangers to avoid this Fourth of July weekend. The roadways are especially hazardous during the summer holidays. When you are traveling to or from an Independence Day party this year, please remember to be on the look out for reckless drivers.

Here are a few dangers to try and avoid this Fourth of July:

  • Drunk drivers. Think about it, almost every Florida Independence Day celebration will have alcohol. Partygoers who are drinking at parties and such should not get behind the wheel of a car. If you see a car weaving or dodging in and out of traffic, keep your distance. If you have a passenger with you, consider notifying authorities.
  • 4428561177_831c2f9269_zDrowsy Drivers. Many holiday drivers are travelling lengthy distances to get to their final destination. Those who have been driving for hours may be feeling fatigued. Drowsy driving is often as dangerous as drunk drivers, so stay alert.
  • Distracted Drivers. Keep in mind that many travelers on Florida roadways are from out of town and have never been to the area before. Taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds to look at a navigation device can have devastating results. Avoid being a distracted driver by staying off your cell phone and having other passengers check your GPS or phone for you.
  • Speeding Drivers. People that are anxious to get where they are going may decide to speed or drive recklessly. Make sure you obey the posted speed limits and monitor your speed if there is heavy traffic.

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The leading cause of death in children between the ages of one and 13 is auto accidents. In an effort to raise awareness about these tragedies and further educate people about keeping children safe in motor vehicles, the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration has announced that Child Passenger Safety Week will take place from September 14 until September 20 and National Seat Check Saturday will be on September 20, 2014 to make sure children are in the correct restraints while riding in a motor vehicle.

There are a many options when it comes to restraining a child in an car – rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, boosters and a traditional seat belt. Age can play a big factor in this decision, but size is the priority. There can be numerous risks for children that are placed in too small of safety seats as well as too large of seats. During Child Passenger Safety Week, communities across Florida will have certified technicians available to educate parents and children about car seat safety.

7174336898_45a7a0e2a8_mInstalling Seats Correctly

First and foremost, before installing a car seat, make sure to always read the instructions. Every seat has slightly different installation directions, however there are some universal key points to keep in mind.

Seat location: Regardless of what kind of restraint you are using, it should always be placed in the back seat of your vehicle. Children should not be allowed to ride in the front seat until they are at least 13 years old.

Securing the seat: When a restraint system is properly installed there should be no side-to-side or front-to-back movement of more than an inch.

Proper Fitting of the Seat: Once the seat is securely installed, it is necessary to make sure you child is fitted into the seat properly. Harness straps should lay flat and never be twisted. In a rear-facing car seat, the straps should loop through the back slot at or below the child’s shoulders. In front-facing seats, the straps should be looped through the slot at or above the shoulders. The harness should be secure enough that excess material cannot be pinched at the shoulder. The chest clip should be at armpit level.

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Whenever a motor vehicle accident occurs in Florida, or anywhere else throughout the country, it creates a series of events that cost money. While these costs are not always apparent to other people, make no mistake, car accidents can be quite expensive.

When viewed as a whole, the numbers are downright shocking. A recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demonstrates that motor vehicle accidents cost more than $870 billion in economic loss per year. This study examined data from 2010. That $870 billion can be broken down even further to a personal basis, averaging an estimated cost of $900 per person in the U.S., which does not just apply to accident victims, but all people residing in this country.

traffic betchNHTSA’s study, “The Economic and Society Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010,” focuses on some of the behavioral factors that influenced that year’s nearly 33,000 highway fatalities, 3.9 million injuries and 24 million damaged vehicles. According to the study, three driver behaviors including speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving, accounted for 56 percent of the economic loss to the nation and 62 percent of the societal harm. Societal harm is described as harm due to loss of life and decreased quality of life.

What is not so shocking is that drunk driving accidents were found to be among the most expensive kinds of accidents. These accounted for 18 percent of the total economic loss and 23 percent of the overall societal harm.

Speeding accounted for 21 percent of the overall economic loss costing the nation $59 billion and 24 percent, or $210 billion, of the societal harm.

Distracted driving crashes were responsible for 17 percent of the total economic loss and cost $46 billion. These crashes accounted for $129 billion, or 15 percent, of the overall societal harm.

On a positive note, researchers for this study concluded that using seatbelts led to a savings of almost $70 billion in medical care, lost productivity and other costs that were not incurred. For now, around 5 percent of the total economic loss involved people in auto accidents where they were not buckled up or did not properly fasten their seatbelt.

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Memorial Day weekend is finally here and many of you will be setting out to enjoy the official start of summer with our state’s numerous recreational possibilities. With that said, it is estimated that close to 34 million people will be hitting the road over the long holiday weekend and traveling at least 50 miles from home. Whether you are staying local or making a trek to a family member or friend’s home, the Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you to drive safely and exercise caution this holiday weekend.

Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be a time for remembrance and celebration. Whatever type of activity you choose to partake in this weekend, we urge you to do so responsibly. Make sure if you are driving to always pay attention, look out for any roadside construction and always see to it that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up. Remember, if you are going to be drinking at any point during the holiday weekend, just be sure to have a designated driver set in place.

memorial day flagAccording to AAA, the amount of motorists travelling on the roadways this Memorial Day weekend will be at a 10 year high. Dating back to past Memorial Day weekends, statistics show that there is an increase of more than ten percent in motor vehicle accidents vs. other holiday weekends.

You can help exercise safety this Memorial Day weekend just by brushing up on a few safety steps:

  1. Always give yourself enough time to get from Point A to Point B.
  2. Follow all posted speed limits.
  3. Limit Driver Distractions.
  4. Make sure everyone, including those in the back seat, is wearing their seat belt.
  5. Do not drink and drive. In fact, make sure you have a designated driver assigned before you start drinking so that you are not tempted to drive after consuming alcoholic beverages.

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Seven people were injured and taken to area hospitals after a car slammed into the back of a Lynx bus shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday.

A Ford Taurus apparently rear-ended a Lynx bus at a bus stop in Orlando, Florida.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, six people on the bus were transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

The 32-year-old driver of the Taurus was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.

FHP estimates the Taurus was traveling around 35 mph when it smashed into the bus.
According to reports, the collision left the bus with minor damages.

Rear-end collisions can be devastating, resulting in head, brain and neck injuries that can cause temporary or permanent disabilities. While a rear-end collision may be the most common type of auto accident, the injuries you may suffer from one are anything but ordinary. Injuries from this type of accident could leave you unable to work, perform everyday functions such as turning your head or even sitting up straight and keep you from enjoying life.

Most rear-end collisions occur because the other driver was not paying attention, speeding, using their cell phone or driving recklessly. A distracted driver may take their eyes off the road for a myriad of reasons including changing a CD, text messaging, applying makeup and eating or drinking. Unfortunately, seconds are all it takes for a driver to be distracted and cause an accident, leaving you to suffer the consequences. If you were struck from behind due to another driver’s negligence, you may experience serious injuries such as:

• Whiplash
• Head and Neck Injuries
• Nerve Damage
• TBIs
• Scarring and Disfigurement
• Back Strains
• Arm and Hand Injuries
Recovering damages for the financial and physical impact of your injuries is absolutely necessary, especially if your injuries have resulted in medical complications. The Florida Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand that certain injuries may not develop right away and no signs indicating injury may be apparent for hours, days or even weeks following a rear-end collision. For this reason alone, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately after you have been involved in an accident. A doctor can provide you with a full medical evaluation to determine the extent of your injuries and the medical care needed now and in the future, which can help you recover the full and fair compensation you are entitled to.

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