Articles Posted in Road Rage

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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The state of Florida leads the nation in the number of motorcycle fatalities, according to a recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Florida had 467 riders killed in 2013, the most recent year for such statistics. That’s 10 more than Texas, the state with the second highest number.

A Look At The Numbers

  • There were 8.4 million motorcycles on U.S. roads in 2013, an increase from 8 million in 2009.
  • 56 out of every 100,000 registered motorcycles was involved in a fatal crash in 2013, compared to 9 out of every 100,000 passenger cars.
  • From 2004 to 2013, fatalities among the 40-and-older age group increased 39 percent, compared to 16 percent for all ages.

Two weekend crashes adds to these numbers.

A 56-year-old woman from Tampa died Friday afternoon after the motorcycle she was a passenger on collided with a car on State Road 20 near Hawthorne. The man driving the motorcycle was taken to UF Health Shands Hospital in critical condition. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, neither person on the motorcycle was wearing a helmet.

On Sunday, a 44-year-old man from Loxahatchee died in Marion County when his 2006 Harley Davidson hit a dip in Southeast 182nd Avenue and overturned. The man, who was not wearing a helmet, was airlifted to Ocala Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Nearly 50 percent of the bikers who died in an accident in 2013 were not  wearing helmets, according to the NHTSA report. Helmets are not required by law in Florida.

Motorcycle accidents can happen so quickly. In a matter of seconds you can go from enjoying your regular motorcycle ride to lying on the road or in a hospital bed. Now you are facing physical pain and disability, significant medical bills, lost wages, and other life-impacting damages.

Like most motorcycle accident victims, you will have lots of questions that you need answered, like how to pursue financial compensation for damages, how to hold responsible parties liable, and how much will legal help cost you.

At Whittel & Melton, our Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyers are effective negotiators and aggressive trial lawyers who refuse to settle for anything less than what you deserve. We will explore every possible option in order to obtain the best outcome for you. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us unless or until we recover money on your behalf.

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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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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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As deadly collisions continue to occur throughout the state of Florida, it is quite fitting that citizens of Florida should want answers. While there is not just one answer for the reason why deadly crashes occur, there is some insightful information available on motor vehicle accident causes across the state.

52824625_f3596d1065_z (1)Top Causes for Crashes

  • Distracted Driving
  • Speeding
  • Road Rage
  • Impaired Driving
  • Fatigue

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the top causes of auto accidents in the state of Florida. From texting, talking on the phone, applying makeup, eating or engaging in any other manual, visual and cognitive non-driving tasks while behind the wheel, distracted driving puts Floridians in danger.

Speeding

Speeding is another top cause of motor vehicle collisions in Florida. Going too fast on the roadways can lead to serious injury as well as death. An increase in speed can lead to an increased risk of causing a serious traffic accident.

Road Rage

Aggressive driving maneuvers like tailgating and cutting off cars is another reason why so many auto accidents occur in Florida. Aggressive driving is a form of road rage, and can also include risky behaviors like improper signaling and swerving in and out of lanes.

Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs also leads to lethal accidents on Florida roadways. While the FHP and local law enforcement agencies have been ramping up their efforts to crackdown on drunk drivers, impaired driving collisions are still happening in Florida.

Fatigue

Fatigue is also a major cause for concern when it comes to car crashes. When a driver is drowsy or sleepy, he or she is not likely to make good decisions behind the wheel. It is vital to be alert when driving any distance. Drowsy driving can easily lead to a serious collision in just the blink of an eye.

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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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A road-rage shooting taking place Friday evening resulted in the death of a 33-year-old man and the arrest of a 30-year-old Gainesville man.

The incident apparently started just before 3 p.m., and it appears the drivers pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant to settle the dispute.

The Gainesville man was charged with manslaughter and discharging a firearm in public from a vehicle within 1,000 feet of any person.

According to a police report, the deceased attempted to flee the scene after the gunfire and crashed into a home about a block away from the restaurant.

A child was riding in the back seat of the victim’s car during the incident and survived the shooting and subsequent crash.

The accused apparently called 911 after driving away from the scene.

Most people have experienced some form of frustration while driving at some point. Unfortunately for some, this frustration can quickly escalate into road rage, resulting in reckless, unsafe driving. Road rage happens to be a top cause of automobile accidents, and for drivers, bikers and pedestrians caught near an aggressive driver, these accidents can be deadly.

When drivers experience anger or frustration when driving, this can keep them from making safe, intelligent driving decisions, which in turn jeopardizes the safety of other motorists and passengers. Some of the dangerous signs of road rage can include:

• Tapping or bumping other vehicles, also known as tailgating
• Using excessive speeds
• Obscene gestures
• Physical threats and/or attacks
• Abruptly starting and stopping
• Throwing object at other vehicles
• Deliberately destroying other cars or property
If someone you love was killed as the result of a reckless or aggressive motorist’s actions, your family may seek monetary damages from the negligent party. The Florida Aggressive Driving Lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand that coping with a loss of a loved one can be difficult, especially when another person’s hostile behavior is to blame. While compensation cannot bring your loved one back following an accident caused by a driver experiencing road rage, it can help deter the driver from acting with intentional force in the future.

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The Florida Highway Patrol will be cracking down on aggressive truck and car drivers in the next few weeks.

From Feb. 27-29, state troopers will be ticketing drivers showing signs associated with road rage including following too closely, speeding and making unsafe lane changes. Community outreach, education and evaluation will be combined with ticketing in an effort to raise awareness throughout the state of Florida regarding safe driving practices.

FHP statistics show that drivers’ behavior can be blamed for 88 percent of traffic collisions. The remaining 12 percent of crashes are the result of vehicle defects, road conditions or inclement weather.

According to AAA, aggressive driving contributes to 56 percent of all motor vehicle collisions nationwide. Aggressive driving or road rage is reckless or negligent behavior that can lead to serious personal injuries or wrongful death. Road rage, which is fueled by anger, can refer to various unsafe driving maneuvers such as tailgating, failure to signal or yield, running stop signs or red lights, making unsafe lane changes, flashing headlights and traveling at high speeds.

The Florida Road Rage Lawyers at Whittel & Melton believe that no driver has the right to put the safety of others at risk by partaking in aggressive driving. Motorists that cause accidents by driving recklessly should be held accountable for the damage they have caused. We are committed to helping car accident victims who have been injured by the negligence of another. If you believe another person’s aggressive driving contributed to your auto accident, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim and be entitled to compensation for damages.

Road rage can be dangerous and deadly. Sometimes knowing how to react behind the wheel when faced with an aggressive driver can save your life. Should you find yourself the target of another’s road rage, follow these tips to optimize your safety:

• Do Not React. Remember, you cannot reason with someone with a poor temper. In fact, trying to may make matters worse. It is best to avoid eye contact with the angered party and remain levelheaded. Any form of retaliation can increase your risk for danger.

• Change Your Route. If you can, it is always best to remove yourself from a road rage incident by exiting the highway or whatever route you are on. If the driver attempts to follow you, act rationally and do not let yourself get distracted. Do not let yourself get angry or worked up because this could increase the chance of an accident or injury, and could harm others. If you must stop, make sure you do so in a public area where you can find help if needed.

• Call the Police. Road rage can end fatally, so if you find yourself sharing the road with an aggressive driver, contact the police immediately.

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