Articles Posted in Road Safety

Using a rideshare service, like Uber or Lyft following a party or big night out at the bar or club on New Year’s Eve is a responsible thing for someone to do after they have been drinking. NYE is a busy time and Uber and Lyft drivers are placed at a disadvantage when it comes to maneuvering roads shared with drunk drivers.

If you drive for Uber or Lyft, then our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to stay alert for drunk drivers on the roadways. We know this is a popular time to work and make some good money, the tradeoff is that there are risks of running into drunk drivers and other negligent drivers on the roads.

app-gbfc8a35b4_1920-300x200Every rider you pick up and drop off means one less drunk driver on the roads, which is great, but not everyone will make the responsible decision to get a sober ride home, so we encourage you to stay alert and brush up on some safety tips, especially if you are not accustom to driving late night/early morning hours.

According to projections from AAA, there will be nearly 4 million more people travelling on U.S. roadways this Thanksgiving (2021) compared to last year. This means that if you are planning a road trip that you should expect to see a lot more vehicles sharing the roads and a surge in traffic.

Experts believe that open U.S. borders combined with more people being vaccinated from COVID19 and the long holiday weekend means more people hitting the roads this year. A November AAA report predicts that there will be 48.3 million people making a road trip this Thanksgiving.

While you should anticipate more congestion on the roads this year, you can best prepare yourself for a smooth Thanksgiving journey by leaving early. You can expect delays, so it is best to leave in the morning. The best time to depart is after 9 p.m. on Wednesday, but before 11 a.m. on Thursday and Friday and before noon on Saturday and Sunday.

Car accidents are a big concern this time of year, especially with so many travelers on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns all motorists to eliminate any risky driving behaviors that have become more common since the pandemic began, such as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol or without wearing a seat belt.

The NHTSA has estimated that 20,160 people have died in car accidents for the first half of 2021, which is an increase of 18% from 2020.

On a similar note, Thanksgiving weekend has shown a trend of more motor drunk driving motor vehicle accidents and fatalities. The NHTSA shows that around 800 deaths were caused by drunk drivers over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend from 2015-2019.

Wherever you are this holiday weekend, our Florida Car Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you to stay safe and get to your destinations safely. Not all traffic is equal, so here is a list of the cities with the worst traffic on the day before Thanksgiving and the worst times to travel:

Atlanta: The worst time to travel is between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. and Interstate 85 South from Clairmont Road to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is anticipated to have the most congestion.

car-g7a9a9e4de_1920-300x200Boston: Steer clear of Interstate 93 North from Quincy Market to Massachusetts Route 28 between 1 and 3 p.m.

Chicago: Avoid Interstate 290 West from Morgan Street to Wolfe Road from 2:45 to 4:45 p.m.

Detroit: The worst travel times are from 2-4 p.m. on Interstate 96 West from 6 Mile Road to Walled Lake.

Houston: Avoid Interstate 10 West from Sjolander Road to Texas State Highway 330 from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.

Los Angeles: Stay away from Interstate 5 South from Colorado Street to Florence Avenue between 3:45 and 5:45 p.m.

New York: Keep away from Interstate 495 East from Borden Avenue to Little Neck Parkway from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

San Francisco: From 4-6 p.m. Interstate 80 East from Interstate 580 to San Pablo Dam Road is expected to be heavily congested.

Seattle: From 4-6 p.m. Interstate 5 South from Washington State Route 18 to Washington State Route 7 is expected to be heavily congested.

Washington, D.C.: From 2-4 p.m. avoid Interstate 95 South from Interstate 395 to Virginia State Route 123.
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Two people died after a charter bus that departed from from Orlando overturned on Interstate 95 in Virginia.

The Tao’s Travel Inc. bus traveling from Florida to New York had 57 people aboard when it rolled and ran off the left side of an Interstate 95 exit ramp in Prince George County about 5:22 a.m., according to authorities.

One person died at the scene, while another person died a couple of hours later.

The bus driver has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the crash.

The bus departed from Orlando, Florida, and stopped in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to switch drivers, police said. It was headed to New York City when it crashed.

Bus travel is a very popular mode of transportation. However, buses can pose a serious danger to passengers if they are not operated by trained, attentive employees and if the equipment is not properly maintained. If you have been involved in an accident with a charter bus, it is important to contact our Florida Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible.

Similar to truck drivers, bus drivers must have proper background checks and receive adequate training to provide safe travels for passengers. Many bus accidents are attributed to unsafe driver conditions, such as:

Driver negligence

  • Poor bus security
  • Operating on dangerous roads and interstates
  • Operating during dangerous weather conditions
  • Driving drunk or drugged
  • Fatigued driving
  • Inadequate maintenance of the bus and its equipment

When someone you love is injured or killed in an unexpected bus accident, you may be in shock and unsure of what to do next. You or your loved one may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages resulting from the bus accident. When death occurs, the responsible driver may also face criminal charges for wrongful death.

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A deadly Sunday crash that killed a cyclist and injured six others in South Florida is sadly the latest reminder about the dangers of distracted driving.

Investigators are still working to piece together what happened, and state lawmakers are continuing their push to strengthen Florida’s traffic laws in the hopes of making people safer on the road.

And it’s not just lawmakers calling for change. Families who have lost loved ones are joining in the effort, saying the laws don’t do enough to crack down on texting while driving.

Legislation has been trying to enhance existing laws since 2015, but concerns about racial profiling and potential privacy issues have put the brakes on any substantial change.

Under the latest proposal, drivers could still use cell phones for navigation. To talk on their phones, however, they would be required to use a hands-free device.

Last year, state Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville, now the Senate Minority Leader, suggested that moving to hands-free devices would erase concerns about racial profiling.

Keeping with current law, the legislation allows for cell phone records to be accessed in cases dealing with deal or physical injury. That could curb some of the privacy concerns voiced in years past.

Though this year’s version of the bill has not been assigned to any committees yet, lawmakers will return to Tallahassee in December for the first rounds of committee hearings.

On highways, interstates and roadways throughout Florida, drivers who allow distractions to interfere with their driving cause serious accidents that can lead to fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you don’t need to go through this difficult time on your own. Our Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help.

We will investigate your case and determine if the other driver involved in your accident was using their cellphone or otherwise driving while distracted. We can use this evidence to establish liability, so that you can seek financial compensation for your losses.

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A Florida sheriff’s deputy who was involved in a recent crash that killed a pickup truck driver has been involved in yet another collision.

The 29-year-old Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputy was cited for improper lane change on Tuesday.

Th deputy swerved into another car while trying to avoid traffic near Orlando, causing a three-vehicle crash. No one was injured in the crash.

On Oct. 5, the deputy didn’t stop at a red light and crashed into a pickup truck that then hit two other vehicles. The crash killed a 34-year-old man.

The deputy was placed on administrative during an investigation into that crash.

Car accidents can happen to anyone, even police officers. However, It is the duty of any operator of a motor vehicle to be alert and aware of all the motorists on the roadway. A safe lane change is one that is executed carefully, using turn signals, and checking side-view and the rear-view windows, always remaining aware of blind spots. If a driver fails to perform a lane change safely or engages in reckless driving and causes a collision, all injured parties are entitled to make a claim for damages against the at-fault driver.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle crash or lost a loved one because of a negligent automobile driver, contact our Florida Auto Accident Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton soon as possible following the accident to protect your right to a recovery. Florida has a relatively short statute of limitations, which is the time you are legally allotted to file a lawsuit to recover compensation, so it is important to act fast.

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Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused a crash that killed a motorcycle rider on Florida’s Turnpike Sunday afternoon.

Troopers were notified of the crash around 4pm that happened on the turnpike southbound exit ramp to Sunrise Boulevard.

Arriving troopers found a 2007 Harley Davidson in a retention pond on the southwest shoulder of the ramp.

The 64-year-old motorcycle rider was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other information regarding the crash is available.

Motorcycle accidents usually result in very serious personal injuries or wrongful death. After a motorcycle accident, it is extremely important to be aware of your rights to recover for injuries or wrongful death including, but not limited to, past and future medical bills, loss of wages, hospital expenses, pain and suffering, disfigurement, funeral costs and other damages.

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A box truck’s tire came loose Tuesday evening and struck an SUV along Interstate 95 in Oakland Park, killing the SUV driver and injuring a passenger.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the box truck was heading south along the highway when it lost its left front tire near Commercial Boulevard, just before 6:15 p.m.

Officials believe the tire bounced over the concrete barrier wall and onto the northbound lanes, smashing into the roof of a 2013 Ford Echo.

The 25-year-old driver of the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene. Paramedics transported the female passenger to Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale with injuries that were not classified as life-threatening.

Troopers are still investigating the cause of the accident. It remains unknown if any charges will be filed.

When a blowout occurs on the tire of a big rig, semi, 18-wheeler or other large, heavy truck, the aftermath is very different than that of a tire blowout in a smaller passenger vehicle. The resulting accident and injuries can be catastrophic or even fatal, as the above accident shows.

When accidents are caused by tires, our Florida Truck Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton work diligently to determine who the liable parties are and hold them responsible for compensating accident victims or families of those killed in these tragic accidents. We collaborate with scientific experts and accident reconstruction specialists to figure out if the accident was caused by a manufacturing defect, by trucking company or employee negligence, or by other conditions.

A tire can be defective for a variety of different reasons, including failure to stand up to heat generated during driving or poor traction due to poor design or a problem in the manufacturing process. The most common tire defect that causes most 18-wheeler accident is poor treadwear and tread separation.

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Memorial Day is approaching and that means a long weekend and the start of summer! Whether it is at the pool, on a boat, or at a barbecue, plans are usually made to enjoy this time and relax with good friends and family.

We should not forget that this is a time to pay tribute to the brave men and women in the military who died in the line of service to the United States and defending our freedoms.

Spending the time with loved ones may mean a celebration at home or travelling to other places. Regardless of your plans, safety and common sense should be utilized to keep everyone free from harm. No one wants to have to spend their long weekend in the emergency room!

Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have compiled a few safety tips to get you through the Memorial Day Weekend safely:

  • Grill Safely: Make sure your grill is cleaned of grease, dust, and checked before use. Do not grill in an enclosed space that could catch fire.
  • Swimming or Boating: Refrain from consuming alcohol when swimming or boating. Do not swim alone. Wear lifejackets on boats. AND ALWAYS supervise young children at all times to avoid drowning and near drowning tragedies.  
  • Travel Safely: In 2017 the National Safety Council estimated that holiday traffic injuries and deaths have climbed upward in the last two years. Because of this, we urge you to never drink and drive, wear your seatbelt every time you get inside a car, make sure children are in the proper safety seats for age and weight, refrain from distractions while behind the wheel, and make sure you are well rested before making a long trip.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or suffered a wrongful death, call us immediately at 866-608-5529 or contact us online. We offer free initial consultations and are available 24/7, so you can ask all of your questions and get the help you need.  

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Rain tends to send many drivers into a panic as driving conditions become more hazardous.

While it might seem like a good idea to turn on your emergency lights while driving in heavy rain, our Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you not to do it.

Please note: using your hazards in rainy conditions is illegal, and also dangerous. You could actually cause a crash that you think you are avoiding.

We want to remind you of this fact because not every state follows the same law as Florida does. Some states allow it in emergency situations, and some states have no restrictions. You can view the rules state-by-state, via AAA.

What do we mean when we are talking about the wet season? The wet season in Florida starts in late May and continues through October.

Here are some rainy weather driving tips we have compiled to help you through:

  • Check your tires.
  • Stay away from cruise control: while this is good in dry conditions, when it is raining, it only increases your chances for losing control of your vehicle.
  • Use your headlights, but not your high-beams: this keeps you from blinding other drivers, and the extra light could reflect off the rain and reduce your visibility.
  • Drive slow and leave plenty of room for other drivers: driving slower in wet conditions can be critical to reduce your chances of hydroplaning. If you think you are in no longer contact with the road, start to pump your brakes until you come to a complete stop – do not slam them!

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The holiday season is a time for joyful celebrations and enjoying time with friends and family. It is also a high-risk time to be on the roadways. Christmas, New Year’s, and the days surrounding these holidays are days when there is a substantially higher number of auto accidents and crash fatalities than other times of the year. If you or someone you love is injured or killed in a holiday car accident, our Florida Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are here to help you through.

Christmas and New Year’s are all at the top of the list of high-risk days for drivers. These holidays see some of the year’s highest accident rates, along with Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Independence Day. The increase in fatalities and serious injury accidents on these holidays is substantial, with motorists facing a dramatically increased chance of being involved in a crash.

The Christmas holiday period includes Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas. During this holiday time, an average of 343 people die in motor vehicle accidents. New Years is also defined as a three-day holiday period including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Over New Year’s, an average of 373 people die in car accidents. Why? More drivers on the roads and more drunk drivers are two primary reasons for the rise in car accident deaths on both Christmas and New Year’s.

Drivers need to be aware of the added dangers of driving on these holidays and should take precautions to try to protect themselves from becoming accident victims. There are a few things you can do to make sure you are set up well for travelling this holiday season.

  1. Make sure your car is in good condition before traveling.
  2. Get plenty of rest to avoid drowsy driving.
  3. Check road conditions to be prepared for adverse weather and avoid driving during storms.
  4. Try to limit travel time to daytime rather than driving at night when the accident risks are greater.
  5. Stay sober and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  6. Don’t succumb to distractions when driving!

If you or someone you love is the victim of a crash on any day or holiday, our Florida Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can provide assistance with pursuing a case for financial compensation for crash injuries or wrongful death.

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