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Floridians Should Check Vehicles for Winter Weather and Insurance

People who live in Florida most likely live here because of the weather. We hate snow.

But every year the holidays entice many Floridians to embark on road trips to the north for family holiday gatherings. It’s usually a wonderful experience, but please take a few minutes to think about some common-sense tips.

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Florida Law Requires Certain Actions After an Accident – Florida Accident Attorney

florida accident attorneyIf you witness an accident, but are not actually involved you are not required to remain at the scene. However, your input may help authorities determine what the caused the accident, who is at fault, and would probably be the right thing to do. Make sure authorities are notified and if there are injuries be sure they are aware. Unless you have medical training it’s best not to try to administer medical assistance.

Don’t put yourself in danger by stepping into the roadway or approaching a dangerous situation. If other drivers are arguing, do not get involved. Wait for the authorities and be prepared to recount what you witnessed.

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Lower Fraudulent Claims and Lower Rates Benefit Everyone

Florida PIP Insurance

If you have lived in Florida for a while you may remember that there was a time when driving involved not only exercising due care to avoid accidents, but you had to worry about other drivers intentionally causing crashes. There are still some drivers out there who try to perpetrate this scam on law-abiding Florida drivers. The Florida legislature has been aware of these dangerous drivers for years and their efforts have gradually reduced the incidence of this and other types of insurance fraud. Lawmakers have consistently tried to respond to problems with the PIP law and their efforts seem to be helping.

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More Safety-Focused Rules and Separation Highway Projects may be Necessary

The relationship between cars and trucks may be compared to children: “get along and play nice, or we’ll have to separate you.”

Florida Truck Accident Attorney 4When a 2500 pound car impacts with an 80,000 pound tractor trailer truck it’s not a mystery as to which one will probably come out with more damage and injuries. According to the Institute for Highway Safety, in 2012 there were 3,514 deaths involving large trucks. Of these, 17 percent were truck occupants, 67 percent passenger auto occupants and 15 percent motorcycle and bicycle riders and pedestrians.

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Many People are Unaware What “Basic Coverage” Means

Fort Lauderdale Accident LawyerI recently had a conversation with young woman who was working at Starbuck’s. She was forlorn because of an auto accident she had on the way to work and said that her car would be in the shop for several days. She wondered aloud about getting a rental car while she was without her car, and I told her it would depend on her insurance. She said “I have PIP.”

I didn’t want to tell her that she would likely be getting a ride to work for a while because she was having a bad day already, but PIP coverage does not provide rental cars for drivers while their cars are being repaired. In fact PIP does not cover repairs. PIP stands for “personal injury protection” and covers medical expenses.

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Enforcing Weight Restrictions is Part of an Overall Safety Strategy for Big Rigs

You’re driving to Disney World and as you pass one of those “Weigh Station Ahead” signs your friend jokes, “You’ve put on a few pounds, and maybe you should pull in.” Such an amusing friend.

But seriously, what is going on at those weigh stations? Why do some trucks stop, and some drive right by? Are they checking for weight or other things, like illegal drugs? Do they serve coffee?

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Things that seemed technologically impossible years ago are now every-day commonalities as advances in science, computers, and engineering continue to grow.

No one would have believed that people would all be carrying portable phones and computers around with them, and the thought of driverless cars and trucks was a fantasy until just recently.

But the fantasy has become reality and prototypes of cars controlled by computers are now out on the road. Unfortunately, with every advancement there are sometimes very costly errors.

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If We Understand Why Crashes Happen, We Can Take Steps to Avoid Them

Americans love to drive. Perhaps no invention affected American everyday life in the 20th century more than the automobile.

Although the technology for the automobile existed in the 19th century, it took Henry Ford to make the useful gadget accessible to the American public. Ford used the idea of the assembly line for automobile manufacturing. He paid his workers an unprecedented $5 a day when most laborers were bringing home two, hoping that it would increase their productivity. Furthermore, they might use their higher earnings to purchase a new car.

highway-trucksAnd so the love affair between Americans and their cars began. Even when new mass-transit systems are designed and constructed for travelers and commuters, large numbers of people prefer to drive on their own.

The creation of the interstate highway system not only allowed people to travel long distances in their cars, it permitted the cross-country delivery of goods by large commercial trucks. The blend of cars and trucks on the same roads has created the inevitable problem of collisions between the two, and these collisions often have deadly consequences.

Sharing the Road

The reason car vs. truck collisions are so devastating is simple physics. Passenger cars gained about 414 pounds in 26 years. In 1980, the average weight for passenger cars was 3,041 pounds, but it rose to 3,455 pounds by 2006.

The average weight of an 18-wheel tractor trailer on the road in the U.S. is 80,000 pounds.

When crash investigators examine what causes accidents, they look at the “critical reason” and the “associated factors” – two different things. For example, if a deer ran out in front of your car and you hit it, that would be the critical reason for the crash. However, an associated factor may be that it was raining and that caused you to not see the poor animal.

Some Statistics

For cars and trucks these are the critical reasons for crashes:

Trucks Cars
Non-Performance (sleep, sick) 3% 16%
Recognition (inattention) 35% 30%
Decision (speed, aggressive) 42% 24%
Performance (overcompensate) 7% 19%
Vehicle (brakes, tires, lights) 8% 4%
Environment (roadway, weather) 4% 3%
Unknown 1% 1%
Total 100% 100%

These are some of the associated factors – note that there can be more than one, so the totals exceed 100%:

Factors Trucks Cars
Brake problems 27% 2%
Traffic flow interrupted 25% 25%
Stop required before crash 21% 6%
Unfamiliarity with roadway 19% 10%
Inadequate surveillance 16% 14%
Traveling too fast for conditions 15% 11%
Illegal maneuver 12% 18%
Felt under work pressure 10% 3%
Distraction (Internal or External) 10% 10%
Inattention 9% 9%
Fatigue 7% 15%
False Assumption 6% 3%
Cargo Shift 1% NA
Illegal drugs 0.40%  3%
Alcohol use 0.30% 9%

You don’t have to be a government expert on traffic safety to notice a few interesting things. First of all, it seems that brakes on trucks are a big problem, and/or trucks need to reduce their speed. Also, it seems that alcohol and drug use is not a common cause for crashes among truckers. Passenger vehicle drivers still have some work to do on that issue.

If you drive a passenger vehicle, please pay attention to the fact that lack of rest is a big issue in crashes, as is lack of attention (which includes texting). Make a conscientious decision to eliminate those from being possible while you are driving, and you have significantly increased your chances of having a longer life.

Truckers, maintain your trucks. Try to avoid stress from the pressures of deadlines and competition. It’s understandable that you want to rush, but is it worth your life, or the lives of others?

Accidents involving truck have many special issues associated with them, and the Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has reserved a major part of their practice to this complex arena. If you or someone you know has been involved in a crash involving a truck, we would be happy to sit down and discuss your situation. You may reach Gary or Arleen Lazarus by calling 954-356-0006.

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Working Together Towards a Solution Will Save Lives

Two_Way_StreetWe have posted a lot of data on motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The news is never good and it’s getting worse because accidents are becoming more frequent.

We are asking automobile drivers and motorcyclists to take a few moments today and learn 3 things they can be done to make the roads safer for everyone.