Car accidents are a reality of life, but should not be financially devastating. Knowing your responsibilities and rights as a driver is important to recovering damages from a car accident.
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) switchboards lit up on a recent Monday morning. Police responding to the scene reported that the 28 year old driver of a Honda Civic crashed head on with another Honda Civic. The accident happened on Interstate 295 near the Interstate 95 interchange. The other driver involved is a 69 year old St. Johns County man.
The summer is a wonderful time to pack up your things and go for an adventure. However, before you hit the road, you may want to make sure your vehicle is up for the challenge. If your vehicle can’t handle a long trip, you may want to rent a car from a company that allows unlimited mileage. This way, you won’t have to worry about putting miles on your vehicle.
Now that you are ready to go, here are a few driving safety tips to keep in mind:
- Always use a navigator. It is advisable to have someone in the front passenger seat at all times who is awake with the driver. The navigator can give directions so that the driver can focus on the roadway. The front seat passenger can also make sure the driver is alert and not suffering from fatigue.
According to a report recently by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the number of children who died in automobile accidents dropped from 2002 to 2011.
While this is certainly good news, automobile accidents are still the leading cause of death for children in the United States. The report indicated that much more could be done to prevent these deaths.
The CDC says that 9,000 children died in vehicle-related accidents from 2002 to 2011. Although that is still high, it represents a 43 percent decrease in death rates for children aged 0 to 12 years old since 2002.
Every Florida motorist should be familiar with Florida’s “Move Over” law, which requires that drivers slow down and move over one lane if they see emergency flashing lights on the side of the road.
While most drivers should know that they need to obey the law when they see a police or an emergency vehicle on the side of the road, many still don’t know that tow trucks are also considered emergency vehicles and that the “Move Over” law applies to them also.
The concern that people are not getting the message that this law also applies to tow vehicles drove lawmakers and public safety officials in Boca Raton to hold a press conference to hammer home the point.
A spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) told the press conference that tow trucks drivers are just as vulnerable as first responders when it comes dealing with emergencies on the side of the road.
Pregnancy can be a particularly vulnerable time for women – especially for mothers-to-be who must drive to get to work, go to appointments, or run errands.
A study recently released by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine (AJPM) indicates that women who are involved in vehicle crashes during pregnancy put themselves at a higher risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes. The study found that there was an increased rate of adverse outcomes in pregnant drivers who were involved in one crash and that rate increased if they were involved in a second crash.
The AJPM study looked at 878,000 pregnant women ages 16-46 who delivered one baby in North Carolina from 2001 to 2008. It found that 2.9 percent of those women were involved in at least one vehicle crash. Those women were found to have an increased rate of pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth, stillbirth and placental abruption (a condition where the placenta peels away from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery.)
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV) acknowledged it has received 13 notices of intent to sue over the deadly I-75 pileup in Gainesville on January 29 that claimed the lives of 11 people and left 20 others injured.
The notices have come in the wake of a recently released Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) report that was critical of the Highway Patrol’s handling of the closing and then re-opening of the highway prior to the deadly crashes.
An elderly woman attempting to park in a church handicapped parking space, backed over a fellow parishioner – dragging the 66-year-old woman fifty feet under the car and killing her.
Witnesses said they heard a loud bang and screaming outside of St. Ambrose Catholic Church and saw the victim being dragged under the Buick Century driven by the 88-year-old woman. One witness told the Miami Herald, “She backed us so fast, dragging the poor woman, and a man came up and opened the door and put on the brake.”
The car finally came to a halt at the northeast corner of the church. The victim was taken to North Broward Regional Medical Center, where she died.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has postponed the implementation of a rule that would have mandated that all new vehicles have standard backup cameras by 2014. While some critics see the postponement as a tactic to dodge a political hot potato during an election year, the White House Office of Management and Budget claims the delay is part of the normal review process to ensure all interested parties are heard. NHTSA has until Dec 31, 2012 to consider it.
The camera mandate was signed into law in 2008 by then president George W. Bush. Some in the automobile industry and Congress have decried the regulation as being too expensive, and even the administration has acknowledged that it will be one of the most expensive of pending regulations to implement. Some estimates put the additional cost of mandated backup cameras at $169 to $200 per vehicle.
However, proponents of the proposed requirement point out that some 1,700 people are injured and that 100 children and 200 adults lose their lives each year in backover accidents.
A 6-year-old-boy was listed in critical condition after two cars collided in an intersection in his Pompano Beach neighborhood and one of the cars struck him. The little boy was riding his scooter on the sidewalk when a man who was driving an Oldsmobile Cutlass ran a stop sign on NW 5th Avenue and hit a Toyota Camry. After the initial car accident in Florida, both vehicles continued to careen out of control. While the Camry spun several times and ended up in a front yard, the other car struck two more vehicles, a tree, and the little boy.
According to neighbors, the street has a reputation for speeding drivers, and a local resident told one local television news station that the Oldsmobile driver had just gotten a new engine in his car and was probably going 100 miles per hour before the accident occurred. Five adults, four from the Camry and the Oldsmobile motorist, were taken to North Broward Medical Center where they were treated and later released.
No charges have been filed while Broward County officials continue to investigate.