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Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

Today, many people know that distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. In fact, distracted driving causes many Florida car accidents and many car accidents across the nation each year. Some experts and researchers have concluded that the vast majority of car accidents and near-accidents are caused at least in part by driver distraction.

However, while we hear much about distracted driving, the truth is that distractions can be a danger in many situations. Many Florida motorcycle accidents, for example, are caused by motorcyclists who are distracted by cell phones or other devices. Even Florida bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents can be the result when pedestrians and bicyclists get distracted. There are many ways that distractions can lead to accidents – even outside of your car:

1) Texting while doing just about anything. These is no doubt that texting is absorbing which is why it is so dangerous. Texting requires you to look down at your mobile device, making you unaware of what is going on around you. Whether you are cruising on your bike or walking down the street, texting can lead to an accident.

A University of Alabama at Birmingham research study into a Florida law found that a simple vision test may help reduce fatalities related to car accidents among older drivers. Researchers found that highway traffic fatalities among older Florida drivers decreased 17% after Florida passed legislation demanding that drivers 80 years and over get a vision test. In states such as Alabama and Georgia, where no such law was passed, death rates among elderly drivers remained the same.

As a result of the research, other states may soon also pass special screening requirements for elderly drivers, although other states may include other screening options in addition Currently, nine states as well as the District of Columbia require elderly drivers to pass regular vision tests. In addition, two states as well as the District of Columbia require older drivers to take a road test.

The study has raised some questions regarding accidents among the elderly. Some experts have suggested that elderly drivers in fact pose a smaller risk than other groups of drivers. Some experts suggested that elderly drivers tend to avoid risks, tend to be in accidents with low speeds, and tend to be hit rather than be the perpetrators driving into another vehicle.

According to the AAA, teen drivers between ages 16 and 17 are most likely to get into fatal car accidents Monday through Friday between 3 and 5 p.m. The rate of fatal car accidents during these hours is just as high as the rate of accidents between 9 p.m. 2 a.m on weekend nights. These accidents often lead to not only fatalities but also to serious injuries, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken limbs, permanent injuries, disfigurement, burn injuries, and much more.

The University of Maryland’s Deparment of Public Community and Health suggests that to prevent these after-school accidents, parents can:

1) Show good driving skills themselves. Young drivers often learn by example, so parents who are courteous and careful drivers themselves are more likely to instill these same values in their own children.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Board, car accidents are the leading cause of accidental, injury-related deaths that affect children. The same source reports that children who are not wearing a seat belt are most likely to be injured or to die in a car crash. Children and minors, because of their small size, are often not much helped by air bags and can sustain serious injuries, including brain injuries, facial injuries, broken limbs, spinal cord injuries, and other serious problems. It is important to call for paramedics at once if after a car accident a child displays any of these symptoms:



Could driver’s training coupled with some advanced safety and collision avoidance training help teen drivers avoid car accidents? Some states think so and have instituted additional education courses aimed at teens. Southern Maryland teens have access to the Drive 2 Survive Program, a special collision avoidance class and advanced road safety course for $200. This is in addition to the graduated licensing program in place, which requires all new drivers to take part in classroom and in-car training. Some Florida residents think that a similar program for additional training would help Florida’s new drivers avoid the spinal cord injuries, fatalities, brain injuries, and other serious injuries often caused by car accidents.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Board, teens represent only 7% of all drivers but are responsible for 20% of car collisions and14% of all motor-vehicle-related deaths. The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association reports that can accidents are the leading cause of death for teens and that 16 year-olds have higher accidents rates than drivers of any other age group. In fact, the same source reports that 16-year-olds are fully 3 times more likely to die in a car accident than adult drivers. Worse, some statistics show that teens may have cavalier attitudes about driving. In 2003, 25% of teenage drivers killed in car accidents had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater. In 2001, two thirds of teenage drivers killed in car accidents were not using a seat belt. However, evidence suggests that it is inexperience, not alcohol, that is the leading cause of teenage car accidents.

There are a number of things that parents can do to keep teens safe behind the wheel:

In Florida as in other parts of the country, drivers are worried about increasing gas prices. However, some researchers are claiming that the gas price jump, painful though it is, could be making the streets safer. A research study at the University of Alabama concluded that every 10% increase in gas prices translates into a 2% decrease in traffic fatalities.

While about 40,000 people die in car accidents across the country each year, researchers expect that current high gas prices will mean as many as 1,000 fewer deaths per month, which may 12 000 lives saved this year. Researchers attribute the reduction in car accidents to the fact that fewer people are driving less often. They also claim that many try to save on gas by driving slower, which also reduces accidents.

Other experts are not so optimistic, however. They point out that while car accident fatalities are down slightly, as motorists turn to other means of transport, other types of fatalities and personal injuries are on the rise. The Motorcycle Industry Council notes that sales of motorcycles increase 24% in the first few months of 2008. Yamaha scooter sales increased by 65% from this time in 2007. Vespa set a sales record doubled its previous record this May.

The Florida Highway Patrol has recently been promoting two campaigns to help reduce the number of car accidents in the state. The “Buckle Up Florida” campaign has been around for a while and has been designed to encourage Florida drivers and passengers to use their seat belts constantly in order to help prevent injuries in the event of a car crash. Thanks to the media efforts made, many Florida residents have heard of this campaign.

The “Move Over Florida” campaign which is currently being promoted by The Florida Highway Patrol is also the law. The law was passed in 2002 and requires any driver in Florida who is approaching emergency vehicles on the side of the road to change lanes. The law creates a vacant lane for the emergency vehicles and emergency personnel to work. If a driver on only on a two lane road, the driver must slow down to at least 20 miles an hour less than the posted speed limit.

The law is designed to help protect not only drivers but also the emergency personnel who might be at work on the side of the road. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that many accidents happen because drivers take too many risks and drive too close to the road where emergency vehicles are at work. This sort of driving can result in serious personal injury to emergency personnel and to the driver. It can also prevent anyone who is injured and getting medical help from getting to a hospital sooner.

One debate that has been raging in Florida for some months now involves the use of cell phones in cars. Some are calling for a ban on cell phone use by drivers, noting that many Florida car accidents happen when a driver is distracted while talking on the phone. Others maintain that it is possible to drive safely while speaking on a phone and suggest that drivers should be able to talk and drive. Some Florida citizens are calling for a compromise – let drivers talk on the phone only when using a hands-free service or ear piece.

Where do you weigh in?

Six states have already passed laws that make it illegal to drive while talking on a cell phone. Connecticut, New Jersey and New York have all banned cell phone use by drivers. Starting July 1, 2008 California drivers will not be able to use any wireless hand-held gadgets unless they are using hands-free devices. Drivers under the age of 18 will not be able to use any wireless hand-held gadgets, not even if they have hands-free devices.

Car accidents cause many injuries each year, from minor injuries such as broken bones to permanent injuries such as burn injuries and spinal cord injuries. Everyone wants to avoid car accidents in Florida, but many of the tips offered in order to prevent crashes are fairly obvious advice. Here are some expert tips that can really help you in avoiding a car accident in the future:

1) Think ahead. Many drivers keep an eye on the car in front of them, but moving your eyes periodically to the car in front of the car in front of you lets you see potential problems – and react to them – sooner. This simple habit can help you avoid rear-ending another car.

2) Stick to the center or right lane. The “fast lane” gives you fewer options for switching lanes and also gives you less time to respond. That’s one reason why many highway accidents take place in the left lane.

3) Keep your hands on the 9 and 3 o’clock position on the wheel, as you were taught in driver’s education. This helps you maintain best vehicle control. If you are in a possible accident situation and your hands are on the 9 and 3 o’clock position you will have an easier time responding quickly to avoid the accident.

4) Consider your blind spots. After adjusting your side mirrors and rearview mirror as precisely as you can, be sure that you still turn around to look into lanes beside you. Also, consider the blind spots of cars around you – you may be able to see them, but they might not be looking or turning around to check their blind spots.

5) Look out for cars that are drifting in the lane. Drivers in such cars may be tired, distracted, or intoxicated. Steer clear of these drivers or at least keep an eye out for sudden lane changes or other dangerous behavior.

6) Move your seat closer to the steering wheel – position it so that your wrist could rest on the top of the wheel if your arm were outstretched and your back was against the seat. This is the wheel position that race car drivers use, because it allows them to make evasive manoeuvres. This wheel position can help you if you need to act fast to avoid a car accident.

7) Keep your car in good condition. Check the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and follow it. It may cost a little more, but it can save your life in the event of an accident. A car in poor repair simply will not respond the way you need it to in an accident.

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If you have been in a car accident that has resulted in burn injuries, broken limbs, property damage, brain injury, or other serious injuries, you may not be fully protected by your insurance provider. You may need to follow these tips to ensure that you are truly covered:

1) Treat all accidents as serious accidents. Even a minor fender bender can leave you with pain for months as well as lost wages. Always file a police report and exchange information with the other driver as well as any possible witnesses.

2) Contact your insurance company very soon after the accident, even if you do not want to make a claim. If you think that the other driver was at fault, contact the driver’s insurance provider as well. Contacting your insurance company and the other insurance company ensures that you can still make a claim if you notice an accident-related injury or some property damage after the fact. If there is a problem or disagreement about fault in the accident, file your claim with your insurance provider. Your insurance company will work out fault with the other company.

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