What are your Flood-Related Car Accident Legal Rights?

Flooding can be a dangerous situation for drivers. Even a few inches of water can make it difficult to control your car, and deeper water can cause your car to stall or even float away.

If you find yourself driving through floodwaters, it’s important to take precautions to stay safe.

1. Take the situation seriously.

Floodwaters can be deceptive. Just a few inches of water can make it difficult to control your car, and even deeper water may not look as deep as it actually is. It’s important to take flood warnings and advisories seriously and avoid driving through flooded areas if possible.

2. Stay calm.

If you find yourself driving through floodwaters, it’s important to stay calm. Panicking will only make the situation worse. Take a deep breath and focus on driving safely.

3. Respect barricades.

If you see barricades or other barriers in a flooded area, don’t drive around them. They’re there for a reason: to keep you safe.

What are your Flood-Related Car Accident Legal Rights? 1 Distracted Driving South Florida Injury Law Firm

4. Be cautious around standing water.

Even if the water looks shallow, it’s important to be cautious around standing water. You never know what might be hidden beneath the surface, such as potholes, sharp objects, or downed power lines.

5. Know your car’s limitations.

Not all cars are created equal when it comes to driving through floodwaters. If you have a low-riding car, it’s best to avoid driving through flooded areas altogether.

6. If you must drive through water, do so slowly and carefully.

If you must drive through water, do so slowly and carefully. Don’t accelerate or brake suddenly, and avoid making sharp turns. If your car starts to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction of the skid.

What are your Flood-Related Car Accident Legal Rights? 2 Distracted Driving South Florida Injury Law Firm

7. If your car stalls, get out and get to safety.

If your car stalls in floodwaters, don’t try to restart it. Get out of the car and get to safety as quickly as possible. If you can’t get out of the car, call for help.

8. Get your car checked out after driving through floodwaters.

Even if your car doesn’t stall, it’s important to get it checked out by a mechanic after driving through floodwaters. Water can damage your car’s engine, transmission, and electrical system.

9. Get an attorney.

An attorney can help you understand your legal rights. After a flood related car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage, and lost wages. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve.

Insurance companies are often more willing to settle with an attorney than with an individual. An attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies. If you are unable to reach a settlement with the insurance companies, you may need to file a lawsuit. An attorney can represent you in court and fight for your rights.

By following these tips, you can help keep yourself safe if you find yourself driving through floodwaters. Contact the experienced flood related car accident attorneys at South Florida Injury Law Firm. We can provide valuable legal guidance and support after a flood-related car accident. We can also help you understand your legal rights and options, and work to ensure that you receive the compensation and justice you deserve.

Teaching Teens to Drive Safely

Teaching Teens to Drive Safely

Few things are scarier than a teenager who has just gotten his or her driver’s license. But if that teenager is your son or daughter, they’re going to be looking to you to teach them how to drive safely.

Statistics show us that teaching teens to drive safely is crucial not just to keep them safe, but also to make sure that others don’t get hurt. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 2,800 teens in the United States ages 13–19 were killed and about 227,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2020.

And even though people 15-24 years old only represent 14 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 30 percent ($19 billion) of the total costs of car accident injuries among males and 28 percent ($7 billion) of the total costs of car accident injuries among females.

That’s why safe driving is an invaluable skill for teens to learn and practice. And what better way to learn than from their parents?

If you are currently trying to teach your teen to drive safely or will be doing so sometime in the future, here are a few things you should make sure they learn.

The value of seatbelts.

Seatbelts are always required! But besides “Click It or Ticket,” seatbelts are also lifesavers. In 2021, only 56 percent of teens involved in fatal car crashes were wearing seatbelts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And only about 80 percent of teens even admit to wearing seatbelts – the lowest percent of any age group.

Since seatbelts can reduce serious injury and death from a crash by nearly half, make sure your teen knows that seatbelts aren’t optional – even if they’re just driving a short distance.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving

Many teens love the freedom that comes with driving, but often forget about the responsibility that comes with it. Teens – and anyone who is behind the wheel – should focus solely on driving and ignore distractions. That includes texting, eating, drinking, playing with the radio, putting on makeup, and even talking to passengers.

Although all other activities should halt when driving, using a smartphone is the biggest distraction because it can use up to 37 percent of your brain power – which is 37 percent of your brain not focused on driving.


Driving with one passenger for 16- and 17-year-olds has been shown to increase the likelihood of a crash by close to 50 percent. For this reason, you should limit the number of passengers your teen is allowed to have in their car. As they gain experience and confidence, you could loosen your restrictions. The more people in a car, the more distractions that are available.

Night driving

Driving at night is riskier for teens than driving during than day due to visibility issues in the dark, slower response times, and simple lack of experience. So you should limit your teen’s night driving when they first obtain their license.

Our state also recognizes the risk in night driving and has set restrictions based on age. For the first 3 months of having a license, a 22-year old can only drive during daylight hours. After 3 months, they are allowed to drive until 10 p.m. Sixteen-year-olds can drive until 11 p.m. and 17-year-olds can drive until 1 a.m. Once someone turns 18, however, there are no restrictions.

Rules of the road

When anyone has a license, they are consenting to follow the rules of the road. This means that they have to brake at stop signs and red lights, use signals to turn, drive within the speed limit, and follow any other road signs or regulations. By adhering to the rules of the road, the chance of an accident is greatly reduced. So if your teen is caught breaking any of these rules by a police officer, they should know not only will they have to deal with the traffic ticket, but they will also have to deal with consequences at home.


Boca Raton Distracted Driving INjury Lawyers

Drinking and driving. Although anyone under age 21 is not allowed to consume an alcoholic beverage, many teens still do. With this in mind, it’s imperative make sure your child knows the dangers involved in driving while under the influence of alcohol or any drug. DUI accidents, unfortunately, are often the most serious and potentially fatal accidents and your teen should never drive if they’ve been drinking. Tell them that regardless of the time or where they are, they should always call you for a ride instead of choosing to drive home.

Teens love the independence that comes with being able to drive, but as a parent, you should remind them that driving is a privilege. And if they break the rules or don’t drive safely, teens should know that their driving privilege could be taken away for the safety of themselves and everyone else on the road.

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Car Accidents in South Florida: How to Find the Right Attorney

South Florida is known for its heavy traffic and busy roads, which can unfortunately lead to a high number of car accidents. There are a number of reasons why accidents occur, including:

  • Heavy traffic: South Florida is known for its busy roads, which can lead to congestion and long commutes. Many do not pay attention as well in heavy traffic, creating avoidable accidents.
  • Inclement weather: South Florida is prone to hurricanes and heavy rain, which can make driving conditions treacherous. Wet streets and limited visibility can easily cause a wreck.
  • Distracted drivers: With the increased use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving, distracted driving has become a major concern on the roads and responsible for a number of accidents throughout Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties each year.
  • Aggressive drivers: Some drivers in South Florida are known for their aggressive driving habits, which can increase the risk of accidents.
  • Poor road conditions: Some roads in South Florida may be in poor condition, with potholes, construction, or debris that can be dangerous for drivers.
traffic accidents in miami dade county

It’s important to be aware of these potential hazards when driving in South Florida and to take appropriate safety precautions such as wearing a seatbelt, obeying traffic laws, and avoiding distractions while driving to prevent being an accident statistic.

According to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2021, there were over 400,000 car accidents in Florida, which resulted in over 250,000 injuries and over 3,000 deaths.

car accident in broward county

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, it’s important to have the right legal representation on your side. But with so many car accident attorneys to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start.

First and foremost, you want to make sure that the attorney you choose has experience handling car accident cases. Ask about the attorney’s track record in terms of settlements and trial verdicts, and look for testimonials or reviews from past clients.

Secondly, it’s important to find an attorney who is a good fit for you and your case. Some attorneys may specialize in specific types of accidents, such as truck accidents or motorcycle accidents, while others may have experience handling cases involving serious injuries or wrongful death.

Car Accidents in South Florida: How to Find the Right Attorney 3 Distracted Driving South Florida Injury Law Firm

Another important consideration is the attorney’s fee structure. Some attorneys may work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if they win your case. Others may charge an hourly rate or a flat fee. Make sure you understand the attorney’s fee structure and are comfortable with it before moving forward.

Finally, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation with the attorney to discuss your case and get a sense of their communication style and approach.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident in South Florida, it’s important to take the time to find the right attorney for your case. By doing your research and being selective, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome.

florida distracted driving attorneys

South Florida Distracted Driving Accidents & Laws

We don’t have the most accidents in the country, but we’re near the top. Florida placed third on the most dangerous U.S. states for driving list, with speeding the primary crash cause. Texas and California are ahead of us.

The Florida Highway Patrol reports there are about five distracted driving accidents in Florida every hour.

We all know Florida is not the safest state for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. But distracted driving is making the roadways even more dangerous.

Whenever you think of distracted drivers around South Florida, you may assume it’s only using your phone wile driving. Although it is a leading reason in distracted driving accidents, it’s not the only thing that takes attention away of drivers on the road.


What Is Distracted Driving?



In Florida, distracted driving is defined in a very broad range of things that can be considered as a distraction for dfriving as “any activity which takes a person’s hands off the steering wheel, eyes away from the road, or mind (thoughts) away from driving, creating manual, visual, and cognitive distractions for driving.”

Distractions endanger the safety and lives of drivers, passengers, bystanders, and anyone else on the road. Some common distractions include:

  • Texting
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating while driving or tipping a bottle or can up for a drink
  • Putting on makeup
  • Having a conversation with passengers
  • Reading
  • Looking at things on the side of the road like an accident or a broken-down vehicle
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting climate control, radio, or GPS settings
  • Rubbernecking


“I risk my life every day while driving on I-95,” said Brianna McCall, an Oakland Park resident who works in Coral Springs. “I prepare myself for 40 minutes of anxiety every morning. It’s like people forget to use their brains while operating a moving vehicle.”

South Florida Distracted Driving Accidents & Laws 4 Distracted Driving South Florida Injury Law Firm

Florida Distracted Driving Statistics



The latest distracted driving statistics in Florida that are available are from 2017. In that year:

  • There were 234 car crashes that resulted in a fatality as a result of distracted driving.
  • 270,000 non-fatal accidents occurred that resulted in injuries ranging from minor to catastrophic.
  • Of those 270,000 accidents, 3,100 caused life-altering injuries for one or more people involved in the event.
  • Distracted driving is most common among teenagers and young adults. In fact, distracted drivers under the age of 30 caused 12,000 auto accidents in 2015 alone.

Distracted Driving Has Caused Accidents to Skyrocket in Florida


What do South Florida drivers do to prevent an accident from distracted driving?



The distracted driving laws in Florida have made it easy for law enforcement officials to pull over people that they see or suspect that are distracted while operating a vehicle.

There is a hand-held device law that went into effect in 2019 that allows law enforcement to pull over people they see or suspect them of using their phones while driving. Unlike before, where they could only ticket someone for this only if they had pulled them over for a different reason.


South Florida Distracted Driving Accidents & Laws 5 Distracted Driving South Florida Injury Law Firm 

Tips for Avoiding Distracted Driving



Saying “no” to distracted driving does not just prevent you from getting a ticket, it can keep you from causing a serious accident and lifelong damage to other drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Sometimes it seems like we can’t get away from our phones, but it is a necessary thing to do while driving. Here are some tips to help you put it down when you’re behind the wheel:


  • Be aware of safe phone zones. Sometimes, you might be expecting an important call or need to contact someone while on the road. If you find yourself in this situation, seek out a safe phone zone so that you will be less likely to be distracted by your upcoming call or text.
  • Assign a passenger to be your “phone buddy.” They can give directions, send texts, and manage hotel and restaurant reservations on a road trip.
  • Take advantage of “hands free” options. As we mentioned above, you can receive a citation for texting while driving, but general cell phone use is not included in the ban. In case of emergencies, learn how to use the “hands free” options on your cell phone. Smart phones give you the option of giving verbal commands for texting, calling, or finding directions to your destination. This is still a form of distracted driving, but at least it allows you to keep your eyes on the road while using your cell phone.
  • Leave your phone at home. It sounds like a wild idea because we’ve all gotten so used to having our phones at all times, but the truth is that you don’t need your phone for every shopping trip or errand. If you keep your phone at home, you won’t be able to use it while driving.



If you are cited for a distracted driving law in Florida, you could face hefty fines, be required to attend driving school, and you may see increases in your car insurance rates.

It is also important to remember that distracted driving can lead to accidents. If you are distracted and cause an accident, you can be held responsible for the event. Negligence is a very serious charge, and you could face financial and legal problems if found negligent.

If you are involved in an auto accident and believe that the other driver’s distracted driving caused the accident or your injuries, you should speak to an attorney immediately. If another driver is found to have been distracted at the time of the crash, you could be entitled to extra compensation. Contact a Florida personal injury lawyer today for a free consultation.


South Florida Distracted Driving Accidents & Laws 6 Distracted Driving South Florida Injury Law Firm

south florida accident behind the wheel distractions

The South Florida Seven Most Dangerous Driving Situations

It’s your car—the vehicle that gets you to work every day, that carries your groceries home, shelters you and your family on road trips. For many Americans, it can be nearly impossible to see their beloved motor vehicle as a hazard.


Massive, heavy, and fast-moving, cars can become dangerous weapons when driving improperly or recklessly. Every year, motor vehicle crashes claim the lives of nearly 37,000 Americans and leave an additional 2.35 million seriously injured, according to data from the Association for Safe International Road Travel.


Too often, fatal auto accidents are caused by driver error or negligence. Below, we’ve listed seven of the most dangerous things drivers do behind the wheel that frequently lead to tragic accidents.



Driving While Distracted

Many are often surprised to learn that distracted driving is the leading cause of auto accidents, surpassing even drunk driving according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To combat the scourge of distracted driving, Florida lawmakers have passed legislation that prohibits texting while driving and enacted measures to discourage this behavior.

However, texting and driving isn’t the only dangerous distracted driving behavior. Making phone calls, fiddling with GPS or music systems, grooming, and even talking to passengers are all examples of activities that can take a driver’s attention away from the road and lead to serious accident. In many cases, simply being lost in thought can be enough of a distraction to cause a serious auto accident. You can prevent distracted driving accidents by making a conscious effort to keep your eyes, hands, and attention away from distractions and on the road.


Driving While Intoxicated

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may seem like an obvious danger, yet hundreds of thousands of Americans are still involved in drunk driving crashes each year, according to reports from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Drinking not only impairs a driver’s ability to drive, but to react to things occurring around them and respond appropriately to potentially dangerous situations. That’s why it’s a good idea to avoid driving entirely after drinking even in moderate amounts, opting instead to ride with a sober friend or take a cab or public transportation.


The South Florida Seven Most Dangerous Driving SituationsDriving Drowsy

Driving while tired may feel like a necessary evil after a long day of work or a restless night, but doing so can endanger not just the driver, but everyone else on the road around them. When a driver’s body is sleep deprived, their reaction time is slowed and they can quite easily fall asleep at the wheel. Driving drowsy increases the likelihood of serious, often fatal accidents. You can do your part to prevent these types of accidents by pulling over to a safe place to rest if you catch yourself drifting off.

Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

Driving Above or Below the Speed Limit

When it comes to speeding, the science behind its dangers is clear. Based on the laws of physics, the faster a car is driving, the more severe the potential accident will be. However, some studies have found that driving below the speed limit can be dangerous too, since it can disrupt the flow and predictability of traffic. The bottom line: follow posted speed limits and pay attention to the average speed of the other drivers around you to avoid speed-related crashes.


The South Florida Seven Most Dangerous Driving Situations 7 Distracted Driving South Florida Injury Law FirmDriving with Road Rage

When stress and frustration turn into road rage, accidents and undesirable confrontations follow. Road rage may include making obscene gestures, yelling insults, or purposely driving in an unsafe manner. If you believe another driver on the road is experiencing road rage, stay calm, and try to move away from him or her as soon as possible.

Driving With Road Rage

Driving without a Seatbelt

According to government reports, seatbelts save more than 13,000 lives nationwide every year. It may seem harmless to hop in the car without putting on a seatbelt if you’re just heading around the corner, but a large number of crashes occur at low speeds and close to the point of embarkation. Make sure your seatbelt is securely fastened before starting up the engine, and double-check to ensure your passengers do the same.

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Failing to Yield

Running red lights, breezing through stop signs, and failing to yield the right of way can lead to serious collisions. Freeway merge ramps in particular can become death traps when drivers fail to observe traffic laws and signs. Make the roads safer for you and everyone around you by adhering to traffic laws and keeping an eye on things happening around you.


The 7 Most Dangerous Things Drivers Do behind the Wheel

Of course, just because you practice safe driving doesn’t mean other drivers on the road will do the same. If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident due to another’s dangerous driving behavior, consult with a knowledgeable Florida auto accident attorney.


A skilled personal injury lawyer may be able to help you hold the other driver accountable for their reckless or negligent behavior, and obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs related to recovery. By holding the driver responsible for their dangerous decisions, you can help make the road safer for yourself and your community.



south florida thunderstorm rain auto accidents

Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain

Living in South Florida, it’s inevitable to deal with rain. According to statistics by US Climate Data, the West Palm Beach alone area receives 62 inches of precipitation annually. When researchers ranked the top 10 wettest cities to live in, two of which are in South Florida (Miami and West Palm Beach).


Driving  in South Florida is a dangerous and even deadly situation to be in under wet conditions. More than 7 thousand people lose their life in weather-related auto accidents.
According to statistics by US Climate Data, the West Palm Beach area receives 62 inches of precipitation annually.
When researchers ranked the top 10 wettest cities to live in, two of which are in South Florida (Miami and West Palm Beach).


The AMA (American Meteorological Society) published a study that highlights the increase of dangerous road conditions and the elevated risk involved.


“[Scott] Stevens, a data analyst and meteorologist at the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, and colleagues looked at 125,012 fatal car crashes in the Lower 48 states from 2006 to 2011, factoring in how many cars are on the road, to calculate the risk of a fatal accident. While other studies have used police reports and the nearest weather station to calculate rain and snow conditions, Stevens said his is the first study to use more precise weather radar data. It was able to distinguish how hard the rain or snow was falling to come up with results showing an increase in fatal crashes even in rain of less than one-tenth of an inch per hour.”


All the evidence points to the same: when the road is wet, your chance of being involved in an accident can drastically increase. As the visibility level lowers due to rain and how the road becomes slippery when water has accumulated on it.

Hydroplaning becomes an issue when rain is especially heavy – a common occurrence in Florida. Hydroplaning refers to a situation when a car starts to slide uncontrollably because of the tires encountering more water that it can scatter. As the water carries the car, the brakes and other controls become useless. Quick turns and movements on wet roads can also cause the vehicle to hydroplane as well.



The Hazard of Hazard Lights

You may see other drivers with hazard lights flashing to indicate they are moving slower than surrounding traffic during stormy conditions. But in Florida, it’s actually illegal to use hazard lights while driving unless you are part of a funeral procession. Flashing lights were designed with the express purpose of indicating a hazard to other drivers, and they should only be activated when your vehicle is a hazard on the side of the road. Using them under any other circumstance is not only unnecessary, but it also causes confusion. If it’s raining, the only lights you should turn on are your headlights.

Rainy weather may make driving more difficult, but it does not relieve drivers of their responsibilities behind the wheel. With proper vehicle maintenance, knowledge of local laws and a bit of common sense, you can travel safer during a downpour along with a helpful tips to keep in mind.



Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain 9 Distracted Driving South Florida Injury Law Firm

5 Tips to avoid an auto accident
in slippery road conditions

Check Tire Pressure Regularly
Tires with weak tread may not grip a wet road as well as newer tires with thicker tread. Make sure your tires are safe for the roads.
Before setting out when rain is present or forecasted, it is even more important than normal to make sure your tires are in good shape and have adequate tread depth since bald tires can increase the risk of hydroplaning.

Gust Awareness
Drive at a speed that compensates for high speed gusts that can otherwise impact your vehicle.
Watch out for larger vehicles.
Larger vehicles are much harder to control when it is windy and can have difficulty staying in their lane.

Maintain Distance
Maintain a large distance with the car in front of you. Cars may have difficulty stopping due to wet conditions. Brake earlier than usual, and apply less force to increase the stopping distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you while also alerting the driver behind you that you are reducing your speed.

Know Anything Can Happen
Often times during storms, other drivers fail to drive safely. Make sure to watch around you and drive defensively.

Get There Safe, Not Fast
Getting to your destination without an accident is more important than keeping a schedule. Maintain a safe speed limit and be sure to obey all traffic rules and signals. Drive more slowly, take turns slowly, and be sure to give your fellow motorists ample following distance.

In other words, when it rains, whether heavy or light, slow it down. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others when driving in the rain is adjusting how you drive according to the current weather conditions.



Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain 10 Distracted Driving South Florida Injury Law Firm

Have you been involved in an
auto accident under rainy conditions?

Sadly, even riders who follow the above tips can still end up hurt by a reckless or distracted driver.
Determining which driver is at fault for an accident requires an investigation of the collision. The investigation involves the review of all pieces of evidence that are available, such as photographs or video surveillance of the accident, testimony from any witnesses to the accident, and a digital reconstruction of the accident that incorporates all relevant factors, such as the rainy weather.

If you were hurt in an auto accident because of a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless driver, you can call The South Florida Injury Law Firm anytime at (954) 488-JEFF – we’re available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Complete our online form to get a free case evaluation and our team will assist with the legal aspects of your claim so you can focus on your health . Remember, the consultation is completely free! That means you don’t owe us anything until we recover for you.

Florida Drivers: If You Have a Restless Night, Should You Drive?

Florida Drivers: If You Have a Restless Night, Should You Drive?

Florida Drivers: If You Have a Restless Night, Should You Drive?

In June 2018, a horrific crash was caught on camera near Orlando. In this very dramatic footage, the vehicle is seen drifting into a concrete barrier at the toll plaza on the Florida Turnpike near St. Cloud. The impact ejects one of the four passengers onboard out through the windshield and sends him flying for about 20 feet.

Miraculously, the driver and all four passengers – including the one who was thrown out – and the driver survived the accident without serious injuries.

Reports released by the police showed that the 23-year-old man behind the wheel at the time of this crash was fatigued. Consequently, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles later tweeted a statement warning people that driving while drowsy and tired is dangerous and can have deadly consequences.

The agency could not have put it better – drowsy driving can indeed be deadly.

How bad is it?

Drowsy Driving Just as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

That’s right. Fatigued drivers can be just as deadly as drivers who drink and drive.

Information from the CDC shows that:

  • If you stayed awake for 18 hours, your driving would be impaired in the same way it would if your BAC (blood alcohol content) was 0.05%.
  • If you stayed awake for 24 hours, your driving would be impaired in the same way it would if your BAC was 0.10% (the legal BAC limit is 0.08%).

In short, being sleep-deprived mirrors the dangerous effects of even the lowest amounts of alcohol and increases your chances of getting into an accident.

Why a Sleep-Deprived Driver Is A Dangerous Driver

A person who gets behind the wheel while fatigued, sleep-deprived, or drowsy usually has trouble staying alert. Such a person inadvertently becomes a dangerous driver because:

Their Reaction Time Is Slowed

Being sleep-deprived, fatigued, or drowsy gives you a sense of heaviness – particularly around your wrists and ankles. This feeling reduces the driver’s ability to react fast and appropriately to sudden situations on the road.

Sleep Deprivation Occasionally Sends Your Brain to Sleep

A fatigued or sleep-deprived driver may drift in and out of microsleep episodes while at the wheel. These micro-naps last just a few seconds and may even happen with the driver’s eyes open. This is the brain’s way of trying to get some rest, and it’s terrifying for anyone who has ever driven while tired, which is probably just about all of us.

Sleep Deprivation Denies You Control Over Your Vehicle

It’s not just your brain that “turns off” for some rest when you’re sleep deprived – most of your other sensory and motor senses may doze off too. This makes drowsy driving just as bad as – if not worse than – distracted driving.

When you fall asleep – even just “microsleep” – you give up control of the vehicle. Typically, these black outs only last a few seconds, but a lot of bad things can happen during that time if you’re driving.

Don’t Drive If You Are Sleep Deprived in Florida

The bottom line is that getting behind the wheel while drowsy, fatigued, or sleep-deprived, increases the risk of you being in or causing an accident. People who drive tired are a safety risk to their passengers, themselves, and every other person on the road.

Don’t Drive If You Are Sleep Deprived in Florida

It’s not always easy, but always strive to get enough sleep, and try to avoid late car rides. Additionally, if you believe you might be suffering from a sleep disorders, seeking help could save your life. Remember – sleep is as important for your health and wellbeing as it is to your safety on the road.


About the Author: 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.


Florida Car Crashes: Why Do So Many Happen Close to Home?

Florida Car Crashes: Why Do So Many Happen Close to Home?

Florida Car Crashes: Why Do So Many Happen Close to Home?

There’s no way to completely avoid car accidents. However, more accidents tend to happen in certain places and situations than in others. Because of this, being aware of these accident “hot spots” and staying alert can help reduce your risk of becoming involved in a car accident.

So, where do crashes tend to happen more often?

You might think that the unfamiliar locales and drowsiness of a long-distance road trip would make car accidents more likely when you’re far away from home… but you’d be wrong. Below we’re going to detail where car accidents happen most, and more importantly, what you can do to reduce your chance of getting into a crash.

Where Florida Auto Accidents Happen Most

In the US, there is a car crash about once every 5.2 seconds. Tens of thousands of people are killed annually in fatal collisions, and millions of Americans are involved in non-fatal accidents.

Where do all of these auto accidents occur? Statistically, there are certain places where auto accidents are more likely to happen:

  • Close to home: Studies have shown that about one in three car accidents happen within a mile of the motorist’s home, and an even higher percentage more occur within 25 miles of home. This may be because motorists are in a comfort zone when close to home, and they are less likely to be alert on the road. One of the most common causes of collisions close to home is hitting parked cars.
  • Intersections: Not surprisingly, collisions are more likely to occur in intersections, where two or more directions of traffic come together. Auto accidents are even more likely if the intersection is unregulated or only has stop or yield signs instead of a stoplight.
  • Stoplights: Stoplights are a common place for car accidents, particularly rear-end collisions when drivers fail to stop in time for a car sitting in front of them at a red light.
  • Busy two-lane roads: Two-lane roads in rural or non-residential areas with moderate speed limits are common locations for head-on collisions, which can be very dangerous. Auto accidents on two-lane roads commonly happen when motorists try to pass slower-moving vehicles by speeding into oncoming traffic.
  • Rural highways: Although rural highways have less traffic, they are a common site of single-car accidents. Similar to driving close to home, driving in deserted areas can lead to motorist inattention. Roadway disrepair, wildlife and debris in the roads can increase the risk of this type of accident.

Avoiding Auto Accident Hotspots in Florida

Ever pulled into your driveway and realized that you can’t remember the last part of your drive home? This is because your brain tends to go on autopilot when you’re in an area you’re very familiar with, or making a drive you’re very familiar with, such as your commute to and from work. Your brain tends to rely more on muscle memory than on active driving skills on these familiar drives, making you less aware of the road.

Reminding yourself to stay alert during these “familiar” drives can significantly decrease your risk of car accidents. Try to avoid falling into a comfort zone when you’re close to home or on a drive that you make frequently. If you find your attention drifting, bring your focus back to the road. Sometimes rolling down a window can help increase your alertness.

Florida Car Crashes: Why Do So Many Happen Close to Home? 11 Distracted Driving South Florida Injury Law Firm

Additionally, and this should go without saying, but you should always buckle your seatbelt – even for short trips. In fact, you should do this especially for short trips, given the statistics we’ve covered. Also, always be sure to avoid distracted driving practices such as texting while driving.

Although there’s no surefire way to avoid auto accidents completely, staying alert to road conditions and being aware of the places and situations that make collisions more likely can help you and your family stay safe on the road.


About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.


Stronger Distracted Driving Laws - Nope, Says Florida Senate

Stronger Distracted Driving Laws? Nope, Says Florida Senate

Stronger Distracted Driving Laws - Nope, Says Florida Senate


Recent legislation passed by the Florida House would have cracked down on distracted driving, but the Senate refused to even hear the bill.


Bill HB 33 was passed by the Florida House of Representatives 112-2, and Governor Rick Scott even gave it his blessing, meaning the bill likely would have been signed into law if passed by the Senate. However, Florida Senate President Joe Negron refused to hear the bill, effectively killing it.


Currently, texting while driving is only a secondary offense. This means that drivers can only be ticketed if pulled over for another offense. Furthermore, the fine for distracted driving is only $20 – not much motivation to put cell phones away and focus on the road.


Why is this such a big deal? Because distracted driving is extremely hazardous. It significantly slows a driver’s reaction time, meaning that a distracted driver has much less time to perceive hazards and react to avoid an accident. In fact, some studies suggest that distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.


There are many ways that drivers distract themselves while on the road, but these days the most common driver distraction is cell phone use, particularly texting or other means of written communication.


Using Smartphones While Driving: A Deadly Combination


Florida is the second-worst state in the nation for distracted driving, with over 50,000 distracted driving accidents annually – that’s more than five crashes every hour. Distracted driving crashes are often very serious, with over 3,500 serious injuries and 233 deaths occurring annually due to distracted driving.


In fact, these statistics may be an underestimate. According to Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky, people are unlikely to volunteer the fact that they were distracted prior to a crash. This means that many more crashes than officially recorded could involve distracted driving.


There are three categories of driver distraction:


  • Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: Taking your hands off of the steering wheel
  • Cognitive: Thinking about things other than driving


Using cell phones and texting while driving requires all three categories of distraction, making texting and driving one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving.


This is why most states have outlawed texting or other means of written communication (such as email and social media) while driving and passed legislation to make it a primary offense.


This means that police are able to stop and cite drivers who use handheld cell phones while driving even if they are not engaged in any other improper driving behaviors. In some states, such as New York, it’s even an offense to talk on a cell phone while driving.


Florida is on the opposite end of that spectrum. We are one of only four states that has not yet made texting while driving a primary offense.


Using Smartphones While Driving - A Deadly Combination


HB 33 would have changed this, finally giving law enforcement the ability to pull drivers over for texting on their cell phones while driving without the requirement that they were disobeying any other laws. Unfortunately, the blockage of Bill HB 33 means that this is unlikely to change anytime soon.


What does this mean for Florida drivers? The bottom line is that law enforcement has little power to stop distracted driving here – police are hamstrung to prevent this dangerous behavior by the law itself. In fact, the only way to hold distracted drivers accountable if you are injured by their negligence is to file a personal injury auto accident claim.


Personal Injury Claims for Distracted Driving in Florida


If you are injured in a car accident that was not your fault and believe that the other driver may have been using a handheld cell phone at the time of the crash, take action by filing a personal injury claim. This will help to address financial concerns arising from the accident and injury, and will also hold the other driver accountable for his or her negligence.


To win, your personal injury attorney will need to present evidence proving the required elements of a negligent injury case. These include the fact that the other driver had a duty to drive safely, that they breached this duty, that you were injured because of this breach, and that your injuries have caused you financial damages.


Florida Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers


Our experienced Florida injury lawyers can review your situation and help you determine if you have a viable case. Succeed in your lawsuit and you will win well-deserved compensation for you and your family, while also holding the distracted driver accountable, hopefully discouraging them from making the same mistake in the future.




About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.