The Most Dangerous Time for Drivers Ends with Labor Day

The Most Dangerous Time for Drivers Ends with Labor Day

The Most Dangerous Time for Drivers Ends with Labor Day

 

The summer allows us to get out on the beach more, celebrate more long weekends, and just have more fun in general. That fun, however, comes with a lot of risks every year.

 

Do you remember our blog post a few months back about the dangers of Memorial Day? We mentioned that it was the start to the hundred deadliest days for drivers.

 

One of the factors that attributes to the high accident rates during this time are long holiday weekends. There also tend to be more people on vacation, which means both more partying and more driving.

 

Luckily, that time period is now over. Labor Day weekend ended this 100-day period, so auto accidents and injuries should start to decline again.

 

Of course, that doesn’t mean that driving-related dangers simply stop after Labor Day.

 

The Dangers Do Not Stop After Labor Day

 

Fall and winter driving comes with its own set of worries as the weather changes and the sun goes down earlier. Plus, there are plenty of bad driving behaviors that people engage in year-round. Below, we’re going to look at some things that you still need to keep an eye out for as the weather cools.

 

Intoxicated drivers. Even though summer poses the highest risks for DUI accidents, there is still a high rate of intoxicated driving year round. According to MADD, 27 people die every day in America due to drunk driving crashes.

 

That’s right – 27 people each day.

 

And there are hundreds of thousands more people who are injured due to DUI-related accidents. These accidents cause injuries ranging from broken bones to loss of limbs and paralysis. DUI-related crashes also cost the United States over $132 billion each year. That’s $500 for every adult!

 

Moreover, there are still days that pose a high risk of DUI during the fall season. Obviously there are the numerous fall and winter holidays that tend to come with parties and drinking. But even beyond those times, there are others. Friday nights, for example, the night of the local homecoming dance, or the hours after a football game may have more drunk or tipsy drivers out on the road than usual.

 

Bottom line: it’s important to know that DUI is a deadly risk no matter what time of year it is.

 

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Young drivers in concentrated areas. Teenagers and young drivers may not be out on the road as often during the school year, but there’s a tradeoff – they all tend to be on the road all at the same time and in the same location. If you drive anywhere near a school while classes are in session, be on high alert.

 

This is a group that has high rates of distracted driving and less experience behind the wheel. If you have young drivers or students driving to school this fall, be sure to educate them on the risks of texting and driving, as well as other safe driving habits such as staying below the speed limit, not engaging drivers who have road rage, and so on.

 

Distracted driving. Teens are the only ones on the road who can get distracted. It’s probably something we’ve all been guilty of from time to time, but with today’s technology this has continued to become a bigger and bigger problem. If you see someone on the road who clearly isn’t paying attention, stay as far away as possible.

 

As you can see, while the highest risks statistically end with summer, this does not mean you can leave all caution to the wind. Continue your best driving practices, and be sure to teach them to your children as they sit behind the wheel for the first time.

 

If You Do Suffer a Car Accident Injury, Understand the Statute of Limitations

 

If You Do Suffer a Car Accident Injury, Understand the Statute of Limitations in Florida

 

It’s not uncommon for us to put off health and finance matters during the summer time. We may be worried about vacation, taking our children back to school, or maybe the timing just isn’t right.

 

But this can be paralyzing. If you wait a while, you may start to feel like you’ve waited too long. That there’s no point in dealing with it now since you’ve put if off for so long.

 

Don’t fall prey to this defeatist line of thinking. Auto injuries can lead to thousands in medical bills and even more in lost wages if it takes you a while to recover. If you were injured in a car accident this summer due to someone else’s negligence, you may still be able to receive compensation for your injuries.

 

In fact, even if you were injured in a car accident the previous summer, you are still allowed to file a lawsuit in civil court. According to Florida’s personal injury statute of limitations, you have four years after the date of the accident to file a claim until it becomes invalid.

 

While it is important to file your claim early (it is typically harder to gather evidence after a long period of time), it is still legal to do so within that four-year period. This is a common occurrence for victims of an auto accident that did not experience symptoms from that accident until months – or even years – later.

 

Whether your auto accident occurred in winter, spring, summer, or fall, you’re going to need an experienced personal injury lawyer to give you the best chance at winning the compensation you deserve. Get in contact with us today for a free case review.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year 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.

How to Prevent DUI Accidents in Florida

How to Prevent DUI Accidents

How to Prevent DUI Accidents in Florida

 

A DUI accident is one of the most common roadway accidents. But they’re also the most preventable accidents.

 

According to the FBI, in 2013 over 1.2 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. And in 2012, 29.1 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol. That’s nearly 10 million more people than we have here in the entire state of Florida!

 

These statistics show that many people still have a cavalier attitude regarding driving under the influence. Despite the severe and often harmful consequences that can result from a DUI arrest or DUI accident, drivers are still getting behind the wheel when they’ve had too much to drink.

 

So how can we prevent these accidents from happening?

 

We can attack this serious problem from two angles. First, what you should do if you are the one drinking alcohol. And second, what you should do if you see a drunk driver on the road.

 

If You Are Drinking Alcohol

 

If you enjoy drinking socially, you don’t have to completely stop drinking, but you do have to be responsible. While you might think you are fine to drive, the reality may be very different.

 

Since everyone reacts to alcohol differently depending on age, weight, whether they’ve had food, and what type of alcoholic beverage they are drinking, it might be difficult to tell if you are impaired or over the legal alcohol limit of 0.08. That’s why, if you’ve been drinking – even a little – it’s better to be safe and find another way home than to get behind the wheel.

 

So if you’re out having a few beers or a glass of wine, here are a few tips on how to avoid a DUI and an accident.

 

Pick a designated driver. Before you go out drinking, choose a designated driver – someone who won’t be drinking any alcohol. This way, you know you’ll have a safe and sober ride home. Then the next time you go out, someone else can be the sober one.

 

Call a taxi or a ride-sharing service. If everyone is drinking, call a taxi or a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft to come pick you up. It’s better to spend a few bucks on a ride home than to risk everything that comes with driving drunk, and today there are more options than ever before. Speaking of which…

 

Use Tow to Go if it’s a holiday. Both AAA and Budweiser understand that people like to go out and celebrate during certain holidays, so they’ve partnered to create Tow to Go. This program will give you a ride within a 10-miles radius and tow your car on St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and other holidays throughout the year.

 

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If You See a Drunk Driver

 

Drunk drivers often display signs that could alert you to the fact that they’re impaired. These signs include:

 

  • Swerving in their lane
  • Making wide turns
  • Driving below the speed limit
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Reacting slowly to traffic signals
  • Braking suddenly or without reason
  • Almost hitting another object
  • Driving on the curb
  • Drifting from their lane
  • Driving in two lanes
  • Driving without their lights on in the dark

 

If you see a driver exhibiting any of these drunk driving signs, you should never attempt to stop the car or get the driver’s attention as you may be endangering your safety and the safety of others. Instead, keep a safe distance, get as much information about the car and its location as possible, safely pull over, and call the police department.

 

Sometimes, regardless of how cautious we are, an accident unfortunately happens. If you are ever injured in a DUI accident, you should contact an experienced auto accident lawyer to see if you are entitled to any damages for your injuries.

 

About the Author:

 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year 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.

 

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How to Recognize an Intoxicated Driver

Though you yourself may be a skilled, responsible, and cautious driver, there will always be other dangerous drivers on Florida roadways that threaten the safety of you and your family.

 

As a driver, you can reduce the risk of serious auto accident by abiding by traffic laws and abstaining from drinking and driving. But how do you protect yourself if another driver on your commute is drunk or otherwise intoxicated? What about when the very laws that are supposed to protect you actually help people drive drunk?

 

You can avoid becoming a victim of a DUI accident by remaining vigilant while driving, and keeping an eye out for these common signs of intoxication among other drivers:

 

Swerving. You can often identify a drunk driver by the way they veer in and out of lanes. Oftentimes, drunk drivers swerve because their perception of distance is impaired and their ability to focus is challenged.

 

Making overly wide turns. Similarly, drunk drivers often exaggerate turns and other basic maneuvers because their distance perception is impaired.

 

Straddling the lane divide. You may notice that drunk drivers stay very close to the center lane divider in order to try and avoid veering off the road.

 

Braking erratically. Drinking will cause a driver’s reaction time to slow, so it’s not uncommon to see intoxicated drivers brake erratically in delayed response to a traffic signal, object, or other car.

 

Driving unnecessarily slow. Drunk drivers will often drive 10 mph below the speed limit in an attempt to be cautious and avoid notice.

 

Tailgating. You may notice that drunk drivers will follow other vehicles closely, hoping to straighten out their own driving by imitating others.

 

Signaling inconsistently. Drunk drivers often fail to signal or use signals that are inconsistent with their actions—for instance, signaling a left turn but turning right.

 

Neglecting to use headlights. In their drunken haze, intoxicated drivers may fail to dim their brights or neglect to use their headlights entirely at night.

 

Striking or almost striking an object, curb, or other car.  Drunk drivers often suffer from blurred vision, hindered reaction time, and drowsiness, making them more prone to collide into curbs and other objects.

 

Driving on the wrong side of the road. Drunk drivers may drive on the wrong side of the road or on the shoulder, or turn the wrong way down a one-way street without even realizing their error.

 

What to Do if You Spot a Drunk Driver

 

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So what do you do if you spot a drunk driver and believe that your own safety might be jeopardized? To keep you and your family out of harm’s way, follow the steps below if you spot a drunk driver on the road:

 

  1. Distance yourself as much as possible from the vehicle of the driver you believe is drunk.
  2. Do not attempt to pass the suspected drunk driver’s vehicle.
  3. Note their license plate number and vehicle make, model, and color. But remember—do not endanger yourself while trying to collect this information.
  4. Pull over and report the suspected impaired driver to the police. Provide officers with the vehicle’s location and the direction of travel. Describe the vehicle and the driver’s behavior.

 

If you do become a victim of a drunk driving accident despite your own efforts to avoid it, contact a DUI accident attorney as soon as possible. A skilled attorney can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering. By holding the drunk driver accountable, you and your attorney can work to prevent drunk driving accidents from happening in the future.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year 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.

 

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Loophole in Law Keeps Drunk Drivers on Our Streets

Boca Raton DUI Accidents Lawyer

If you or a family member has even been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you probably understand why Florida DUI laws are so strict. Tough DUI laws not only encourage drivers to think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking,” quote=” Tough DUI laws not only encourage drivers to think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking, they allow officers to pull over drivers they have reason to believe are intoxicated. By doing so, they remove these dangerous drivers from the road, and make our streets and highways safer for other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

 

But a newly discovered loophole in the law is unleashing many drunk drivers back onto the road after they’ve been pulled over. It was local criminal defense attorney Warren Redlich that brought attention to this loophole, pointing out that a driver can avoid being charged with a DUI simply by refusing to roll down their window. By keeping the car window up, a driver makes it much harder for officers to smell alcohol, hear slurred speech, or detect other indications of intoxication.

 

As Redlich explained to reporters from NBC Miami, “normally what [police officers] look for is: Do you have impaired speech? Do you have impaired motor coordination? Does he smell of alcohol? If you don’t roll down your window and don’t speak, you’ve taken away some of those.”

 

According to Redlich, drivers should refrain from rolling down their windows entirely, and instead show a card that reads “I remain silent. No searches. I want my lawyer,” along with their license, registration, and insurance.

 

Today, YouTube videos of drivers following Redlich’s advice are going viral, with many clips depicting drivers refusing to roll down their windows and simply being waved through DUI checkpoints.

 

Why Is this Loophole So Dangerous?

 

West Palm Beach DUI Accidents Attorneu

Redlich and drivers who employ his tactic to skirt DUI checkpoints argue that they are asserting their rights. In actuality, they are making Florida roads much more dangerous for everyone around them. DUI checkpoints exist to keep intoxicated drivers off the road, and this loophole allows them to pass through the checkpoint and continue on driving along our roads, where they can easily cause auto accidents, injury, and destruction.

 

It is likely that the only individuals who would resort to such a loophole are drivers who are trying to hide alcohol on their breath, slurred speech, and delayed responses—the very people DUI laws are meant to keep off the road. People who have been drinking—even if they are not quite over the legal limit—are a big threat to their fellow drivers, pedestrians, and surroundings. The common negative effects of alcohol consumption on a driver include:

 

  • Reduced coordination
  • Limited capacity to track moving objects
  • Slowed response to emergency situations
  • Difficulty steering
  • Difficulty controlling speed
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Impaired perception
  • Limited capacity for processing information

 

With this loophole, impaired or intoxicated drivers suffering from these and other alcoholic effects are allowed to continue driving on Florida roadways, where they are likely to cause problems, including accident and injury.

 

If you or someone you love has been injured due to a drunk driver who was released back onto the road because of this legal loophole, contact a top DUI accident attorney. A skilled attorney will be able to help you obtain compensation for medical expenses, repair fees, and overall pain and suffering. What’s more, you’ll be able to raise awareness of the negative consequences of this unfortunate loophole in our vital Florida DUI laws.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year 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.

 

 

Prescription and OTC Drugs Can Impair Drivers

Prescription and OTC Drugs Can Impair Drivers

Prescription and OTC Drugs Can Impair Drivers
In recent years, law enforcement agencies across the country have been cracking down on drunk drivers. With new marijuana legislation sweeping the nation, it looks like another crackdown could be right around the corner for individuals caught driving under the influence of marijuana. But while these are important steps to take in the fight against DUIs and DWIs, and it is extremely important to patrol drivers’ use of alcohol and marijuana, these are not the only drugs that can cause impairment.

 

When it comes to impaired driving, prescription and over-the-counter drugs can be just as harmful as any illegal drugs – especially if you’re on the receiving end of an accident with an impaired driver.

 

The Real Dangers of Prescription Drugs

 

Most of us tend to think that if something comes to us from a doctor, that makes it totally safe. We believe this even if the drugs in question issue clear warnings about engaging in certain activities, such as operating heavy machinery. But did you know that it goes even further than that?

 

As the FDA points out, even over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be extremely dangerous. According to them, some of the most dangerous OTC drugs when it comes to driving impaired include:

 

  • Antihistamines
  • Antidiarrheals
  • Anti-emetics

 

Each of these drugs can cause drowsiness, which can be very dangerous for drivers. While it may seem minor, drowsiness behind the wheel is no laughing matter. As reported by DrowsyDriving,org, driver fatigue accounts for approximately 100,000 car crashes each year. These accidents result in approximately 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries annually. So whether you’re driving a car, a motorcycle, or a bus, it’s imperative that your head is clear while you’re behind the wheel.

 

To protect yourself and others against impaired driving under the influence of OTC or prescription drugs, make sure to follow these few simple rules:

 

  1. Read the warning labels. If an OTC drug package says something like “May cause drowsiness,” or, “After taking this drug, be careful when driving or operating machinery,” heed these warnings.
  2. Read the ingredients lists. Make sure to read the ingredients lists on all OTC medicines, and make note of each active ingredient’s designated use. If any of the ingredients are used as antihistamines, antidiarrheals, or anti-emetics, be on your guard.
  3. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Make sure that your doctor knows which drugs you are taking and if you have any preexisting conditions. You never know how drugs may interact with one another, or what effects they may have on your body.

 

Bear in mind that even if a drug seems harmless, and even if you have taken the drug multiple times without any effects, you can never be too cautious. Today is a new day and you never know how a drug will affect you this time around.

 

If You’ve Been Injured By An Impaired Driver, Fight Back

 

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All of this is important for injury victims to know, too, because if you’ve been injured in an auto accident, it’s vital not to automatically rule out the possibility of DUI. Even if you don’t smell booze or marijuana on the other driver, it’s still very possible that other drugs may have been involved.

 

According to CBS News:

 

  • Almost 70% of Americans use prescription drugs
  • More than 50% of Americans take two or more prescriptions
  • 20% of Americans are using five or more prescription drugs

 

Even though these drugs are perfectly legal to consume, there isn’t a single prescription out there that doesn’t come with some risk of side effects. Sometimes, these side effects can be serious. This means that anyone who uses a prescription drug, no matter how legal it is, can be at risk of impairment.

 

[clickToTweet tweet=”If you’ve been injured by someone driving under the influence of prescription drugs, fight for the justice u deserve.” quote=”If you’ve been injured by someone driving under the influence of prescription drugs, fight for the justice that you deserve.”]

 

Contact an accident attorney at The South Florida Injury Law Firm today.

 

Planning a Safe Holiday Party

Planning a Safe Holiday Party

Planning a Safe Holiday Party
It doesn’t matter if a party has exquisite desserts, a spot-on D.J., or unforgettable entertainment—if a guest gets injured, your celebration automatically becomes a tragedy. If you’re throwing a party or hosting a dinner this holiday season, keeping your guests happy, well-fed, and safe should all be top priories.

 

Unfortunately, ensuring guest safety is not always easy when there’s alcohol involved. If you serve cocktails, wine, or beer at your party, there’s a good chance that a few guests will be a little tipsy by the time they’re ready to drive home. In order to promote guest safety and reduce the number of drivers leaving your party drunk, here are some tips for responsible holiday party planning.

 

Plan ahead. When your guests RSVP, ask how they are planning to get home from your party. If they don’t have a safe method, suggest options such as local public transportation and ride-sharing services.

 

Serve plenty of food. If your guests are drinking on an empty stomach, they will absorb the alcohol more quickly into their system. By offering plenty of snacks and treats to munch on throughout the night, you can help slow down this process and keep guests from getting too drunk or sick. Avoid serving popcorn, salted nuts, and other salty snacks—these can make people thirsty and cause them to drink more.

 

Serve non-alcoholic beverages. You’ll need something to offer the designated drivers, after all. And by encouraging everyone to drink non-alcoholic beverages, you help guests stay hydrated and reduce their chances of becoming ill from drinking too much.  

 

Monitor alcohol consumption. Keep an eye on guests, and don’t be afraid to speak up if someone has had a few too many. Never push drinks or rush to refill empty glasses—remember, you don’t need alcohol to have a great night.

 

Limit your own alcohol intake. To be a good host, you need to limit your own alcohol intake to encourage guests to follow suit. Don’t forget—at the end of the night, you’ll need to be clear-headed enough determine who is sober enough to drive home.

 

Never serve alcohol to minors. If you are found serving alcohol to minors at your party, you can face serious charges. And if minors leave your party intoxicated, you may be held responsible if they are injured in an accident.

 

Provide non-alcoholic games and entertainment.  Plan activities not centered on alcohol, such as party games, dancing, and karaoke. When you keep your guests engaged with entertaining activities rather than drinking, you can help reduce their alcohol consumption.

 

Stop serving alcohol towards the end of the night. Most people metabolize alcohol at the rate of one drink per hour. Give your guests plenty of time to sober up before driving home. After you close the bar, offer guests coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, and food to facilitate the sober-up process.

 

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Never let guests drive home impaired. If a guest appears intoxicated, offer them alternatives to driving home such as taking a taxi or ride share. Keep blankets and pillows handy so you can give your guests a comfortable place to spend the night if they can’t find a safe way home.

 

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and celebration, and it would be devastating if you or someone you care about was injured in an accident. You can reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road and contribute to the overall safety of your community this holiday season by planning your parties responsibly.

 

Unfortunately, just because you behave conscientiously doesn’t mean other hosts and partygoers will. If you or a loved one suffers harm because of a drunk driver’s recklessness, contact an experienced auto accident lawyer. A skilled and seasoned lawyer can make sure you receive fair compensation, which can cover medical costs and other expenses related to your long-term well-being and recovery.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year 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.