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Share the Road: Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Share the Road: Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

According to 2016 NHTSA fatal crash data, motorcyclist fatalities occurred 28 times more frequently than deadly crashes in other vehicles. As we begin Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, motorists are encouraged to take extra precaution while traveling Florida highways, interstates, and city streets. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, NHTSA, and the U.S. Department of Transportation offer these tips to help motorcyclists stay safe as warmer weather brings more bikers out and about. Make Sure You and Your Motorcycle Are Road Ready Unlike regular passenger cars and trucks, motorcycles have fewer moving parts. Maintaining bikes, however, is far more important for motorcycles than passenger cars. Making sure tire tread depth is at or above what the DOT suggests is imperative; brakes, fluid levels, and all other required maintenance items should be checked off prior to heading off into the sunset. Rider rules and regulations should also be studied prior to riding. As laws are updated often, check with your local DMV to assure you are aware of recent changes to motorcycle riding rules. While you are visiting the branch, make sure to sign up for riding courses if you are new to motorcycle riding. These safety course will cover many rules and regulations that are necessary to stay safe while traversing Florida. Wear Proper Protective Gear Helmets may be an uncomfortable inconvenience for riders, but they are vital protective items that could save your brain from serious injury should your bike slam to the pavement unexpectedly. Protection for your eyes, legs and arms is vital, too. The expense involved with purchasing protective gear gives you and your...
Bicycle Accidents in Florida: An Epidemic?

Bicycle Accidents in Florida: An Epidemic?

Florida’s weather makes it a great state for cycling most of the year. Unfortunately, our roadways tend to be less than bike-friendly. While around 2% of the traffic fatalities in the US are bicyclists, Florida’s rate is easily more than double that. When a negligent driver in Florida causes an accident with a bicyclist, it is no surprise that the person with the most serious or grave injuries is the rider. Without a helmet, spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries are more common. Although not all roadway safety specialists agree on the specific reasons for that, there are certainly numerous factors that almost definitely play a role. The per-capita bicyclist death rate in Florida is almost 60% higher compared to the next closest state. As per the NHTSA report based on latest data from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, there are 6.2 deaths per 100,000 people in Florida, compared to just 3.9 deaths per 100,000 people for Louisiana from 2007-2016. To reduce the risk of an accident, bicyclists are encouraged to wear helmets, be more careful when riding close to vehicles, and stay visible by wearing reflective and bright clothing. Although there is no denying that these practices go a long way towards helping bicyclists lower their risks, they are often at the mercy of the vehicles surrounding them. At Burnett Law, our Florida bicycle accident attorneys are dedicated to helping bicycle accident victims. Our attorneys can provide you the legal advocacy and support you need in order to recover damages for your injuries. Causes of Fatal Bicycle Accidents in Florida According to the statistics published in the Florida...
Pedestrian and Motorist Liability in Florida Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian and Motorist Liability in Florida Pedestrian Accidents

Florida has one of the highest rates of fatal pedestrian accidents in the country. Due to an overabundance of highway construction and congested city streets, Florida ranked fifth in pedestrian accidents resulting in death in 2017, trailing Arizona by .17 deaths for the top spot. Hillsborough County is especially brutal for those who rely on their legs to commute, although traversing Miami-Dade by foot is more dangerous than nearly all counties combined. Inadequate pedestrian safety is a pervasive issue in Florida. But what many residents of Hillsborough County may not know are what rights and responsibilities pedestrians have when using Tampa sidewalks and crosswalks and what level of proof is required to compensate victims of pedestrian accidents in Florida for their unwarranted injuries. Pedestrian Responsibility When Crossing an Intersection Section 316.130 of The 2018 Florida Statutes underscores pedestrian laws when using crosswalks and sidewalks. According to this section of code, pedestrians must: Obey the instruction of any traffic control device; Use sidewalks when available, avoiding the use of roadways designated for vehicles; Walk along the left shoulder when sidewalks are not available; Not leave the sidewalk or curb abruptly, making it impossible for a vehicle to yield; Not cross diagonally unless instructed by a traffic control officer to do so; and, Follow traffic control signals when in use. Despite lawful use of sidewalks and crosswalks, accidents still happen. Motorist Responsibility when Pedestrians are Present Similarly, motorists have rules that must be followed when pedestrians are present. They include: Stopping before crosswalks when traffic signal is red; Allowing pedestrians permitted to cross to do so before proceeding; Yielding to pedestrians...
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Florida

The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Florida

Most car accidents in Florida share similar factors with those across the country. And like those car accidents, many can be avoided by making better choices behind the wheel. So far this year, Florida has seen 317,721 reported car crashes. More than a third of those led to injuries to the involved parties and over 2,000 led to fatalities. Just over seven percent of Florida car accidents occurred in Hillsborough County. Almost half of the car accidents reported in Hillsborough County this year have resulted in injuries, though thankfully, the County has seen a lower percentage of fatalities than the state at large. (Statistics are accurate as of 10/25/2018.) The 5 Top Causes of Car Accidents in Florida Below are the five top causes of car accidents in Florida and why they may occur. Distracted Driving Floridians, like other Americans, love their smartphones. Unfortunately, those same smartphones are a huge distraction when we’re in our vehicles. And it isn’t just our smartphones that are taking our attention away from the road. Switching radio stations, eating, drinking, having a conversation with a passenger—all of these are considered distracted driving and they each affect our ability to concentrate on the road in a different way. When we’re driving, we need to visually concentrate on the road in front of us and the vehicles around us. We need to have our hands on the wheels, physically responding to traffic and any obstacles on the road. In addition, we have to be focused on what we’re doing mentally so we can anticipate the actions of those around us and make smart choices. When...