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Hit & Run Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

Hit & Run Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

There are a lot of considerations to keep in mind when behind the wheel. Overall, the most important thing is your safety and the safety of those around you. However, accidents happen. And in most cases, the important thing isn’t the damage to vehicles, property, or scenery; what’s important is the safety of everyone involved. In instances of a car accident, drivers often know to safely assess the situation, discuss with the other driver or involved persons, and call for emergency assistance when necessary. Unfortunately, some drivers don’t stick around, electing to flee the scene or “hit and run.” Hit and run accidents don’t always involve a threat to human life, but you can’t know for sure if you flee the scene. Despite the panic and worry related to a car accident, fleeing the scene, along with its consequences, is exponentially worse. February is Hit & Run Awareness Month, and hopefully, this blog helps you understand the grave risks associated with hit and run accidents. What Constitutes a Hit and Run in Florida? A hit and run is fairly straightforward in definition and law. Any accident in which one person is involved where the at-fault party or any other involved party flees is considered a hit and run. A hit and run is a serious offense in the state of Florida and shows gross ignorance to the consequences of an accident and the safety of others. It’s crucial, no matter how minor or how bad the accident may seem, that the individuals involved stay at the scene. Hit and Run Statistics in Florida In Florida, hit and run incidents...
Driving Tips: Stay Safe on the Road During Severe Weather

Driving Tips: Stay Safe on the Road During Severe Weather

A lot of the perks of living in Tampa involve the gorgeous climate. There are plenty of amazing things to do in Florida that involve the weather, but like any place, things aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. In fact, Florida can experience a number of severe weather events that make it quite difficult to call Florida the Sunshine State. For a lot of Florida residents, their experience dealing with severe weather is vastly lower than those in other parts of the country. For example, if you’ve lived your entire life in Florida, you’ve likely never dealt with snow or earthquakes. Which isn’t to trivialize what we do experience here, including flash flooding and hurricanes. The climate just lends itself to warmer, drier weather than other parts of the South and Eastern states. When it comes to driving in severe weather, the trick is to stay calm and follow a few key tips that can keep you safe until you reach your destination. As we’ll discuss, there are even some instances where the safest thing to do is to pull over and wait things out. We’ll go over different scenarios and tips for best traversing Florida’s severe weather. Let’s first start with what sort of weather is most common in the Sunshine State. The Most Dangerous Severe Weather in Florida Florida isn’t known to have many snowstorms or mudslides, but severe weather is still a threat in this part of the country. A number of some of the world’s most deadly weather events can occur in the state of Florida. Most notably, hurricanes pose a huge risk. The past few...
Holiday Driving Safety Tips

Holiday Driving Safety Tips

A lot of people all over the country hit the road for the holidays. This time of year, more people plan trips to places like Tampa for a number of reasons. Firstly, many look to visit family for the holidays. The season is all about being with loved ones. Of course, some also choose this time of year to get a break from family! That means trips to warmer, more vacation-friendly places like Tampa. Some of these trips involve entire families, and others involve just a couple looking to avoid the harsh winter people experience up north. No matter the reason, one thing is for sure: holiday driving is stressful. From weather concerns to keep an eye out for hazards and an additional police presence, here are some driving safety tips for you as you plan for your holiday travel. Holiday Driving Safety Tips: Three Things to Remember for Seasonal Travel If you’re not staying in the area and enjoying the fun Tampa holiday events happening around town, you’re likely driving somewhere else. So, what do you need to know about driving during the holidays? Many of these tips can help keep you out of accidents, trouble with the law, and as far away from a holiday-induced stress attack as you want to be. Firstly, let’s talk about something we don’t see a lot of in Tampa: winter weather. Winter Weather Gets Wild — Driving in Snow with Little Experience For Florida drivers, snow can really throw things for a loop during holiday travel. If you’re heading to see family or friends in the more northern states, you can...
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...