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Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Law Blog

Ways to prevent road rage

Drivers in Florida and every other state across the nation have seen a rise in road rage. Actions like tailgating, yelling, honking in anger, and making obscene gestures are commonplace. These actions can lead to car accidents and fatal consequences. However, there are ways individuals can prevent road rage.

It is important for each individual to take steps to reduce their own stress. This includes getting the proper amount of sleep. Early morning road rage is common because of the amount of stress that people are under when they try to get to work on time. Workers can reduce this early-morning stress by preparing breakfast and lunch and picking out their clothing the night before.

Technology and car design can help reduce distracted driving

You know that distracted driving is a significant safety problem. In fact, you probably notice it everyday as you drive to work or run errands, seeing Florida drivers do things like eat a meal, talk on the phone, look at their phone or even put on make-up. Distractions can come in many forms, and they are all dangerous.

Anything that takes a driver's attention from the task of driving safely and paying attention to what is going on outside of the vehicle is risky. Technology is the source of various types of distraction, but it may also be a very important component of preventing it as well. Developers and automakers are working on ways to implement technology so that it actually improves safety and reduce the chance of an accident.

Sleep-deprived truckers present a roadway threat

Florida truckers may rank among some of the most sleep-deprived workers in the state. The consequences can be significant not only for the truckers, who may suffer increased risks of serious health effects, but also for everyone else sharing the road as truck driver fatigue is a major contributor to serious trucking accidents. According to one study released by Ball State University, 35.6% of Americans received inadequate nightly sleep, assessed by researchers as seven hours nightly or less. This is a nearly 5% increase from a 2010 study, which showed 30.9% of Americans receiving insufficient nightly sleep.

There are several professions with high levels of insufficient sleep, including health care support workers, police and military officers, production workers, and trucking and transportation workers. While 32% of truckers were sleep-deprived in 2010, 41% reported insufficient sleep in 2018. There are a number of consequences associated with inadequate sleep. People who are sleep-deprived have higher levels of chronic illness, premature death and mental health issues. There are also major safety concerns about truck driver fatigue. Drowsy driving is linked to a number of serious truck accidents. These collisions are far more likely to be deadly or cause serious injuries to people in passenger vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists due to the size and weight of large trucks.

Survey reveals steps parents take to reduce teen driving risks

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in Florida and around the country, and distraction is often a factor in collisions involving young drivers. A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan suggests that parents are aware of these risks and are encouraging teenagers to develop safe habits both when they are behind the wheel and when they are passengers. The researchers based their findings on a survey of 900 parents with children between the ages of 14 and 18.

The most common road safety concerns parents had were cellphone use, loud music and trips with two or more teens in a vehicle. Six out of 10 of the parents surveyed said that their children had at least one friend who was prone to distraction while driving. Half of the parents told researchers that they addressed this problem by placing limits on trips with two or more teens. Four out of 10 said that they lowered the risks by restricting highway driving.

Calling police after a car accident is usually the right move

You and many other Florida residents or visitors may feel shaken after a car accident. It can certainly feel overwhelming, and numerous thoughts and concerns may immediately flood your mind. You may wonder what you will do about your vehicle and how the accident will affect your future. You may also feel pain from resulting injuries and worry about their severity. You may also feel uncertain about properly handling the situation overall.

In particular, you may wonder whether calling the police is necessary after a car accident. In some cases, you and others may not think it is necessary because the incident was a minor fender-bender. However, it is often better to call emergency services just to be safe.

Drunk driving accidents can be deadly

Drunk driving poses a serious threat to people on the roads in Florida. Each day of the year, around 30 people lose their lives in collisions linked to drunk driving. In 2017 alone, one person was killed every 48 minutes by someone driving under the influence. Widespread public awareness campaigns have raised attention to the dangers of drunk driving, which has become increasingly socially unacceptable. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits have been lowered over the years. As a result, drunk-driving fatalities have declined by over 33% in the past 30 years.

Even so, motor vehicle accidents linked to drunk driving kill over 10,000 people each year and cause over $44 billion in damages. Alcohol is fundamentally dangerous when driving because it impairs judgment and reasoning, both of which are important when behind the wheel. Studies have shown that at a BAC of 0.08, the risk of accidents goes up significantly. In most states of the country, 0.08 is the legal limit. Individuals found driving above that limit can face drunk driving charges. However, even lower amounts can cause impairment for some people, and drivers with lower alcohol levels were involved in 1,837 deadly crashes in 2017.

Red-light running crashes, and what can reduce their rate

Every day in this country, two people are killed by drivers who run a red light. Florida residents should know that red-light runners impact the lives not only of other drivers but also of pedestrians and bicyclists. In a study of red-light running crashes, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the number of deaths arising from such crashes reached a 10-year high in 2017: 939 people were killed.

AAA is calling for everyone to be more careful around intersections. Drivers should watch for stale green lights and cover their brakes when preparing to enter intersections. Pedestrians and cyclists should not wear headphones and should stay in well-lit areas.

AAA on the increasing threat of drowsy driving

Florida residents may drive drowsily on occasion, but they should be aware that this can be as dangerous as driving while drunk or impaired by drugs. Fatigue can easily cause drivers to lose focus, make bad judgment calls and react slowly to dangers. Residents should be aware that drowsy driving is not only dangerous but also the cause of more car crashes than was previously thought.

Previous government studies estimated that 1% to 2% of all auto accidents involved drowsy driving. In 2018, AAA conducted a study that analyzed dashcam footage of 3,593 drivers who were involved in crashes. After discerning which drivers were drowsy based on the percentage of the time they spent with their eyes closed, researchers came to believe that something more like 9.5% of all car crashes involve drowsy drivers.

Insurify: car crashes involve Subaru Crosstreks the most

Subaru Crosstreks are at fault for 25.81% of all auto accidents that take place in Florida and the rest of the U.S., according to a survey from Insurify. The Crosstrek is responsible for more crashes than any other vehicle. The auto insurance comparison site has revealed nine other vehicles that cause a disproportionate number of accidents.

The Honda HR-V, the second vehicle on the list, is involved in 25.7% of car crashes. It should be mentioned that auto accidents affect 13.64% of all vehicle models on the road. The Hyundai Elantra GT ranked third followed by the Infiniti Q50 and Subaru WRX. The latter is known for having the highest proportion of speeding offenses of any vehicle.

What to do about the danger of drowsy driving

A AAA study from 2018 analyzed video footage of drivers just before they were in an accident, and based on that, researchers concluded that 9.5% of all accidents are caused by sleepy drivers. Residents of Florida should be aware of just how dangerous it is to be drowsy behind the wheel. They should also know how the dangers can be sidestepped.

It all begins with following the CDC's recommendation for at least seven hours of sleep each night. There is a sleep disorder, though, that can create issues even when one technically sleeps for the recommended time. It's called obstructive sleep apnea, and it leads to continual snoring and interrupted sleep. Those who suspect they have OSA may wish to consult their doctor.

Father And Son Team Working Together To Serve Our Clients

Our legal team consists of attorney Wm. Dennis Brannon and his son C. Paul Brannon. We work together as a father and son team to provide our clients with exceptional service and solutions in motor vehicle accident claims and other personal injury matters.

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