Call For A Free Consultation With Local Attorneys

Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Law Blog

Fatal Florida crash met with low charges from prosecutors

What if someone you love lost their lives on the road? It's hard to imagine the horror and sadness that descend immediately when you learn of a loss like that. There are other emotions as well, including rage, which must be controlled. Although there is no way to make up for a death, there are ways of protecting a family in an uncertain future.

Criminal charges may seem light compared to the cost of an accident to a family or community. Sometimes, a violation of the law may have severe consequences but prosecutors fail to secure serious charges with a high penalty. Even if they do, the imprisonment of an offender may seem cold comfort after such pain.

Pedestrian death is Lee County's 22nd traffic fatality this year

Drivers are licensed in Florida because they take a lot of responsibility in their hands when they drive vehicles in public. They are also made to understand the risks and hazards related to driving. But pedestrians do not always have this knowledge and rarely have the responsibility.

The sheer mass and potential speed of a motor vehicle of any type or size makes any collision with a person or a bicycle possibly fatal. People on the street or sidewalk have no physical protection against the metal and rubber of a car or truck at any speed. Any collision should be reported, no matter the gravity of injuries or damage.

Protect your pet, limit distraction by restraining dogs in cars

Most people who have dogs love taking their pets with them wherever they can. Even if it is just for a short trip to run a drive-thru errand, many Florida residents will load up the dog in the car to go along for the ride. Of course, with the many outdoor activities around Fort Walton, dogs are often in vehicles for longer periods of time as drivers travel toward their destinations.

You may be someone who loves taking your pooch with you whenever you can. However, it is important to remember that dogs need proper restraints while riding in a vehicle for their own safety, your safety and the safety of those around you. You should also keep in mind that dogs in cars can add significant distractions to drivers, which could pose problems on the roadway.

Pedestrians face major risks on the road

Pedestrians in Oklahoma may face a greater danger than they have in the past 20 years, according to one study by the Governors Highway Safety Administration. Researchers say that pedestrian fatalities in motor vehicle accidents have reached their highest point since 1988. According to the report, which is gleaned from federal crash data, 6,590 pedestrians were killed in car crashes in 2019. Between 2009 and 2019, this would mark a 60% increase in pedestrian fatalities, even as other types of motor vehicle accident deaths increased by only 2% during the same time period.

U.S. Senate hears arguments for, against teen trucker bill

Federal lawmakers recently convened a hearing to learn more about a proposed bill that would allow commercial truck drivers under the age of 21 to operate on interstate routes through Florida and elsewhere. Right now, young commercial drivers are only allowed to operate on intrastate routes in 49 states.

The bipartisan bill, which was introduced by Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., in February 2019, is called the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act, or the DRIVE-Safe Act. If passed, it would let commercial truck drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 enter a 400-hour apprenticeship program that includes probationary periods and a minimum of 240 hours of supervised commercial motor vehicle driving time. Drivers who complete this training would then be able to travel interstate routes across the U.S.

Accidents increased in 2018 in Florida

Over 400,000 motor vehicle accidents occurred across the state of Florida in 2018 according to data released from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Almost 35% of the crashes occurred in the southern portion of the state in large cities such as Miami.

The number of accidents increased slightly from 402,385 in 2017 to 403,626 in 2018. The numbers translate to an average of 1,106 crashes happening per day in the state. Experts believe that distracted drivers may be the reason behind the increase. Substances are also a factor as over 5,000 of the accidents were caused by a driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The most common sources of impairment while driving

Whether you live in the area, come for the beaches or visit for some other reason, Fort Walton Beach attracts a lot of people. Not all of them are considering your safety or even their own safety. Instead, they are driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both.

Since impaired drivers still present a substantial risk to everyone on the road, authorities continue to gather data on the subject in order to try to find ways to reduce or eliminate their numbers. What they have determined is that there are common substances leading to impaired driving and the accidents it causes.

How CMV drivers can combat fatigue

Many CMV drivers in Florida and across the U.S. have to struggle with fatigue when on the road, and perhaps they become negligent in not doing enough about it. With the following tips, though, truckers can be more proactive in dealing with fatigue as well as preventing it in the first place.

The only real solution to fatigue, of course, is sleep. Truckers should also avoid driving during those times of the day when the body is naturally tired: for example, between 2 pm and 4 pm and between midnight and 6 am. Diet influences the quality of sleep, so truckers should eat well and regularly. Try not to go to bed with an empty stomach or after a heavy meal. Also, avoid medications that induce drowsiness.

Report calls for updating of NHTSA safety ratings

Back in the 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration created a program to perform crash tests with dummies as a way to determine vehicle safety. In the 1990s, this program developed the 5-star safety rating system that many drivers in Florida are no doubt familiar with. While the rating system has certainly helped improve vehicle safety, it may be falling behind the times.

This was the contention of a report released in October 2019 by a member of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. The author points out that the federal government has promised new test procedures for evolving vehicle technology as well as new crash dummies to better represent vehicle occupants, but these have yet to be fulfilled. The U.S. is lagging behind Europe, which conducts four times as many crash tests for rating cars.

Impaired driving involves more than just drugs and alcohol

There are many reasons why car accidents happen, but human error is the leading cause. The choices that Florida drivers make behind the wheel matter, and when they are negligent or reckless, these choices can needlessly endanger others. One of the most common poor choices drivers make is to get behind the wheel while impaired, greatly increasing the chance of car accidents.

Impaired driving encompasses a wide range of behaviors. It includes anything that affects a driver's focus, causes the removal of hands from the wheel or affects cognition and decision-making ability. There is no excuse for this type of negligence, and a driver is responsible for the ways his or her choices affect others. If you are the victim of an accident caused by an impaired driver, you do not have to suffer through the aftermath in silence.

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.

Contact Us Today
Email Us For A Response

We Handle Cases on a Contingency Fee Basis Tell Us About Your Case - Free Consultations

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Fort Walton Beach
975 Mar Walt Drive
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

Phone: 850-659-2252
Fax: 850-864-4526
Fort Walton Beach Law Office Map

544 US Highway 90 East
Defuniak Springs, FL 32433

Phone: 850-659-2252
Fax: 850-864-4526
Map & Directions

Destin Office
4507 Furling Lane
Suite 214
Destin, FL 32541

Phone: 850-842-2573
Map & Directions