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Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Law Blog

Spinal cord injuries often present issue after issue

No one wants to end up in a situation that results in a severe injury. Unfortunately, incidents that cause serious brain, spine or other catastrophic injuries cannot always be avoided. In fact, it is common for these injuries to result from sudden accidents.

When it comes to spinal cord injuries, car accidents are the most common cause. Because you and most other people travel the roads almost daily for various reasons, you all often face the risk of suffering this severe injury. In many cases, the injury-causing events result due to someone else's negligent or reckless behaviors.

New Volvo cars promise to curb drunk driving in Florida

Drivers in Florida will soon have more options to combat drunk driving. Volvo has announced that it plans to install technology in its cars that may help prevent crashes caused by drunk driving. The company plans to put the technology in its cars in the early 2020s.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that about 30 Americans die every day in automobile crashes caused by drunk driving. The new technology is designed to reduce the number of accidents caused by drunk driving by preventing accidents from occurring. This is an advance over technology that simply reduces the severity of the accidents.

NSC: first responders put at serious risk by distracted drivers

Florida residents should know that crashes involving fire trucks, police cars and ambulances are common; they led to 37 deaths and more than 17,000 injuries in 2013. The trend continues with the first four months of 2019 already seeing the deaths of 16 emergency responders who were struck by vehicles as they helped others on the side of the road.

The National Safety Council and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute conducted a survey to determine just how strong of a link there is between this trend and another dangerous trend: distracted driving. The NSC released the results in time for Distracted Driving Awareness Month (which is every April).

How can you know who is at fault in your car accident?

Florida car accident victims have no warning that their lives are about to change forever. You may be driving down the road one second, and in the next moment, you could find yourself in pain and facing the reality that you could have serious injuries. The moments and days after an accident are often overwhelming, and it is not always immediately clear what you should do next. 

If your accident was the result of the negligent or reckless actions of another person, you could have grounds to move forward with a civil claim. The hard part often involves figuring out who is actually to blame for what happened to you. The issue of liability is not always easy to figure out, but it's an important step if you wish to fight for financial compensation.

IIHS: newer pickups raise injury risk for passengers, not drivers

Since 2017, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been crash-testing modern two-row pickup trucks for both passenger and driver safety. Previously, it focused solely on driver safety. Florida residents should know that out of 10 pickups analyzed, eight received the highest rating of "good" for driver safety. Two, the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Frontier, received a rating of "marginal." These results are outstanding when compared to passenger safety.

It turns out that passengers are more likely to suffer injury or death in these newer pickups than drivers are. Out of the same 10 pickups, only three had "good" performance: the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan. Below those models were two, the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline, that were deemed "acceptable."

Nevada considers technology to check phones after crashes

The state of Nevada may introduce controversial new technology that can help law enforcement determine whether cell phone usage played a part in motor vehicle accidents. The New York legislature rejected a measure to use the technology in 2017, but the state is also considering it again. The first version of the proposal before the Nevada legislature allowed drivers' licenses to be suspended for 90 days if they would not agree to have their phones checked, but the proposal was amended to require a warrant if a driver refused.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was a factor in 3,450 deaths in 2016. In around 14 percent of cases, cell phones were a distraction. However, many say that the role of cell phones in these crashes is underestimated because they depend on self-reporting. Drivers are often not forthcoming about whether they were using their phone when an accident occurred.

Steps you can take to protect yourself after an accident

The aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming and confusing. One moment, you may be driving to the grocery store or trying to get to the store, and the next, you may find yourself with serious injuries and a very damaged vehicle. If you find yourself in that situation, do you know what to do next to protect your interests?

What you do in the moments, days and weeks after an accident can have a significant impact on your recovery and a potential civil claim in the future. It is in your interests to know how to proceed. All Florida drivers will find it beneficial to learn about how to move forward after a serious auto collision.

Ford educates young people about the dangers of drowsy driving

Sleep deprivation has a strong potential to impair drivers in Florida. Traffic safety experts estimate that sleepy drivers contribute to as many as 20 percent of motor vehicle accidents. As part of its young driver education program, the Ford Motor Company has developed a "Sleep Suit" that simulates the effects of sleep deprivation.

Participants in the program also wear goggles that force them to see what happens when drivers experience microsleep. Drowsiness can cause people to lose visual focus on the road even if their eyes are open. Drowsy drivers cannot successfully resist this physiological microsleep response when severely fatigued. In the program, googles progressively block a participant's vision in increments of up to 10 seconds.

AAA: daylight saving time can lead to drowsy driving

Drivers in Florida should aim to sleep at least seven hours every night. Missing one to two hours of that within a 24-hour period, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, can nearly double one's chances for a car crash. This is why it's always critical to get enough sleep in preparation for daylight saving time.

AAA recommends that drivers adjust their sleep schedules for daylight saving time. There is no other remedy for drowsiness but adequate sleep. Short-term tactics like drinking coffee and rolling down the window are not a cure, so the body will eventually override these attempts to stay awake.

Pedestrian deaths are rising for several reasons

Florida was among the states with high populations that recorded a collective 5 percent rise in pedestrian deaths during the first half of 2018. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association cited growing population as one source of the increase in traffic fatalities involving pedestrians. With more people crossing streets, the likelihood of accidents increase, but sport utility vehicles and smartphone distractions appear to be contributing to the problem as well.

Consumers are choosing SUVs over sedans in increasing numbers. SUVs and trucks currently represent 60 percent of new vehicle sales, and their taller designs pose greater threats to pedestrians. Their height doubles the chance of killing people on foot compared to impacts with lower-profile sedans. Since 2013, fatal pedestrian accidents involving SUVs went up by 50 percent.

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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