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Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Law Blog

Brake safety is the focus of September truck inspection event

Truckers in Florida and across the country might want to get ready for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's annual Brake Safety Week, which is coming up in September. The CVSA announced that the event for 2018 will be held from Sept. 16-22. It will mark a return to a full week dedicated to the event after it had been only held for one day last year.

Brake Safety Week will include an inspection blitz that involves full Level I inspections. Brake component inspectors will pay close attention to many issues, including loose parts, fluid leaks, mismatched air chamber sizes, worn pads and defective rotors. Inspectors will also check for required brake warning devices.

Plan on going parasailing this summer? Stay safe with these tips

Summer time in Fort Walton Beach often means water sports. Water skiing, boating or jet skiing are some of the more common activities tourists and residents alike participate in, especially during this time of year. Another activity popular with many people is parasailing.

If this is one of the items on your bucket list, you may want to do some of your own research instead of relying solely on the company providing you with this thrill to keep you safe.

Reducing distractions on the road with new tech

Smartphones provide drivers in Florida with so many distractions that they are becoming a major influence on car crash rates. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon each offer a free app that can silence all incoming communications and prevent drivers from texting while the car is in motion, but these capabilities can be inadequate in stopping distracted driving. This is where two new devices come in.

Groove is a device that plugs into the car and links the user's phone to a cloud, allowing the phone provider to know when the user is driving. The phone provider then blocks all calls, texts and social media updates; these appear once the car is turned off. The device will allow for navigation and music streaming although the parents of teen drivers or employers could customize it to disable such features.

Steps to take after a car accident for an insurance claim

People in Florida have an obligation to stop after any kind of motor vehicle accident, even a minor one. Although emotions often run high after a wreck, people should refrain from discussing liability at the scene of accidents. Automobile insurance contracts require policy holders to never assume any kind of responsibility. Liability will be determined by the insurance company or other parties.

The parties involved in the accident should not admit fault. They should not discuss what happened. Details about the situation should only be shared with police, insurance representatives and medical personnel.

Federal government report provides insights about truck accidents

Motorists in Florida share the highways with large commercial trucks every day, but accidents appear to be on the rise. A new report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration calculated a 3 percent rise in fatal large truck crashes from 2015 to 2016. This continued a trend that started in 2009 when deadly truck accidents became more frequent. Between 2009 and 2016, these accidents increased by 28 percent. This reversed the progress made between 2005 and 2009 when fatal truck crashes dropped by 34 percent.

In 2015, the federal government recorded 4,074 fatal accidents. The number rose to 4,213 in 2016. In terms of lives lost, these wrecks killed 4,094 people in 2015 and 4,317 in 2016. The rate of injuries increased in 2016 as well with approximately 145,000 injuries attributed to 104,000 accidents. For 2015, only about 116,000 injuries were caused by truck accidents.

The serious implications of drugged driving

Florida readers know that drunk driving is dangerous and greatly increases the chance of an accident, but many people do not realize the serious implications of driving while under the influence of certain drugs. Various substances, even some prescriptions, can make it difficult for a person to safely operate a vehicle.

If you are the victim of an accident caused by a drugged driver, you would be wise to take quick action to protect your interests. Like drunk drivers and other types of negligent drivers, drugged drivers are accountable for their actions. You may find it beneficial to learn about the appropriate steps for you to take as a victim.

Operation Safe Driver Week aims to reduce truck accidents

During the week of July 15 - 21, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will run Safe Driver Week with the goal of reducing unsafe vehicle behavior on America's roadways. Police officers throughout Florida and the rest of the country will increase their enforcement of traffic violations such as speeding, following too closely and distracted driving. During Operation Safe Driver Week in 2017, more than 39,000 citations were given to commercial drivers.

Truck accidents cause a lot of fatalities and injuries in the United States every year. A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that driver behavior was the critical cause behind 88 percent of large truck crashes. While not as common, some truck drivers get into accidents because they operate their vehicles while ill or fatigued.

Pedestrian deaths up by almost 50 percent since 2009

Pedestrian deaths throughout Florida and the rest of the country have increased by 46 percent since falling to a record low in 2009. Furthermore, researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have discovered that the number of pedestrians struck and killed by SUVs rose by an alarming 81 percent during the same period. Other studies have found that pedestrian deaths are especially high in poorer areas. Detroit, which has experienced a lot of urban decay in recent years, is now the most dangerous city in America for pedestrians.

According to a recent media investigation, pedestrians account for one in four road deaths in Detroit, and the situation in the Motor City gives road safety advocates little to be optimistic about. Significant investment will be required to repair Detroit's crumbling infrastructure and redevelop its poorly planned public spaces. However, raising the money needed will be difficult for a city facing severe economic hardship and a dwindling tax base.

Your safety as a pedestrian

You likely remember the warnings of your parents to look both ways before crossing the street. This early lesson in pedestrian safety has stuck with you, and you may believe yourself to be a relatively cautious person when you are on foot near traffic.

Unfortunately, the nature of traffic is changing with more factors distracting drivers, including the devices built right into the consoles of their vehicles. Looking both ways may not be enough to keep you from a devastating encounter with a motor vehicle.

Startup develops app to monitor truck driver fatigue

Each year, thousands of commercial trucks travel on Florida's roadways to deliver cargo. Unfortunately, some of these big rigs become involved in truck accidents because their drivers are drowsy. To help reduce such incidents, a software startup company has developed a mobile application that measures a truck driver's fatigue.

The startup, called BlyncSync, was founded by graduates from the University of Oklahoma. According to its CEO, the company's goal is to make driving easier and safer for the nation's truck drivers, who often drive as many as 70 hours per week.

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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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