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Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Law Blog

Drugged driving and the threat to Florida drivers

Just like the consumption of alcohol or the use of a cellphone while behind the wheel, using drugs before operating a motor vehicle can have deadly consequences. Drugged driving is just as dangerous as distracted or drunk driving, and innocent Florida residents may pay the price for this type of negligent and irresponsible behavior.

From prescribed medications to illegal street drugs, a driver is responsible for ingesting anything that alters his or her ability to safely drive a vehicle. Impairment can slow reaction times, take a driver longer to come to a complete stop and reduce a driver's ability to make smart decisions behind the wheel.

FMCSA to survey truck drivers on excessive commuting

Florida readers may be interested to learn that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration intends to conduct a survey regarding truck drivers who engage in "excessive commuting." A notice of the survey was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 27, and the agency is seeking public comments until Jan. 26, 2018.

According to the FMCSA, excessive commuting is defined as any work commute longer than 150 minutes. The purpose of the survey is to ascertain how common lengthy commutes are among commercial drivers, the number of drivers who commute, the distances they travel, the types of commuting policies used by trucking companies and the potential health and safety dangers of long commutes. The information is being collected to fulfill a requirement of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act. The findings will be reported to Congress.

Large trucks and buses can be a danger on the road

Florida drivers may have extra concern on the roadways when navigating around large trucks and buses. The sheer size of those vehicles can be dominant, and many people know that a crash with a large truck or bus can be particularly devastating. Keeping some safety tips in mind on the road can help to ensure a safe, shared roadway with cars, trucks and buses.

Commercial motor vehicles like large trucks and buses have large blind spots, limited ability to maneuver and lengthy stopping distances. This means that other drivers need to make sure to pay attention to safety on the road to protect themselves and others. These kinds of large commercial vehicles have blind spots, or "no zones," around the front, side and back of the vehicle. Drivers should assume that if they can't see the truck driver in the truck's side mirror, the driver also cannot see them.

Things to keep in mind following a car accident

You just never know when another vehicle is going to slam into yours on the roadway. Florida highways can be extremely cluttered, busy places, and no matter how safe a driver you happen to be, there's not much you can do (if anything at all) about another motorist's actions. You may have already experienced situations where you narrowly averted disaster. Perhaps you noticed a car maneuvering erratically on the highway, so you kept your distance to avoid collision.

You may know what it's like to hit your brakes just in time when another car fails to stop at a traffic light and almost smashes into yours. Most drivers have had near-collisions at some point. It's the time when you weren't able to avoid a crash that may change your life forever. If you suffer severe injuries, your foreseeable future may fill with physical, emotional, economic and legal challenges. That's why if you know ahead of time how to proceed following a collision, you may be able to prevent a lot of stress.

New technology could reduce truck accidents

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, video technology could prevent up to 63,000 large truck accidents per year. In 2015, trucks driving on Florida and other state roads were involved in over 400,000 accidents. Those crashes resulted in over 4,000 deaths and more than 116,000 injuries. The study took place over a period of 15 months and looked at the cost and safety benefits of adding several different types of technology into large trucks.

In addition to video-based monitoring systems inside trucks themselves, the study looked at lane departure systems, emergency braking and air disc brakes. One of the goals of the study was to ease the minds of those driving in passenger vehicles next to larger trucks. According to another survey, roughly 25 percent of respondents said that they would feel better being near large trucks on the road if they made use of safety technology.

ADHD medication may reduce automobile accidents

Driving in Florida is a complex task that requires attention to detail and focus. It can be challenging for individuals with ADHD to pay attention and focus for extended periods of time. So it comes as no surprise that individuals with ADHD may have a higher propensity to be distracted while driving and increase their chances of getting in an automobile accident.

A lead author and researcher at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden believes that the core symptoms of ADHD can minimize a person's aptitude to drive in a safe way. As a result, these individuals have a greater risk of causing accidents or sustaining injuries while driving. ADHD sufferers may fidget when they drive or engage in conversation while they drive, making it harder for them to pay attention.

The potentially deadly consequences of speeding

It's the time of year when everyone is in a hurry. From work obligations to traveling to see family on the holidays, it seems like everyone has more to do and more places to be. As a result, many drivers face the increased temptation to speed. While speeding may make a person feel like he or she will get to his or her destination faster, that is not the case. It is not really faster to speed, but it is significantly more dangerous.

As there are more travelers and more drivers on the road during the holidays, it is reasonable to assume that there will be more accidents. Sadly, many Florida motor vehicle accidents are the result of negligence or reckless behaviors, and one of these includes speeding. If you were hurt in a car accident of any kind, there is a significant chance that speeding played a role in what happened to you.

Motorcycle crashes more likely to cause certain injuries

Florida motorcyclists know how essential safety precautions are when it comes to taking the streets on two wheels. Between 2001 and 2008, over 1,222,000 people were treated in emergency rooms in the United States for non-fatal injuries related to motorcycle crashes.

Motorcycle accidents and associated injuries are tracked by a number of institutions, including the Center for Disease Control, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, World Health Organization and the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. They found that 30 percent of all non-fatal motorcycle injuries occurred on the legs and feet. The second most common type of injury, head and neck injuries, happened to 22 percent of crash victims.

Work to remain alert in construction zones

No matter where you are driving, you likely want to get to your destination in a timely and efficient manner. You may try to plan ahead and schedule your day so that you can accomplish all the tasks you need to do. As you drive, you may feel as if you will have the ability to accomplish everything you had hoped when suddenly you hit traffic.

Though traffic can happen for a number of reasons, having to travel through a construction zone can feel particularly tedious. Additionally, because these areas can pose a considerable number of hazards, you may find yourself struggling to pay attention to all of the different directions you may need to follow. Because you face such issues, you may want to assume that other drivers could also have a hard time, which could increase your risk of accident involvement.

Drowsy driving a health hazard in Florida and across U.S.

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital have stated that over 9.5 million Americans work a night shift or rotational shift. Moreover, 28 percent of these admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the previous year. Drowsy driving, which is considered a public health hazard, may be more linked to shift work than some people realize.

The same researchers conducted a study to determine how the average night shift affects the average driver. They selected 16 night shift workers to participate in a series of two driving sessions, one after a sufficient night's sleep and the other after a typical night shift. It was this second session that exhibited greater signs of drowsiness and poorer driving performance.

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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