Category Archives: Auto Accidents

Vehicle Blindspot Dangers: What You Need To Know.

Courtesy of DRIVEN2DRIVE

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are more than 800,000 accidents every year that are caused in part by blind spots.

These accidents result in more than 300 deaths every year. The sad thing is that many of these types of accidents could have been avoided if people were more aware of their blind spots.

Changing lanes is a common blind spot related accident. Blind spot related accidents often can be avoided. These collisions occur when drivers fail to check traffic patterns and driving in another car’s blind spot.

Blind spots when driving are areas around your car that you cannot see when looking in your mirrors. They are so subtle that some drivers don’t even realize they exist, which can often lead to accidents. However, blind spots aren’t completely unavoidable if you know how to look for them. In fact, blind spot checks are an essential part of every driver’s license test.

That being said, read on to learn how to locate your blind spots and check them safely.

Where Are the Blind Spots in a Car?

Your side mirrors are angled in such a way that you can see directly behind your car on either side, essentially giving you a cone of backward vision when coupled with your rearview. Your peripheral vision and quick side glances can allow you to see forwards at roughly a 180-degree angle that intersects your side mirrors. In between these two areas is a roughly 50-degree angle of obscured space on either side of your car that can’t be seen through your side mirrors, as indicated by the image below:

The two additional areas marked in the image may be smaller than the primary blind spots, but it’s still essential to understand where they are. You might not lose sight of a car in one of these small areas, but a motorbike could very easily slide in undetected.

Why Are Blind Spots Dangerous When Driving?

The primary reason that blind spots are so dangerous is that they obstruct your view of other motorists and vehicles, meaning that you might not notice their presence as you attempt to change lanes. If you aren’t aware of other motorists coming up behind you, you might cut them off and potentially cause an accident. This is dangerous enough for other cars, but it could be potentially fatal for motorcyclists.

Another thing to consider is that blind spots are dangerous in perfect weather conditions, but the risk becomes compounded while driving in rain or driving at night.

How to Avoid the Risks of Blind Spots

Avoiding the dangers presented by your car’s blind spots boils down to two factors:

  1. Knowing how to check your blind spots
  2. Knowing when to check your blind spots

How to Check Your Blind Spots

Checking your blind spots involves a complete shoulder check, which will be examined frequently during your road test. In short, a shoulder check involves turning your head 90 degrees to either side and looking out the two side windows with your peripheral vision. For example, turning your head to the left allows you to look directly out your own window, while also allowing your peripheral vision to pick up any movement or light cues that might be hiding in your blind spot—and the same goes for the right.

When to Check Your Blind Spots

Even though we might have mentioned the importance of checking your blind spots, checking them too often can be just as dangerous as not checking them at all. Frequent and unnecessary checking draws your focus away from what’s going on in front of you, limiting the time you have to react to risky situations. This is one of the things you are taught when learning defensive driving techniques.

That being said, you should check your blind spot every time you need to move your car in that direction to make sure that nothing is hiding beyond your vision, which can be any of the following situations:

  • Making a turn Whether you are turning right or left, you need to first check your blind spot and side mirror about 5 seconds before you reach the turn and then again as you reach the turn.
  • Changing lanes This involves total lane changes, or even if you are entering a branching turning lane to ensure that there aren’t any cyclists, pedestrians, or approaching cars.
  • Pulling away from a curb You may be turning to the left or right when pulling away from a curb, which will need an appropriate mirror and shoulder check.
  • Curbside parking Similar to pulling away, you may be entering the curb space to the right or to the left, and will need to perform an appropriate mirror and shoulder check.

Although unlikely, failure to check your blind spots during one of these situations may give you an automatic fail on your driving test, even if your car has blindspot sensors!

That’s really all there is to it, meaning that this is something you can easily master with the right driving practice.

Important Tips

To further increase your safety on the road, remember these tips when considering your blind spots:

  • Keep items stored away from your windows
  • Don’t hide in another driver’s blind spot for too long if not necessary
  • Ask your passengers to adjust if they’re blocking your blind spot

 

What Should You Do If You Are In A Florida Car Accident?

1. Call the police and file a report.
2. Swap information (including any insurance information they may have).
3. Gather details.
4. Take pictures/video
5. Gather the contact information of any witnesses.
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries, no matter how minor you think they might be.

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm has been promoting community safety since 2007. AT ZARZAUR LAW, WE PRACTICE IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY, PRODUCT DEFECT, AUTO ACCIDENTS, CYCLING ACCIDENTS, MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS, PRODUCT LIABILITY, WRONGFUL DEATH, COMMUNITY SAFETY, BOAT, AND JET SKI ACCIDENTS, AND SLIP AND FALL. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car wreck,  feel free to reach out to our firm for a free consultation at zarzaurlaw.com or 855HireJoe.

Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/suv-blind-zone-deaths-consumer-reports-safety/

https://driven2drive.com/a/blog/blind-spots-in-driving-what-they-are-and-how-to-avoid-them

https://www.drivesafeonline.org/traffic-school/how-to-eliminate-blind-spots/

Passenger Safety and Rights – National Passenger Safety Week.

A car accident can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you may be especially confused about the legal process you must follow in accordance with Florida law. Not only is it important to know your legal rights as a passenger, but it is also important to know how you as a passenger can help play a more active role in your own safety and that of others.

 

Roadway Deaths Are On The Rise

U.S. roadway deaths are rising again at an alarming rate. People are still driving recklessly. Drunk, drugged and distracted driving are on the rise. Just telling people to drive safely isn’t enough.

 

National Passenger Safety Week

That is why We Save Lives and the National Road Safety Foundation launched The National Passenger Safety Campaign, to bring together other organizations  that believe that it’s time to focus on the passenger, and not just the driver. The goal is to promote safe driving practices and prevent unsafe ones by empowering passengers to “SPEAK UP” when their lives are in danger due to a reckless driver. So far more than 60 other organizations have joined the coalition, with more to come.

In 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) added the campaign to their national calendar. National Passenger Safety Week is now an ongoing event, the last week in January of every year.

 

Passengers Can Make A Difference

Passengers can make a difference, because “one courageous voice can change one deadly choice.” A car accident lawyer may help you determine who you should make your personal injury claim with when you’re a passenger in a vehicle. 

 

2020 PASSENGER FATALITY STATISTICS

 

What Do You Do And What Special Considerations Do A Passenger Have That Are In A Vehicle That Is At Fault Or Not At Fault For A Car Accident?

1. Identify the driver at fault – is it the driver of the car you are riding in or the driver of another vehicle?

2. Do both drivers share liability? If you rode as a passenger in one of the vehicles you may file a claim with both insurance companies in order to recover costs. 

3. What if the driver is a family member or coworker or friend? 

4. Do passengers ever share liability for an accident? In the case of a passenger willingly getting into a car with a driver that is drunk or otherwise intoxicated driver could cause your claim to be dismissed by the driver’s insurance company. A claim can also be dismissed if the passenger distracted the driver. 

5. Important to document, just the same as a driver in an accident. You will need to find out how the accident occurred and document it when filing your claim or contacting an attorney to assist you with your case. Follow the car wreck checklist – just like if you were the driver. 

6. The types of damages you can claim – Medical bills (including future medical bills), property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages, and permanent injury or disability

 

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC >

 

What Should You Do If You Are In A Florida Car Accident?

1. Call the police and file a report.
2. Swap information (including any insurance information they may have).
3. Gather details.
4. Take pictures/video
5. Gather the contact information of any witnesses.
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries, no matter how minor you think they might be.

 

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

 

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm has been promoting community safety since 2007. AT ZARZAUR LAW, WE PRACTICE IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY, PRODUCT DEFECT, AUTO ACCIDENTS, CYCLING ACCIDENTS, MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS, PRODUCT LIABILITY, WRONGFUL DEATH, COMMUNITY SAFETY, BOAT, AND JET SKI ACCIDENTS, AND SLIP AND FALL. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car wreck feel free to reach out to our firm for a free consultation at zarzaurlaw.com or 855HireJoe.

Sources:

https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/passenger-vehicle-occupants

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/national-passenger-safety-week-campaign-150000747.html

https://nationalpassengersafety.org

https://wesavelives.org

Will My Insurance Rates Go Up After a Car Accident in Florida?

Being in a car accident in Florida can be frightening and even life-changing. After you have determined your injuries and damages to your vehicle and contacted an attorney, etc., the next scary and valid concern is “Will my insurance rates go up because of a car accident?”

 

Factors That Contribute To Insurance Rate Increases

Some of the most commonly reviewed factors that insurance companies consider when determining your car insurance premium include:

Driving history
Credit score
Age
Zip code
History of making claims

 

How Do Credit Scores Affect Car Insurance Rates?

A driver’s credit score has a noticeable effect on car insurance prices. The vast majority of insurers use credit scores as a factor.

Your credit score, also called a FICO Score, is calculated based on five factors, all related to your borrowing history and current situation.

 

 

Payment history: 35%
Amount owed: 30%
Length of credit history: 15%
Mix of credit types: 10%
New credit: 10%

Credit scores range from 300 to 850. They are often divided into several tiers.

A credit-based insurance score doesn’t measure how creditworthy you are, but rather how risky you are from an auto insurance perspective, based on your creditworthiness.

 

Per Florida Statutes §626.9541,
your car insurance should
not go up after an accident
unless you were “substantially at fault.”

 

Rate increases based on an at-fault accident can stay in effect for three to five years. This can quickly add up, which is why proving the other party’s fault is so crucial.

 

Florida Is A No-Fault State

As a no-fault state, persons involved in a car accident are required to file a claim with their insurance company first. Regardless of who caused the Florida car accident, accident victims must contact their insurance company to file a claim under their PIP insurance policy.

 

But The Accident Wasn’t Your Fault

If you weren’t at fault for an accident, it might not count against you at all.

States take varying approaches. In the 12 states with no-fault insurance, your insurance rates are more likely to go up after a crash, even if you aren’t at fault. That’s because in these states, everyone involved in an accident makes claims to their insurance policies for their own injuries (and their passengers’ injuries). So your insurer must pay on your behalf, regardless of whether you caused the crash.

 

But some states (like Florida)
prohibit insurance companies
from raising your premium
if the accident wasn’t your fault.

 

If you are not liable for a car accident, your insurance rates should not increase. Rates should only increase when you are at-fault for an accident that causes injuries or other damages.

For example, the following situation should not result in an increase in your insurance rates:

  • You were the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
  • Your car was hit by another vehicle when it was legally parked.
  • Your car was rear-ended by another vehicle.
  • Your car was T-boned by another vehicle.
  • Your car was side-swiped by another vehicle.
  • A collision with an animal or damage caused by falling or flying objects

Be aware that your insurance company may require documentation that supports the fact that you were not at-fault for the accident. You may be asked to provide a copy of the police report, a statement from the other driver’s insurance company showing they accept fault for the accident, the other driver’s written statement, a statement from you about what happened, and any other evidence to support that you were not at fault. This is where an experienced car accident/personal injury attorney, like Joe Zarzaur, can help guide you through this process and help protect your rights.

 

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC >

 

What Should You Do If You Are In A Florida Car Accident?

1. Call the police and file a report.
2. Swap information (including any insurance information they may have).
3. Gather details.
4. Take pictures/video
5. Gather the contact information of any witnesses.
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries, no matter how minor you think they might be.

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

 

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm has been promoting community safety since 2007. AT ZARZAUR LAW, WE PRACTICE IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY, PRODUCT DEFECT, AUTO ACCIDENTS, CYCLING ACCIDENTS, MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS, PRODUCT LIABILITY, WRONGFUL DEATH, COMMUNITY SAFETY, BOAT, AND JET SKI ACCIDENTS, AND SLIP AND FALL. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car wreck while “on the job” feel free to reach out to our firm for a free consultation at zarzaurlaw.com or 855HireJoe.

https://www.valuepenguin.com/how-does-your-credit-score-affect-auto-insurance-rates

https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/rate-increase-poor-credit/

https://www.thezebra.com/resources/research/credit-insurance-rates/

https://www.autoinsurance.org/what-auto-insurance-companies-use-a-credit-score/

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries

The country has an estimated 280 million vehicles and more than 227.5 million drivers. On average, there are over 6 million passenger car accidents in the U.S. every year.

Busy and Dangerous Highways in Florida

Between residents and tourists who call Florida home (or vacation home), our highways are very busy. There are a lot of car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents every year throughout the state. 

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:

There were 401,496 crashes in Florida in 2021, with 3,731 fatalities from those accidents, and 252,938 people injured. 

In 2020, there were 341,399 crashes and 3,332 fatalities. 

As of the third quarter of 2022, there were 266,239 crashes and 2,331 fatalities reported.

Common Injuries From A Car Accident

The following are some of the most common injuries suffered by motor vehicle accident victims and some of the car crash stats for 2022:

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

Spinal cord injuries and paralysis

Back Injuries/disc injuries

Burns

Internal injuries

Fractures and broken bones

What Is The Most Common Injury?

Head and neck injuries are the most common car accident injuries, which include:

Concussion

Traumatic brain injury

Whiplash (strain or sprained muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the spine)

SYMPTOMS OF WHIPLASH CAN INCLUDE PAIN, MUSCLE SPASMS, NUMBNESS OR TINGLING, AND INABILITY TO MOVE THE HEAD OR NECK.

Types of Car Accidents

Car accidents can affect many types of people on the road, but injuries and deaths are more common in certain types of vehicles than in others. According to the NHTSA:

  • 35% of people killed and injured in vehicles were occupants of passenger cars
  • 27% were occupants of light trucks
  • 20% were pedestrians, pedal cyclists, and other non-occupants
  • 14% were motorcyclists
  • 4% were occupants of large trucks or buses

Treatment Begins at the ER, But Does Not End There.

If you have any serious injuries, you should go to the nearest emergency room. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor just to be safe, since many delayed onset injuries are experienced after the initial “adrenaline rush” has worn off.

If you are injured in a car accident, it is important to seek medical treatment. Refusing to seek continued medical treatment can hurt your case and make it more difficult to receive compensation for your injuries.

Continuing your medical treatment with a physician that works with car accident victims is important and should provide your treating physicians information and time to refer to your MRIs, X-rays, CT scans and other diagnostic testing that may later be used as evidence in your case to prove your injuries were caused by the accident.

Additionally, continuous treatment may allow your doctor to better understand how your injuries may affect your life, no and in the future, which may be especially important when our legal team is trying to determine the value of your case.

Avoiding Serious Injury

While there is often no way to avoid a crash, there are common sense methods to protect yourself from serious injuries. These include wearing the seatbelt in your car. The CDC found that 61% of fatality victims were not wearing their seat belts. While some may find them uncomfortable or inconvenient ,the seat belt is a proven life saver.

If you have young children, you should leave them in approved booster seats as long as required. These are proven to provide great safety to a child. Again, regular use may be inconvenient, but they are an invaluable tool to keep kids safe.

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC

What Should You Do If You Are In A Florida Car Accident?

1. Call the police and file a report.
2. Swap information (including any insurance information they may have).
3. Gather details.
4. Take pictures/video
5. Gather the contact information of any witnesses.
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries, no matter how minor you think they might be.

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm has been promoting community safety since 2007. AT ZARZAUR LAW, WE PRACTICE IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY, PRODUCT DEFECT, AUTO ACCIDENTS, CYCLING ACCIDENTS, MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS, PRODUCT LIABILITY, WRONGFUL DEATH, COMMUNITY SAFETY, BOAT, AND JET SKI ACCIDENTS, AND SLIP AND FALL. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car wreck while “on the job” feel free to reach out to our firm for a free consultation at zarzaurlaw.com or 855HireJoe.

Sources:

https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/

https://www.policygenius.com/auto-insurance/car-accidents-by-state/

https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/index.html

How Do Medical Liens Affect Your Personal Injury Case?

So, you’re involved in a car wreck or you have some type of traumatic injury that is due to the fault of another person or business, and you end up pursuing a personal injury case. 

Whether the case goes to court or not, and most of them don’t and are settled out of court, you may think that the only things that matter are what you owe the law firm in fees, which is usually one-third, and then what you receive. But what some people don’t remember is that there is usually also some type of medical bill issue that has to be dealt with.

What Is A Settlement Lien?

Many people are surprised to learn that in certain situations, the state and federal governments, health insurance companies, and hospitals can assert a claim against your personal injury settlement.

When you have been the victim of an accident and have filed a personal injury lawsuit to recover the cost of medical bills, the people who paid for these medical costs may be able to file a medical lien against your settlement proceeds. 

A LIEN IS A DEMAND FOR REPAYMENT THAT MAY BE PLACED AGAINST THE SETTLEMENT OF YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE.

Subrogation: If You Have Health Insurance.

If you have health insurance, then your health insurance has a legal right to reimbursement called subrogation that has to be satisfied before your case can be closed. The extent and strength of the subrogation claim depends upon the language used in the policy. Some states strictly prohibit an insurance company from placing a subrogation clause in a health insurance policy, so you should check the laws in your state.

Lien Agreement: If You Don’t Have Health Insurance.

If a client does not have health insurance, a healthcare provider will often require a lien agreement prior to providing treatment to guarantee payment for their services. When this occurs, the healthcare provider will often assert a lien on a personal injury case to ensure reimbursement once the case is resolved.

1) The most common lien deducted from a personal injury settlement is to the client’s health insurance provider.

2) Most health insurance contracts provide for reimbursement if a client receives compensation for an injury for which the insurer paid for treatment.

3) Lawyers must honor these liens but can take action to reduce them for you.

What Is A Medical Lien?

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the state of Florida are required to provide care for individuals who need it but cannot pay immediately. If the outstanding costs are not paid, the healthcare facility will be legally allowed to retrieve the funds from your personal injury settlement by issuing a medical lien.

Accurate Medical Documentation Is Important Before Settling Your Injury Case.

This is why it is important that you  keep copies of all medical documentation, including bills, health reports, travel expenses (to and from medical appointments), and other expenses related to your injury. Your lawyer can help you calculate all of your damages so that you can seek a fair amount of compensation, while also helping you manage your liens.

What About Government Health Care?

The general rule is that if the government paid for any portion of your medical care, they have a right to get paid back if you later recover money for your injuries from another party. Depending on the specific type of government program, some government agencies, (Medicare and Medicaid Liens, Veteran’s Administration) have different rights when it comes to placing a lien against your settlement. Some entities have the right to recover a portion of the proceeds from your personal injury lawsuit.

All of that is handled by the law firm that receives the fee, in this case, our firm. So when you’re involved in an accident and you’re considering what you may settle your case for, it’s always important that you pay attention.

If they are legally enforceable, rights to reimbursement by the medical providers. You have to consider those when you’re considering what you’re going to pocket from your injury case.

Negotiating Medical Liens

Medical liens are negotiable. This means an experienced personal injury firm like Zarzaur Law, P.A., can negotiate with the insurance company to reduce the subrogation lien for less than the amount it spent on your behalf. An agreement on a reduced lien means you’ll receive a larger settlement at the end of your case.

It’s often a good idea to have an experienced attorney negotiate on your behalf. Skilled injury lawyers negotiate medical (subrogation) liens regularly.

An experienced accident attorney, like Joe Zarzaur, also knows the subrogation lien laws and how to protect your rights.

Watch Our YouTube Video On This Topic >

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. Consult with an experienced accident  lawyer who has the knowledge and credentials to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website. Offices in Pensacola, Destin and Miami.

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/subrogation

https://www.enjuris.com/personal-injury-law/subrogation-claims.html

https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-is-subrogation-and-how-does-it-affect-my-car-accident-case-

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0600-0699/0641/Sections/0641.315.html

Surviving Florida’s Hectic Highways This Holiday Season! 

Hectic Florida RoadsNearly 6.3 million Floridians are expected to hit the road this holiday season. Drivers could see travel times increase by 25% around major cities.

It would be an understatement to say that everyone is looking forward to Christmas 2022! After nearly two years of being stuck at home due to the pandemic, more people are taking to the roads and traveling this Christmas season. 

While driving on the open roads towards your holiday destination can bring you joy, it can also bring a lot of aggravation and accidents. Roads can get slippery, drivers can be careless, and anything can happen!

The most congested day before Christmas will be Friday, Dec. 23. The single busiest travel day of the season — which includes New Year’s Eve — will be Tuesday, Dec. 27.

According to the FLHSMV, in Dec. 2021, there were 35,859 crashes on Florida roadways that took the lives of 325 people and injured 1,524.

 

If you plan to get your festive on or are traveling throughout Florida, you should follow these driving safety tips.

Hectic Florida Roads

 

Holiday Trip Tips:

Make sure all passengers are buckled up at all times.
Children should be in the proper child restraint seats at all times; more information can be found at flhsmv.gov/childsafety.

Be aware of changing speed limits.
The limit in Florida will never be higher than 70 mph.

Put it down and focus on driving.
Keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road, and your mind on driving. Let your co-pilot help you navigate or change the music.

Don’t drive while drowsy.
Take a break every 100 miles or two hours. Use the buddy system and switch drivers.

Move over for emergency and service vehicles that have stopped.
It’s the law!

Write down important phone numbers.
Keep important numbers in your car in case your cell phone battery dies, and you don’t have a way to charge it.

If you need to pull over:
Stop in a safe place, out of the roadway, and away from traffic.

Turn on your emergency flashers.
If you have emergency roadway flares in your trunk, position them conspicuously.

If a motorist stops to render assistance, it’s better to remain in the car and ask them to get help.
Likewise, if you see a stranded motorist, it’s better not to stop. Notify law enforcement by calling *FHP (*347).

What Should You Do If You Are In A Florida Car Accident?

1. Call the police and file a report.
2. Swap information (including any insurance information they may have).
3. Gather details.
4. Take pictures/video
5. Gather the contact information of any witnesses.
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries, no matter how minor you think they might be.

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm has been promoting community safety since 2007. AT ZARZAUR LAW, WE PRACTICE IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY, PRODUCT DEFECT, AUTO ACCIDENTS, CYCLING ACCIDENTS, MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS, PRODUCT LIABILITY, WRONGFUL DEATH, COMMUNITY SAFETY, BOAT, AND JET SKI ACCIDENTS, AND SLIP AND FALL. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car wreck while “on the job” feel free to reach out to our firm for a free consultation at zarzaurlaw.com or 855HireJoe.

Sources:
https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/holidaytravel/holiday-safety/

 

Why Video Evidence Is Important For Your Car Accident Injury Case

If you’ve been in a car accident in Florida, then there is most likely video footage of the area or the accident itself. Surveillance video can be the strongest evidence in your case. Video evidence can legally be presented as evidence and assist in your claim, especially If an insurance company is trying to argue fault for the accident. This videotape can help show how the accident really happened.

Because The Insurance Company Is Not On Your Side, Obtain Video Evidence.

The insurance companies will always suggest that their insured is not responsible or will suggest that at least some responsibility lies with the other party. They certainly try to make this argument, especially if there is no video evidence that clearly shows fault, even if the accident report provides information on the “at fault” driver.

As we have noted in several other blogs, insurance companies do not exist for the greater good. They exist to make money. To be exact, their main mission is to retain as much money as they can from the billions in premiums they collect each year. If they learn that there is a way to argue that a collision was not their insured’s fault, they will seize that opportunity because it will likely save them money. For this reason, getting the video evidence is of vital importance.

Where Does The Video Footage Come From?

Video Evidence Is Important during Car AccidentVideos from dashcams are beneficial because they provide a clear perspective of the collision as it happened, serving as solid evidence of how the accident occurred. If your case goes to trial, the footage from cameras and photos taken at the scene may become part of the case.

Types Of Video Footage:

  • Dash cam
  • Video footage from a business
  • Video footage from a residence (home security devices)
  • Traffic light video camera
  • Smart phones

Video Evidence Can Show How An Accident Happened, The Cause Of The Crash, And Who Is Responsible.

Video footage can help determine how you were injured, by showing if you struck the dashboard, if broken glass from the windshield cut your face, if your head whipped back and forth, and other causes of your injuries.

Act Fast

Video Evidence Is Important  Another tip is to act as fast as possible. The longer you delay, the higher the risk of not getting the footage you need. For example, many recording devices have limited memories, so their owners have to delete old files to free space for new recordings.

Secondly, cameras (such as surveillance cameras) are set up to automatically record over old footage after some time. According to hg.org, some surveillance cameras record over old footage after 72 hours or so. Thus, even a three-day delay is enough to make you lose such crucial evidence.

Requesting Video Footage:
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get the desired footage.

Your lawyer:

Will be aware of the appropriate channels to use for their requests.

They might have contacts they can use to speed up the requests.
May get a subpoena to force the relevant parties to hand over the videos.

Do Take Pictures and Video Of Your Car And The Car That Hit You.

video evidence

Take a lot of pictures and videos of the cars and people involved. An accident is extremely visual, and proving your injury case after a car wreck is no exception. The insurance company and, eventually, the jury will be impressed by the photographs of the injuries. Videos are sometimes even better.  If you are injured and are not able to take photos, ask a witness to take photos/video for you.

Inside Of Your Vehicle

That footage is especially moving in this context. Photos and videos of damage to the inside of your car can also be useful. If there are damages inside the passenger compartment, also document those. 

The Other Driver’s Vehicle

Many clients only take pictures or videos of their vehicle when the other car’s damages are also important. Document everything, and take more than you think you need because it is always better to have more than not enough.

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC > 

What Should You Do If You Are In A Florida Car Accident?

1. Call the police and file a report.
2. Swap information (including any insurance information they may have).
3. Gather details.
4. Take pictures/video
5. Gather the contact information of any witnesses.
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries, no matter how minor you think they might be.

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm has been promoting community safety since 2007. AT ZARZAUR LAW, WE PRACTICE IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY, PRODUCT DEFECT, AUTOACCIDENTS, CYCLING ACCIDENTS, MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS, PRODUCT LIABILITY, WRONGFUL DEATH, COMMUNITY SAFETY, BOAT AND JET SKI ACCIDENTS, SLIP AND FALL. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car wreck while “on the job” feel free to reach out to our firm for a free consultation at zarzaurlaw.com or 855HireJoe.

What If The At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Coverage? 

A car accident is a scary situation in itself, especially if you have suffered injuries. What can be even more frightening is when the driver who caused the accident is underinsured. How can this be? Why doesn’t the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough auto insurance to cover your injury claim?

Unfortunately, in Florida, a licensed driver is NOT required to carry bodily injury liability insurance (BI coverage). Because of a strong insurance lobby, the Florida legislature has not seen the need to require drivers to carry insurance to compensate others for an injury. In fact, only Florida and New Hampshire have this situation.

When this happens, an experienced auto accident lawyer will ask if you or someone in your household has Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage. Hopefully, they (as well as you) will have this critical coverage.

What Is Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage?

Underinsured motorist coverage provides the same protection when there is a deficiency in the liability coverage. In other words, if your injuries are worth more than the coverage of the person who caused them, you can recover the difference. The purpose of this coverage is to allow an insured the same coverage that would have been available if the negligent driver had liability coverage equal to the insured.

So What Does This Mean In Real Life?

Under Florida law, if you purchase liability coverage, the insurance company must also offer you UM/UIM coverage in the same amount. A potential buyer can turn that down, or buy lower limits of coverage, and many do. That’s why they are surprised when it turns out they don’t have “full coverage.” The bottom line is that if you drive in Florida, there are a lot of drivers with no liability coverage or little liability coverage.

In Florida, Auto Insurance Is Required.

Driving without auto insurance can lead to all sorts of problems. Florida drivers must always have the minimum required car insurance. The minimum car insurance requirement in Florida is $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL).

If you drive without auto insurance in Florida, you should be aware of all of the unpleasant consequences you may face if you are caught by law enforcement or involved in an auto accident.

Examples include license suspension, license plate confiscation, and even potential criminal charges. If you want to protect yourself from these awful scenarios, you need to make sure that you always have auto insurance coverage, plain and simple.

You need to buy UM/UIM coverage to protect you and your family from these drivers.

Unfortunately, about 13 percent of drivers do not carry auto insurance, even though they drive regularly.

Do You Know What To Do After An Accident With An Uninsured Motorist?

underinsured motoristFollowing a car accident, many victims, especially those with injuries like spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injuries, have substantial medical bills to worry about. Not only that, their injuries may also prevent them from returning to work and generating the income they need to pay those bills.

If you have been injured in a car accident involving an underinsured motorist, and you have UIM or UM coverage, your personal injury lawyer can file a claim with your insurance company to compensate you for the harm you have suffered. Some damages that may be available for you to claim include:

Medical Bills – If you have been hit and have suffered injuries in an accident, you can make a claim to cover the costs of any medical bills resulting from these injuries. This can include bills for hospital appointments, transport to and from these appointments, and any future medical expenses you incur as a result.

Lost Wages – Your uninsured motorist coverage covers any financial losses you’ve suffered as a result of the accident, including lost wages. This can include any potential future earnings you would have made.

Pain and Suffering – If you have UM coverage, you may be able to recover compensation for any pain and suffering as a result of the collision. In order to receive these damages, you must prove that your injuries meet a “permanent injury threshold,” as provided under Florida Statute 627.737.

Wrongful Death – A lawyer can help you file a wrongful death claim under your uninsured motorist coverage to recover compensation for funeral costs and a loss of consortium.

What Steps Should You Take Right After An Accident With An Underinsured Motorist?

1. Call the police and file a report
2. Swap information (including any insurance info they may have)
3. Gather details
4. Take pictures
5. Gather contact information of any witnesses

Get more helpful information on what to do after an accident here at our
“CAR WRECK CHECKLIST” >

5. Work with a trusted car accident lawyer.
A car accident lawyer, like the team at Zarzaur Law, can offer numerous advantages following an accident, including an accident with an underinsured motorist.

A car accident attorney can:

Provide you with the information you need.
An attorney can review your insurance policies and help you understand the compensation you deserve, investigate the circumstances of the accident to identify potentially liable parties, and give you a better idea of how your claim will proceed, should you choose to file one.

Negotiate with your insurance company.
Your insurance company may make it difficult for you to get the full compensation you need for your injuries, damages to your vehicle, and other financial losses. An attorney can help negotiate with the insurance company or even fight for you in court if needed.

Support you throughout the claim.
In many cases, an attorney can offer vital support that can help you navigate the claim process, obtain the compensation you deserve, and decrease your stress while you focus on your recovery.

Put together a claim for damages on your behalf.
The legal process is often complex, and the dueling interests of insurance companies, attorneys, and liable parties make it extremely difficult for an unrepresented plaintiff to obtain the compensation they actually deserve under the law. By partnering with an experienced car accident attorney, you can maximize your odds of a successful recovery from your injuries.

The laws on UM/UIM vary from state to state, so if you have coverage from another state, you need to let a board certified personal injury specialist review the policy for coverage.

The statute of limitations for making a claim against your UM/UIM coverage is 5 years from the date of injury. Again, this may vary from state to state, but it is very important to seek legal help as soon as possible after the crash or injury.

As you can see, UM/UIM coverage is very important.
In many cases, it may be the only insurance coverage available to protect you and your family if you are injured.

Watch Our YouTube Video On This Topic >

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car wreck while “on the job” feel free to reach out to our firm for a free consultation at zarzaurlaw.com or 855HireJoe.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/uninsured-motorist-coverage/

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/insurance/uninsured-motorist-property-damage

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0627/Sections/0627.727.html

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/hit-uninsured-motorist-what-you-should-know

Thanksgiving Travel In Florida Is Forecast To Be The Busiest Since 2005.

AAA forecasts more than 2.9 million Floridians will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving. That’s 50,000 (2%) more Florida travelers than last year’s holiday and nearly 22,000 (0.74%) more than in 2019.

Nationally, 54.6 million Americans will travel
50 miles or more from home, slightly below
pre-pandemic levels.

Despite higher gas prices, 89% of all Thanksgiving travelers will drive. AAA forecasts 48.65 million Americans will set out for a holiday road trip. That’s 203,000 more drivers than last year.

In Florida, 2.7 million, or 91% of travelers, will take a road trip, that’s an increase of 28,000 people from last year’s holiday.

Leave Early

Thanksgiving travel in FloridaIf you are hitting the road for the holidays, leave early. Travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion Monday-Wednesday afternoon and early evening. Traffic will be lighter during the morning and late evening hours and on Thanksgiving Day.

In addition to congestion on the roads, Thanksgiving travelers are likely to find long lines at the airport too. Nationwide, air travel is up nearly 8% from last year, with 4.5 million Americans flying to their Thanksgiving destinations this year.

Busiest Days to Travel

If you are hitting the road for the holidays, leave early. Travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion Monday-Wednesday afternoon and early evening. Traffic will be lighter during the morning and late evening hours and on Thanksgiving Day.

 

Thanksgiving Driving Safety

The Thanksgiving holiday is a peak travel period for Florida families coming together to celebrate. FLHSMV is committed to protecting you on our roadways, providing you with the information you need to travel safely.

Follow these tips to help ensure safe traveling this Thanksgiving:

  • Never drive impaired. Celebrate responsibly and do not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking or took drugs that cause impairment. Plan ahead and find a safe way home every time – designate a driver or use a ride service.
  • Check your tires. Tires are a vehicle’s first line of defense on the road. Check your tire pressure, tread depth and spare tire especially before long trips. Do not over load your vehicle, it can result in premature wear and tire blowouts.
  • Buckle up. A seat belt is your vehicle’s most important safety feature. Florida law requires that all drivers, all front seat passengers and all passengers under the age of 18 wear seat belts or the appropriate child restraints. Seat belts save lives, so buckle up every trip, every time.
  • Register or update your Emergency Contact Information (ECI). ECI is a secure system allowing law enforcement, nationwide, to contact designated family or friends in response to an emergency situation.
  • Observe and obey all speed limits. Speed limits may change as you drive through different types of roadways, so make sure you adjust your speed accordingly. In Florida, the limit will never be over 70 mph.

Download FLHSMV’s  Road Trip Checklist & Safety Tips for additional resources on how to be safe this holiday season.

What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident While Traveling In Florida

1. Call the police and file a report
2. Swap information (including any insurance info they may have)
3. Gather details
4. Take pictures
5. Gather contact information of any witnesses
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries – no matter how minor you think they might be.

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.

Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/miami/news/aaa-thanksgiving-travel-in-florida-to-exceed-pre-pandemic-levels/#app

https://newsroom.aaa.com/2022/11/thanksgiving-travel-ticks-up-just-shy-of-pre-pandemic-levels/

https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/holidaytravel/thanksgiving-holiday-safety/

National Teen Safe Driver Safety Week Facts That Every Parent Needs To Know.

Courtesy of US Department of Transportation and FLTeenSafeDriver.org

National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 16–22, 2022! The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming up with local organizations to help empower parents to discuss the importance of driving safety with their young drivers.

Whether teens are driving a car, truck, or SUV, and whether they’ve just earned their license or have had it for a few years, the rules of the road stay the same. The greatest dangers for teen drivers are alcohol and other drug use, inconsistent or no seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding, and driving with passengers in the vehicle. 

Review the following information to help teens stay safe behind the wheel.

Be Empowered to Set Driving Rules!

Remember: You’re a parent first. It is your responsibility to protect your adolescents. Use this motivation to keep your teen safer as they start navigating their new role as a driver. 

Remind your teen that driving is a privilege, not a right.
As the parent, you’re in control. If your teen is following the rules of the road, the privilege to drive is theirs. If they aren’t following the rules of the road, they shouldn’t be freely given the keys to the car. 

Have a conversation with your teen driver about driving laws and safe driving habits.
Your desire to keep them safe never fades, so keep the lines of communication open at all times. Believe it or not, your teen is listening, and they depend on you to guide them and be there for them.

Become familiar with your state’s nighttime driving restrictions, passenger restrictions, and all graduated driver licensing (GDL) restrictions in your state.

Surveys show that teens with parents who set and enforce firm rules for driving typically report engaging in fewer risky driving behaviors and being involved in fewer crashes. By knowing and enforcing the laws with your teen, you proactively promote safer driving for all road users. 

The responsibility for safe road behavior is shared: Be a good role model for your teen driver by demonstrating your own safe driving habits. 

Talk to your teen about cell phone use while in the car.
Encourage them to stow their phones while driving, designate a texter or navigator, or pull over before answering phone calls, texting, or engaging with any social media apps. Remind your teen that it’s not acceptable to record themselves or post on social media while driving. 

Know the Facts About Teen Driver Fatalities

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for teens (15-18 years old) in the United States.

In 2020, there were 2,276 people killed in crashes involving a teen passenger vehicle driver (15-18 years old), of which 748 deaths were the teen driver. 

Parents: You can be the
the biggest influence on your teen’s choices
when they are behind the wheel.

Take the time to have a conversation about some of the biggest driving risks for teens, including:

Impaired Driving: All teens are too young to legally buy, possess, or consume alcohol. However, nationally, in 2020, 19% of teen passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes had alcohol in their system. But alcohol isn’t the only substance that can keep your teen from driving safely: Like other drugs, marijuana affects a driver’s ability to react to their surroundings. Driving is a complex task, and marijuana slows reaction time, affecting a driver’s ability to drive safely.

Remind your teen that driving under the influence of any impairing substance — including illicit or prescription drugs, or over-the-counter medication — could have deadly consequences.

It is critical that teen drivers understand that driving impaired can have consequences, that strict penalties may apply, that they may lose their license if they are caught driving impaired, and that they will face additional consequences for breaking rules they agreed to follow when they started driving. 

Seat Belts: Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways for everyone to be safe in a vehicle. Yet too many teens aren’t buckling up. In 2020, 52% of the teen passenger vehicle drivers who died in crashes were unbuckled. Even more troubling, when the teen driver involved in the fatal crash was unbuckled, nine out of 10 of the passengers who died were also unbuckled. 

In 2020, 52% of the
teen passenger vehicle
drivers who died in crashes
were unbuckled.

Distracted Driving: Distractions while driving are more than just risky — they can be deadly. In 2020, among teen passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes, 7% were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. 

Speeding: In 2020, almost one-third (31%) of all teen drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the crash, and males were more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than females.

Passengers: Teen drivers transporting passengers can lead to disastrous consequences. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up dramatically in direct relation to the number of passengers in a vehicle. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers.

Remember The Rules Of The Road

1.    Don’t Drive Impaired.

Set a good example by not driving after drinking or consuming marijuana or other impairing substances. Remind your teen that drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and alcohol and/or marijuana and driving don’t mix, no matter your age.

Also, remind them that driving under the influence of any impairing substance — including illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs — could have deadly consequences.

2.    Buckle Up — Every Trip. Every Time. Everyone — Front Seat and Back. 

Lead by example. If you wear your seat belt every time you’re in the car, your teen is more likely to follow suit. Remind your teen that it’s important to buckle up on every trip, every time, no matter what (both in the front and back seats), even while in taxis or ride-sharing services.

3.    Keep Your Eyes on the Road, Hands on the Wheel, and Mind on the Driving Task. 

teen safe driverRemind your teen about the dangers of texting, dialing, or using mobile apps while driving. Require your young driver to put their phones away and to turn on the “Do Not Disturb” or similar phone features when on the road. Distracted driving isn’t limited to phone use; other passengers, vehicle audio and climate controls, and eating or drinking while driving are all sources of dangerous distractions when full time and attention should be given to driving. Know your state’s law regarding mobile phone and texting while driving restrictions; 49 states ban texting while driving for novice drivers. Parents, take note: These laws aren’t just for teen drivers.

See Distracted Driving Law Chart. If your teen disobeys, enforce the penalties set with your teen before they started driving.

4.    Obey All Posted Speed Limits. 

Speeding is a critical issue for all drivers, especially for teens who lack the experience to react to changing circumstances around their cars. Obey the speed limit and require your teen to do the same.

5. Limit Other Teen Passengers

teen safe driver pensacolaOther teen passengers can present one of the biggest risks for your new teen driver. A study by the AAA Foundation for Safety found that the risk of a crash doubles with one additional teen passenger in the vehicle. Two additional teen passengers can increase the risk of a crash by 158%. Three additional teen passengers can increase the risk of a crash by 207%. The same study found that having at least one passenger aged 35 or older in a [teen-driven] vehicle was associated with a 62% decrease in the risk of a crash. Notably, not all of us have a spare 35-year-old laying around to chaperone each trip your teen driver may make. That’s okay! The easiest thing to do is to enforce limits on the number of teen passengers your new teen driver is allowed to have in the car. By setting clear guidelines and outlining the appropriate behavior for when your teen does have another teen passenger in the car, you can help mitigate their risk of being involved in a passenger distraction crash. Some examples of passenger boundaries can be: no loud music, no dancing or singing; avoiding having emotionally involved or dramatic conversations; no acting wild; all vehicle occupants must be wearing safety belts, etc.

Two additional teen passengers
can increase the risk of a crash by 158%.
Three additional teen passengers can
increase the risk of a crash by 207%

Don’t Call {them} When They’re Driving

Duh, right? It seems like it would be a no-brainer… However, 53% of teens who reported talking on a phone while driving were chatting with their mom or dad, according to a study by the American Psychological Association. One of the best things you can do to avoid this parental faux pas would be to enable location software (such as Google Location Sharing) to help identify when your teen may be driving. Most simply, if you know they are driving, don’t call them! Set a rule with your teen that they must notify you before and after they drive to their destination if they are traveling to places outside of their normal routine. Other driving apps, such as “Life 360,” can even tell you your teen driver’s speed, as well as other important driver metrics*.

*This is not an endorsement of any driver safety app or product, merely a suggestion of tools that the author found helpful for monitoring.

Engage In Safe Driving Conversations Year-Round 

It is never too early, or too often, to discuss safe driving habits with your teen. You may choose to start the conversation during National Teen Driver Safety Week, but don’t be afraid to continue the conversation every day throughout the year. Even if it seems like they’re tuning you out, keep reinforcing these rules. They’re listening—your constant reminders about these powerful messages will get through. 

Get creative!
Having a conversation is just one way to discuss safe driving. You can also write your teen a letter, send email or text reminders, leave sticky note reminders in the car, or use social media to share your messages. 

Get it in writing.
Create a parent-teen driving contract that outlines the rules and consequences for your teen driver. Hang the signed contract in a visible place as a constant reminder of the rules of the road. 

If you and your teen are going somewhere together, let your teen drive.
This is a great time for you to evaluate their driving progress and to discuss safe driving habits. Make sure your teen is following the rules you’ve set.

Finally, be empowered.
Driving—for everyone, teen and adult alike—is a privilege, not a right. If your teen is having a difficult time following the rules, it may be time to take away the keys and review the basics. Safe teen drivers can mean the difference between life and death — for themselves, their passengers, and all other road users. 

What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident While Traveling In Florida

1. Call the police and file a report
2. Swap information (including any insurance info they may have)
3. Gather details
4. Take pictures
5. Gather contact information of any witnesses
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries – no matter how minor you think they might be.

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

 

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.

Sources:

https://flteensafedriver.org

https://flteensafedriver.org/safe-driving-tips-for-parents/

https://www.transportation.gov

https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/teen-safety/national-teen-driver-safety-week