Skip to main content
Category

Accident Prevention

Distracted Driver

Stay Focused, Stay Safe

By Accident Prevention, Personal Injury

 April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

As we embrace the arrival of April, we are reminded that it marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month—a crucial time for us to reflect on the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of staying focused behind the wheel. As a personal injury attorney in Sarasota, I have witnessed the devastating consequences that distracted driving can have on individuals and families firsthand. Therefore, I felt it necessary to shed some light on this pressing issue and provide valuable insights into how we can all contribute to making our roads safer.

In recent years, distracted driving has emerged as a leading cause of accidents on our roadways. Whether texting, scrolling through social media, adjusting the GPS, or simply daydreaming, distractions can significantly impair a driver’s ability to react to potential hazards. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed over 3,000 lives in the United States in 2023 alone—a staggering statistic that underscores the urgency of addressing this issue.

One of the most alarming aspects of distracted driving is that it is entirely preventable. By committing to stay focused on the task at hand—driving—we can drastically reduce the risk of accidents and save lives. As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it is essential for each of us to take proactive steps to raise awareness and promote safe driving habits within our communities.

Resist Temptation

First and foremost, we must lead by example. As drivers, we must resist the temptation to engage in distracting activities while behind the wheel. This means putting away our phones, programming our GPS devices before setting off, and refraining from any activities that divert our attention away from driving. By demonstrating responsible behavior on the road, we can inspire others to do the same and create a culture of safety.

Education

Education also plays a vital role in combating distracted driving. Schools, community organizations, and employers can all contribute by providing educational resources and hosting awareness campaigns. Teaching young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and emphasizing the importance of staying focused can instill lifelong habits that promote safe driving practices.

Technology

Finally, technology can be a powerful ally in the fight against distracted driving. From smartphone apps that automatically disable certain features while driving to in-car systems that offer hands-free communication, there are numerous tools available to help drivers minimize distractions. By embracing these technological advancements and incorporating them into our daily routines, we can mitigate the risk of accidents and save lives.

As a personal injury attorney, I am committed to advocating for victims of distracted driving accidents and holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions. However, prevention is the best form of protection. By working together to raise awareness, educate others, and prioritize safety on the road, we can make significant strides toward reducing the prevalence of distracted driving and creating a safer environment for all.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month serves as a timely reminder of the importance of staying focused while driving. By recognizing the dangers of distractions and taking proactive measures to prevent them, we can make our roads safer for everyone. Let us honor this month by committing to prioritize safety behind the wheel and advocating for a future where distracted driving is no longer a leading cause of accidents. Together, we can make a difference.

If you or someone you know was involved in an accident with a distracted driver, contact our office today to better understand your options and a path forward.

Increases in Personal Injury Claims during the Holidays

By Accident Prevention, Personal Injury

The holiday season is often marked by joy, celebration, and spending time with loved ones. However, it can also bring unfortunate increases in personal injury claims. In this article, we will explore the various factors contributing to the rise in personal injury claims during the holidays. These factors include toys, cooking, decorating, and driving. By understanding these potential risks, individuals can take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Toy-related Injuries:

Toys are an integral part of holiday festivities, especially for children. Unfortunately, poorly designed or hazardous toys can lead to injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were an estimated 226,100 toy-related injuries in 2019, with 67% occurring to children under the age of 12. These injuries ranged from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries, such as choking hazards or burns from malfunctioning electronic toys.

It is crucial for parents and caregivers to carefully inspect toys for potential risks such as small parts, loose batteries, or sharp edges. Staying informed about toy recalls and following age recommendations can significantly reduce the risk of injury.

Cooking and Kitchen Accidents:

The holiday season often revolves around elaborate meals and family feasts. However, an increase in cooking activities can lead to an alarming number of kitchen accidents. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking-related fires occur more than twice as often on Thanksgiving compared to any other day of the year.

Grease fires, burns, and cuts are common kitchen injuries during the holidays. The use of sharp knives, boiling liquids, and hot ovens demands extra caution. It is essential to maintain a clean and clutter-free cooking area, use oven mitts and proper utensils, and never leave cooking unattended to prevent accidents.

Decorating Hazards:

Decorating homes and yards with festive lights, ornaments, and trees adds charm to the holiday season. However, decorations can pose serious risks if not handled with care. According to the CPSC, an estimated 14,700 decorating-related injuries were treated in emergency departments in 2019.

Falls from ladders, electric shocks, and cuts from broken ornaments are common decorating accidents. Careful inspection of lights for frayed wires, secure placement of ladders, and proper installation of outdoor decorations can mitigate these risks. Additionally, using flame-resistant or non-combustible materials for Christmas trees and keeping them away from heat sources reduces the risk of fire-related injuries.

Dangers of Holiday Driving:

During the holidays, roads become busier due to increased travel and shopping trips. With more cars on the road, the risk of accidents and subsequent increases in personal injury claims, make safe driving practices crucial. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the estimated number of fatalities during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods in 2019 totaled 839.

Factors such as speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, and adverse weather conditions contribute to the increased danger on the roads. Practicing defensive driving, obeying traffic laws, avoiding distractions, and designating a sober driver can help reduce the risks associated with holiday driving.

Unfortunately, though filled with joy and celebration, the holiday season typically sees an increase in personal injury claims. Toys, cooking, decorating, and driving are just a few areas where accidents can occur more frequently during this time. Individuals can ensure a safe and accident-free holiday season by understanding the risks associated with these activities and taking necessary precautions.

Remember to carefully inspect toys for hazards, exercise caution when cooking, adopt safe decorating practices, and drive defensively. By prioritizing safety and implementing preventive measures, we can enjoy the holidays while minimizing the risk of personal injuries.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is based on general observations and statistics. For specific cases, it is recommended to consult with our team for the most accurate and up-to-date information and options.

A sign saying roundabout

Pedestrian Accidents in Roundabouts 

By Accident Prevention, Car Accidents, Pedestrian

Roundabouts are a common sight in Sarasota, Florida, and for good reason. They are proven to reduce crashes resulting in serious injury or death greatly. They also improve safety by promoting lower speeds, reducing conflict points, and more. However, roundabouts can also be confusing for drivers who are not familiar with them. This can lead to accidents, especially for drivers visiting Sarasota from out of town. Many of these accidents in roundabouts affect pedestrians.

As a personal injury attorney in Sarasota, I have seen firsthand the consequences of roundabout accidents. I have represented clients injured in roundabout crashes and seen the financial and emotional toll these accidents can take.

Driver safety in roundabouts

There are a few things drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians can do to help stay safe in roundabouts. First, it is important to be familiar with the rules of the road for roundabouts. These rules are different from the rules for traditional intersections with stop signs or traffic lights. Second, it is important to yield to the right of way. This means that drivers entering the roundabout must yield to drivers already in the roundabout. Third, being aware of your surroundings and proceeding slowly and cautiously is essential.

Here are some additional tips for driving safely in roundabouts:
    • Slow down and be prepared to yield to traffic already in the roundabout.
    • Signal your intention to enter the roundabout.
    • Stay in the right lane unless you are exiting the roundabout to the left.
    • Do not pass other cars in the roundabout.
    • Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists.
Here are some additional tips for cycling or crossing roundabouts on foot:
    • Stay on the walkways and only cross at designated crosswalks. If necessary, stop at the splitter island in the middle.
    • Pedestrians have the right of way, but be sure to confirm the path and speed of oncoming traffic whenever possible.
    • Do not enter the center island of the roundabout.
    • If a cyclist chooses to ride with the vehicle traffic, they must follow the same rules as vehicles follow and signal which direction they will go, just as a vehicle would. This includes giving pedestrians the right of way.
    • Cyclists should walk their bicycles at crosswalks.
What to do if you are in an accident in a roundabout

In the event of an auto or pedestrian accident in a roundabout, it is essential to stay calm and exchange information with the other driver(s) involved, and you should also report the accident to the police immediately. If you are injured, you should seek prompt medical attention. You should then seek legal help at your first opportunity. A personal injury attorney can help you to understand your legal rights and options and can help you to file a claim for compensation.

We can help 

Our team at Greg Linehan Law can help you to understand your legal rights and options after a roundabout accident and help you to file a claim for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact us today to discuss your case. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

A backup camera depiction

New Car Technologies Helping to Reduce Accidents

By Accident Prevention, Technology

According to the NHTSA, 42,939 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2021 — many of these crashes were tied to human error.

The advancement in automotive technology has been astounding over the years. From basic security features such as seat belts and airbags to autonomous driving abilities in certain cars now. Car manufacturers have always been in pursuit of technology that would reduce accidents and make driving safer for everyone. Here are some of the latest and innovative technologies that are helping to reduce car accidents.

Blind-spot monitoring

Blind spots are the areas on the vehicle that cannot be seen by the driver or the rearview mirror. Blind spot monitoring uses sensors to detect vehicles in the blind spot and alerts the driver with a warning signal on the side mirror or dashboard. This technology has been successful in reducing side collisions caused by blind spot negligence.

Rearview cameras

Rearview cameras act as an extra pair of eyes on the back of your car and is now a mandatory feature in new car models sold in the US. The camera is mounted at the rear of the car and provides a clear view of what is behind the vehicle. This helps drivers avoid collisions when reversing and makes parking smoother.

Automatic Emergency Braking

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) is a vital safety feature in modern cars. It uses sensors to detect an impending collision and automatically applies the brakes to slow down or bring the car to a stop. Some AEB systems also incorporate Pedestrian Detection technology, which is particularly useful in detecting objects and people on the road and avoiding collisions.

Lane Departure Warning Systems

Lane Departure Warning Systems (LDWS) alert the driver when their car is drifting out of its lane. LDWS uses cameras or sensors mounted on the car to detect the lane markers on the road and provide a warning signal when the vehicle veers off.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is a high-tech system that automatically adjusts the speed of the vehicle in response to the traffic around it. ACC uses radar or sensors to detect the distance between the vehicle and the car in front, adjusting speed and maintaining a safe distance to avoid collision. This technology is particularly useful during heavy traffic jams.

Collision Avoidance Systems

Collision avoidance systems (CAS) work by using radar and cameras to detect potential collision threats with other vehicles or objects nearby. Once a potential collision has been detected, the system alerts the driver with warning signals and takes action to prevent the accident, such as automatic emergency braking.

The NHTSA has a unique feature where you can search your vehicle year, make, and model to identify which of these technologies your car has installed. Click to learn more about your vehicle.

While these new technologies have undoubtedly helped reduce car accidents, it is still essential to remember that there is no substitute for safe driving practices by the driver as they remain the primary factor behind most accidents. However, these innovations continue to make driving safer and more comfortable, and it is undeniable that technology is slowly making roads safer for everyone. 

If you have been involved in a car accident, contact our team of professionals to determine your options.