Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Last week, our West Palm Beach personal injury law firm reported that the National Transportation Safety Board is calling for all states to ban texting and cell phone calls while driving. We also wrote about the upcoming debate among Florida lawmakers regarding whether or not to ban texting in the state.

This week, we’d like to blog about a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey on the distracted driving habits of Americans. Over 6,000 drivers participated. Per the results:

• At any moment, nearly one out of every 100 drivers is e-mailing, texting, surfing the Internet, or doing something else with a hand-held device while operating a motor vehicle.
• Most of those surveyed admitted to answering phone calls while driving.
• Close to two out of every 10 drivers surveyed admitted to e-mailing or texting. Drivers in the 21-24 age group were most likely to text while driving.
• Over 50% of drivers don’t believe that making a call affects their driving performance.
• About 25% said they don’t think that e-mailing or texting impacts their driving.
• 90% of drivers don’t like it if the person driving the car they are riding in is e-mailing or texting • More drivers said they read texts over sending them.
• Two times as many drivers admitted to answering calls over making them while operating a motor vehicle.

As evidenced by the survey results, most drivers think that they can text or talk on the phone safely while driving. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Cell phone conversations and texting takes a motorist’s attention away from the task at hand, which means he/she is not 100% focused on the task at hand. This can make it hard to avoid causing or becoming involved in a South Florida traffic crash. Remember that it takes just a few seconds for a catastrophic Miami motor vehicle accident to happen-those same seconds that a driver’s eyes are off the road in order to read an e-mail or dial the phone.

Over the last couple of years, Federal, state, and local safety officials have made a concerted effort to educate people about the dangers. Yet even when there are laws limiting cell phone use or banning texting, some people can’t seem to stop themselves, which places everyone in danger.

Drivers can no longer say that they didn’t know that distracted driving can kill people. As the victim of a distracted driving accident, you may be able to pursue Palm Beach traffic crash damages from the negligent motorist.

More drivers texting but few think it’s dangerous, survey says, The Denver Post/AP, December 9, 2011
NTSB pushes for nationwide ban on cellphone use for drivers, The Washington Post, December 14, 2011
National Distracted Driving Telephone Survey Finds Most Drivers Answer the Call, Hold the Phone, and Continue to Drive, NHTSA (PFD)


More Blog Posts:

As NTSB Recommends Full Cell Phone While Driving Ban, Florida Again Considers Whether to Make Texting Illegal, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 13, 2011
Coconut Creek Woman Killed in Broward County, Florida Car Crash Involving Lighthouse Point Police Vehicle, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2011
West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Leaves Police Officer with Serious Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 26, 2011 Continue reading

In the upcoming legislative session due to start next month, Florida legislators will once again consider whether texting should be banned in the state. Right now, Florida is one of 15 US states that haven’t made texting while driving illegal. Florida is also among the few states without any type of restriction on cell phone use while driving. Our Miami personal injury law firm is familiar with the types of catastrophic South Florida car crashes that can occur because someone was distracted driving.

This time around, however, lawmakers who favor a statewide texting ban may be coming into the debate with the extra support they need following today’s recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board that use of cell phone and text messaging devices while driving be made illegal throughout the US-unless, of course, there is an emergency situation. Although the NTSB cannot impose state laws, its recommendations are taken seriously by lawmakers.

The federal safety board called is calling for the ban because it says distracted drivers are threatening public safety. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey, distracted driving was a factor in at least 3,092 US traffic crashes last year and at any moment during daylight hours, close to 1 out of 100 drivers is using handheld phones. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt even went so far as to call distracted driving the “new DUI.”

When explaining the need for a nationwide ban, the NTSB cited the tragic multi-vehicle Missouri traffic pileup in August 2010 involving a tractor-trailer, a pickup truck, and two buses. More than 30 people were injured and two people killed, including the 19-year-old driver of the pickup, who, within 11 minutes, sent or received 11 text messages. The other victim that died was a 15-year-old that was riding the school bus.

Texting, emailing, and talking on the cell phone are dangerous activities when done while driving. You want to work with a Palm Beach car crash law firm that knows how to prove that the other party’s negligence caused your injuries or a loved one’s death. Just because these driving habits are still legal in Florida does not mean you cannot recover damages.

Cellphone ban while driving? The tragedies behind the issue, Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2011
NTSB recommends full ban on use of cell phones while driving, CNN, December 13, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Coconut Creek Woman Killed in Broward County, Florida Car Crash Involving Lighthouse Point Police Vehicle, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2011
West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Leaves Police Officer with Serious Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 26, 2011
Miami-Dade Car Accident Lawsuit Filed in Florida Wrongful Death Case Against Coral Gables Teenager, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2011 Continue reading

According to the state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there has been a 4.6% drop in the number of Florida traffic deaths. Compared to 2009, when there were Florida 2,565 motor vehicle fatalities, there were 2,444 Florida traffic deaths reported in 2010. That’s a nearly 31% drop since 2005. County wise, the number of traffic fatalities also went down in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties last year.

2010 figures also show, however, that the number of Florida pedestrian deaths have gone up by 3.5%. There were 482 pedestrian fatalities in 2009 and 499 Florida pedestrian deaths in 2010.

Other 2010 Florida Traffic Facts:

72-year-old Patrick Macklin died today when he was fatally struck in a Boynton Beach pedestrian accident. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says that Macklin was walking on Woolbright Road early in the afternoon when he was hit by a BMW. According to one witness, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue workers told her Macklin might have survived the traffic crash if someone had conducted CPR on him before rescuers arrived.


Elderly Pedestrians

In Florida, which is a haven for many seniors and retirees, there are often elderly residents out walking. It is important for drivers to realize that some older pedestrians may not be as alert or as quick to respond as their younger adult counterparts, which is why motorists should exercise caution when they seem them on the road and sidewalks.

In a tragic series of events on Saturday, four people were killed on Interstate 95 close to Miami Shores. The victims appear to have gotten out of their vehicles to check on another traffic crash. A fifth pedestrian who was with them was taken to Jackson Memorial Ryder.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the first of multiple Miami-Dade County car crashes on I-95 occurred at around 4:45 am when a vehicle drove into the concrete median wall close to 103rd street. A Ford auto then pulled over on the shoulder. Not long after, the driver of a Honda, who was in the express lane, swerved to avoid hitting the first car but then ended up striking the five pedestrians and the Ford. The Honda’s driver and its passenger were also transported to Jackson Memorial Ryder. Police are trying to determine exactly what happened.

Miami-Dade Traffic Crashes

It is no longer a secret that texting and surfing the Internet while driving can be dangerous. Yet people continue to get hurt and die because someone was looking at the phone, checking email, sending texts, or surfing the Web rather than paying attention to the road. As our Palm Beach personal injury law firm has mentioned in the past, the US Department of Transportation reported 5,474 distracted driving crashes in 2009 alone. Not only that, but 11 teens a year are killed because of texting while driving. Also, the National Safety Council reports that 28% of traffic crashes that occur involved drivers talking on the phone or texting.

At Palm Beach Atlantic University yesterday, participants were given the opportunity to experience virtually how catastrophic texting while driving can become when they tried texting while on a virtual course. The simulated program, run by PEER Awareness road manager Robert Tower, travels to different schools to help educate teenagers about the dangers of texting combined with driving. The program also includes news footage of interviews with families who lost loved ones in distracted driving accidents involving drivers who were text messaging.

Hopefully, education and awareness will discourage teens and adults from texting or doing anything that keeps them from watching the road. Recently, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against a woman accused of updating her Facebook while driving. The pedestrian who died was a 70-year-old man. Also, another man accidentally drove his car through a bridge guardrail and into a river because he was texting.

Unlike in a number of US states, in Florida there is still no ban on texting while driving even though 17 bills have been introduced pushing for this. That said, this does not mean that texting while driving is not negligent driving when injury or death occurs as a result.

Program exposes the dangers of texting and driving, Sun-Sentinel, February 21, 2011
Ban on Texting while Driving Urged for Florida, First Coast News, February 9, 2011
Representative says texting while driving ban could fail in FL, WZVN, February 21, 2011
Suit: Woman in fatal crash was updating Facebook, Chicago Tribune, February 15, 2011
Man who was texting behind wheel drives off Danvers bridge and into river, police say, Boston.com, February 22, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Distracted Driving, National Safety Council
Distraction.gov, US Department of Transportation
Distracted Driving, Peer Awareness Continue reading

A man’s legs were severed in a Miami pedestrian accident on Saturday night when he became pinned between a wrought iron fence and a Ford Bronco. According to authorities, he was standing on the sidewalk when a Ford SUV, which was going the wrong way, struck the Bronco, which then hit him.

Following the Miami-Dade traffic crash, a number of people came running and a fight ensued. Seven other people sustained injuries.

Miami Pedestrian Accidents

A 78-year-old Greenacres woman is dead after she was injured in a Lake Worth, Florida pedestrian accident. Fatemeh Kazemishahmirzadi was crossing Melaleuca Lane early this morning when the Palm Beach motor vehicle accident happened.

The driver of the 2005 Hyundai SUV that struck Kazemishahmirzadi is was Wellington resident Tracy Laing. The 22-year-old motorist has said that she did not see the elderly pedestrian.

In other recent Palm Beach traffic crash news, 16 people were hurt yesterday when a school bus was rear-ended by a Dodge compact car. The rear of the school bus, which was transporting Palm Beach Central High students, reportedly lifted and part of it was torn off. The bus driver, eight students, and all three occupants in the Dodge were transported to hospitals.

Over the weekend, a multiple-Palm Beach bicycle accident sent two riders to the hospital. According to police, one cyclist fell and then two others followed suit. One of the riders, age 40, sustained bruises, scratches, and a possible broken collarbone. Another bicyclist complained lower back and left rib pain after the South Florida bicycle collision. The third rider refused medical care.

On Thursday, another Palm Beach pedestrian accident took another life when 63-year-old Edward Bert Allee was injured in a Lake Park, Florida car accident. Allee was walking his dog at around 6:40 am when he was fatally struck by a van whose driver did not stay at the crash site. However, 55-year-old James Clark Bristow, who drives a 1999 Ford, later arrived at the North Palm Beach Police department. He told police that he thought he had struck something with his van. He was later identified as the motorist that hit Allee.

Elderly woman killed in accident in suburban Lake Worth, The Palm Beach Post, January 12, 2010
Drivers, kids injured in school bus accident in suburban West Palm Beach, The Palm Beach Post, January 12, 2010
Multiple-bicycle crash on South Ocean Boulevard sends two to hospital, Palm Beach Daily News, January 8, 2011
Victim in deadly hit-and-run in Lake Park identified, Sun-Sentinel, January 6, 2011 Continue reading

7-year-old Francesa Moise is in a coma after being injured in a North Lauderdale car crash on Wednesday evening. Moise and her mother, sister, and brother, were walking along Tam O’Shanter Boulevard when a car drove onto the grass next to the sidewalk and hit the little girl as the family was attempting to cross the street.

Rescuers were able to restore Moise’s heartbeat before she was flown to Broward General Medical Center. The little girl also sustained severe wounds to her face.

The vehicle that struck Moise, which authorities later described as an Acura Integra, fled the North Lauderdale pedestrian accident site and was later found abandoned near a local warehouse. Police are trying to figure out who was driving the car at the time of the Broward County traffic crash.

In other South Florida car accident news, a teenage bicyclist was transported to the hospital after he was injured in a Weston car accident. The boy was riding his bicycle at Bonaventure Boulevard and West Ridge Drive late Wednesday afternoon when the crash happened.

Also yesterday, a Fort Lauderdale bus crash sent three passengers to the hospital with minor injuries after their county transit vehicle was in a collision with a car. It is not known at this time who caused the Broward County motor vehicle crash.

Meantime, 45-year-old Coral Gables model Valentina Hubsch has been charged in the hit-and-run Miami car accident that killed college student Jared Paul last month. The 21-year-old University of Miami student was crossing the street when a 2004 Hyundai struck him on November 13. He died from his injuries 10 days later.

Teen bicyclist injured in crash with car in Weston, Sun-Sentinel, December 22, 2010
Model charged in wreck that killed Miami student, Miami Herald, December 22, 2010
3 injured after car slams into transit bus, WSVN, December 22, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Florida Department of Transportation

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Continue reading

Cecelia L. Chinn, a 26-year-old pregnant woman, and her unborn child died from injuries they sustained during a Miami pedestrian accident on Saturday. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Chinn and a man were crossing the street in the city’s Kendall neighborhood when she was struck by a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt.

Chinn and her baby weren’t the only ones to die in a South Florida traffic crash over the Thanksgiving weekend. On Thursday night, 36-year-old single mom Tarita Jonas, a Tamarac resident, suffered fatal injuries during a car crash on Interstate 95.

Jonas and her son Keajee Jonas, 16, had finished attending Thanksgiving dinner in Fort Lauderdale when the 2000 Toyota Avalon they were riding collided with a 2010 BMW 750i. She lost control of her vehicle, which then hit a concrete barrier wall. Jonas’s son and the four people in the BMW did not sustain injuries.

As our Palm Beach car accident lawyers mentioned in our last blog post, the Thanksgiving weekend is considered one of the deadliest holiday periods of the year for vehicle occupants. As early as Wednesday night, the Florida Highway Patrol reported at least one deadly car crash that claimed the life of a 48-year-old driver, whose vehicle overturned after it was struck by another auto that was attempting to avoid another accident. The rollover ejected the driver and her two passengers from the auto.

Also on Thanksgiving Day, 89-year-old Peggy Osowski was killed in a Florida car collision when the car she was in was hit by another auto. Osowksi’s 26-year-old grandson Michael Osowski, who was driving the car she was a passenger in, did not sustain injuries. The driver of the other vehicle, 25-year-old Jason Meyers, sustained a non-life threatening injury.

Fla. pregnant woman dead after being hit by car, Miami Herald, November 29, 2010
Sheriff’s official loses mom in Thanksgiving Day wreck, News-Journal Online, November 27, 2010
Family mourns Tamarac hairstylist killed in I-95 holiday crash, Sun-Sentinel, November 26, 2010
FHP reports two Thanksgiving fatal accidents, WDBO, November 25, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Florida Highway Patrol

Florida DMV

Florida “Personal Injury Protection
Continue reading