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Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

The issue of distracted driving in Florida

Distracted driving can take many forms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can be visual, manual or mental depending on if someone takes their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel or if they aren't thinking about driving. Distracted driving can also be a combination of the three.

Texting and driving is often commonly associated with distracted driving because it involves all three forms of distraction. However, anything from changing the radio station to getting lost in thought can be forms as well. The issue is a fairly serious one, and statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that nine people are killed and more than 1,100 are injured daily due to distracted driving. Additionally, a study done in 2011 found that 31 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 64 had texted or sent email messages while driving within 30 days of being asked.

Florida accident claims the life of a driver

An auto accident between a 2014 Ford Fusion and a 1991 Ford Mustang occurred in St. Augustine on the evening of Feb. 13. Both vehicles were traveling on Florida 16 when the driver of the Fusion attempted a U-turn at the intersection of St. Francis Road and Florida 16. The Mustang was behind the Fusion when the Fusion veered right into the entrance of St. Francis Road for the attempted U-turn. As the Fusion began to turn within the intersection, the Mustang struck the Fusion's left side. Reports suggested that the driver of the Fusion may have been unaware of the Mustang.

The driver of the Mustang sustained serious injuries, according to reports. He was transported to UF Health Jacksonville Hospital for medical care. The driver of the Fusion was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The female passenger of the Fusion sustained minor injuries and was also taken to a hospital for medical attention.

Florida woman in critical condition after bus accident

A 72-year-old Palm Harbor woman was critically injured after being hit by a PSTA bus on Thursday, Feb. 12, around 4 p.m. The woman was walking in the crosswalk in the 36000 block of East Lake Road when the bus struck her, dragged her for some time and then stopped, pinning her under the bus.

The pedestrian was airlifted to the Bayfront Medical Center. She remains in critical condition as of Friday following the accident.

Motorcycle accident statistics

In Florida and across the country, motorcycle riders are at a greater risk of being seriously injured or killed in a highway accident than car drivers are. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the chance that a motorcyclist will be killed in a crash is 26 times that of a passenger car occupant. Motorcyclists are also five times more likely to sustain injuries in an accident than passenger car occupants.

Although motorcycle riding has become increasingly popular in recent years, the annual number of fatal motorcycle crashes is actually decreasing. In 2013, there were 4,668 people killed in motorcycle accidents, while there were 4,986 motorcycle fatalities in 2012. This represents a 6.4 percent decrease in fatal motorcycle accidents. Injuries sustained by motorcycle riders also decreased by 5.4 percent during the same time period.

Facts on impaired driving accidents

In Florida, 2.1 percent of adults self-reported that they have driven after drinking too much in the past 30 days, which is higher than the national average of 1.9 percent. Across the U.S., almost 30 people die in auto accidents involving an intoxicated driver each day, and that amounts to a death every 51 minutes. An estimated 10,322 people in the U.S. were killed in drunk driving accidents, and these incidents account for almost a third of all car accidents.

The rate in Florida for those of all ages who were victims of drunk driving accidents was 3.7 per 100,000. Some of the fatalities were children who were passengers in vehicles driven by alcohol-impaired drivers. In 2012, there were 1,168 traffic deaths of children from 0 to 14 years of age, and of those, 20 percent of the accidents involved a drunk driver.

Whiplash injuries after car accidents

Individuals in Florida may suffer from whiplash following a car accident. Whiplash may occur when a person's neck is jolted back and forth. It is a term that covers a number of different types of injuries.

Most commonly, whiplash refers to a sprain or strain in the ligaments of the neck. Injury can occur to muscles, tendons, joints and vertebrae. A disc herniation may happen if there are tears to discs between vertebrae; it is also possible for vertebrae to be dislocated or fractured.

Government study looks at the number of large truck accidents

Florida drivers may be interested in some government statistics about the number of fatal truck accidents and some of the causes. The data reveals some interesting facts about the majority of crash victims.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, large trucks were involved in the deaths of 3,921 people around the country in 2012. That year, more than 100,000 people were injured in truck accidents as well. These injuries and fatalities were the result of over 300,000 crashes that included a large truck. The statistics show that, when a large truck is involved in a crash, the overwhelming majority of these collisions result in a multi-vehicle accident. When someone is injured or killed in these accidents, 73 percent of the time it is not a truck occupant. In 2012, however, 18 percent of those killed were the truck drivers.

Head-on crash kills 2 Florida drivers, injures child

A two-car collision on U.S. Highway 90 caused a 9-year-old boy to be airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola in critical condition. The accident occurred around 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 6 when a westbound pickup truck being driven by a 36-year-old man crossed the highway's centerline, according to a Florida Highway Patrol news release.

The pickup hit another pickup truck being driven by a 52-year-old woman, and both drivers died in the head-on crash. They were reportedly not wearing seat belts, but the child did have restraints in use.

3 killed in head-on crash on U.S. 301 in Florida

Three people are dead and one is hospitalized in critical condition following a crash on U.S. Highway 301 north of Dade City on Dec. 30. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the accident happened shortly before noon near Davidson Court.

Authorities said an 86-year-old man lost control of his Buick Enclave while heading south on Highway 301 and crossed the center grass median and a paved median break before driving into northbound traffic. The Buick crashed into an oncoming Ford Explorer driven by a 74-year-old man head-on.

Florida crash kills 1, injures 1

Officers with the Florida Highway Patrol reported that a fatal car accident occurred on Dec. 20 at approximately 4:24 a.m. The incident, which took place near the intersection of State Road 60 and Cable Road in Plant City, left a 52-year-old male Brandon resident dead.

Police reported that the driver of a 2014 Ford 250, the deceased 52-year-old man, was traveling in the wrong direction in the eastbound lanes of State Road 60. The vehicle collided head-on with a 2005 Ford 250 that was being driven by a 28-year-old Lithia resident. The driver of the 2005 Ford vehicle was taken to a nearby hospital via air with injuries that were described as critical while the other driver died at the scene of the crash. It was not reported why the deceased driver was driving in the wrong lane.

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