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West Palm Beach Legal Blog

Red-light traffic deaths reach a 10-year high

Traffic lights exist to help regulate the flow of traffic and keep motorists and passengers safe while traveling the nation's roads. In some cases, signaled intersections can prove highly dangerous. According to AAA, the number of people dying in the United States as a result of motorists running red lights is at a 10-year high, with the nation seeing more than 930 fatalities relating to red-light running in 2017 alone.

This is a sharp 28% increase since 2012 and the highest number of traffic deaths linked to red lights since 2008. Just what is it that is causing the rise in red-light-related traffic deaths?

What makes drowsy driving deadly?

Florida residents like you understand that you will come across many dangers when you hit the road. Unfortunately, drowsy drivers might be one of them. Though it's talked about less frequently than distracted or drunk driving, drowsing driving can be just as deadly. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention take a look at what exactly makes drowsy driving such risky behavior. First of all, being sleep-deprived or exhausted actually has a similar impact on your mind and body to being under the influence. With both situations, you can experience any or all of the following:

  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Impaired vision
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Increased agitation, irritability and confusion

Disability benefits for disabled adult children

If you are one of the many parents in Florida who has a child with a disability that is severe enough to preclude their ability to fully provide for themselves, you will want to learn as much as you can about the types of benefits available to you and to your child. Despite your desire to want to take care of your child forever, you will no doubt need to find options for financial support and even day-to-day assistance if your child is expected to outlive you. 

One of the types of benefits your disabled child may be able to qualify for is Social Security Disability. As explained by the Social Security Administration, once your child reaches the age of 18, they may be able to receive benefits based upon your work history even if they have never been able to work.

How can you prove someone was texting and driving?

A car ride to work can quickly turn deadly if a crash occurs. When the collision is avoidable, it may make take some proving. Distracted driving, particularly the use of cellphones, is still rising, as are the crashes that result.

When you get hit by someone, you may have the suspicion that texting was to blame. However, short of a full confession to a police officer or insurance adjuster, how can you prove the person who hit you was driving distracted at the time of the accident? Discover some of the clues you can use to help authorities string it together.

Recent crashes reaffirm ongoing truck risks

Every person who lives in Florida knows that motor vehicle accidents can and do happen every day. Fortunately, a good number of crashes tend to be minor and not result in harm to people, but many others leave motorists, pedestrians, passengers, and more injured. Some accidents are the cause of death to others. Large commercial vehicles, like semi-trucks, pose specific risks due to their large size and weight.

Floridians saw two recent crashes along different stretches of Interstate 75 that highlight the ongoing dangers associated with sharing the road with these big rigs. One incident took place on a weekday night, at approximately 9:00 p.m. MySunCoast.com reported that the driver of a tractor-trailer attempted to get control of his vehicle after losing control when one of his tires lost pressure. His attempt was unsuccessful as he essentially overcorrected. The action directed his truck off the road, and he died in the crash.

Safety of autonomous vehicles called into question

As automotive manufacturers and technology companies alike continue to push forward with the development of self-driving vehicles, residents in Florida will have to decide just how comfortable they are with these new modes of transportation. Many studies have been done in the last few years measuring the general comfort level among consumers with autonomous vehicles. Some of the most recent of these studies have shown that consumer confidence has waned in the wake of some rather high-profile accidents involving these vehicles.

One of the main premises on which the development of autonomous vehicles is based is that these cars offer a primary means of reducing or even avoiding accidents. This is based on the fact that human error is a major contributor to serious or fatal crashes. However, it seems that human actions and choices are still able to impact safety with the use of autonomous systems. 

A third of American teenagers say they text and drive

Nowadays, many teen motorists have cellphones, and for many of them, the temptation to use those phones while driving outweighs their best judgment. Even though the dangers associated with texting and driving have been extremely well-documented in recent years, the texting and driving – and distracted driving – problem continues to affect the safety of not only teenage drivers, but everyone else on the roadway, too.

Just how often are today’s teen motorists texting behind the wheel, and is there anything you can do to protect yourself from distracted teen drivers?

Preparing a SSD application

If you are a resident in Florida who has enjoyed the ability to work for some time and now find yourself unable to work due to a disabling condition or injury, you may understandably be concerned about how you can receive some income to support yourself. There is a program established by the federal government that you pay into through deductions in every paycheck that is designed to be one avenue of giving you a source of income at times like these.

As explained by U.S. News and World Report, the program is called Social Security Disability. The amount of money you may receive is to some degree dictated by the amount of money you have contributed and a general formula used by the Social Security Administration. That, however, does not mean that you are automatically able to qualify for these benefits or that it is easy to qualify for these benefits. Also important to know is that your application information may impact the amount of your benefits to some degree.

Can I get a work-related injury offsite or off the job?

As you may already know, Florida workers’ compensation law is meant to cover your medical expenses, as well as lost wages, after a work-related injury or illness. Most workplace mishaps occur while employees are at their worksites. However, there are some instances in which workers’ compensation may apply for an injury or illness that occurred away from the job or during off hours.

According to FindLaw, numerous situations may be covered by workers’ compensation off the clock or away from the job. Some examples may include the following:

  • You were in a motor vehicle accident picking up office supplies during work hours.
  • After work, you were in an accident when your boss asked you to mail a package on your way home.
  • You got sick with a serious respiratory illness during a business flight.
  • You tripped on the sidewalk while walking to a restaurant for a lunch meeting with clients.
  • You sprained your ankle at a company-sponsored barbeque.

Federal rules target trucker fatigue

If you are like many people in Florida, when you come up next to a semi-truck or another very large commercial vehicle in your standard passenger vehicle, you can feel a bit nervous. The thought of being in an accident involving one of these big rigs can make people realize why these crashes often end in such tragedy. Their size alone is a huge contributor to this reality. The need for truck drivers to operate their vehicles safely cannot be understated.

Fatigue among truckers has long been recognized as a contributing factor in many crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has developed rules designed to prevent excessive fatigue among commercial truck drivers. These are called the Hours of Service rules. They cap the number of hours a driver can work and drive each day and week.

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