Florida Highway Car Accidents Can Be Deadly

Just this month, four young fraternity brothers from the University of South Florida died in a head on collision on Northbound I-275 outside of Tampa. Another young man, the driver of the Ford Expedition that caused the collision, was also killed. This collision was especially deadly because it was a wrong-way accident, with the Expedition travelling south in I-275’s northbound lanes at a high rate of speed. During the same weekend, six people also died in a similar head-on collision across the country on an LA County freeway.

Although any road can be the scene of a serious wreck under the wrong conditions, car accidents on Florida’s freeways, highways, interstates, and turnpike are often catastrophic – even when they are not wrong-way accidents. This is because of the traffic density and high speeds of vehicles on these roadways, and because large trucks crowd the lanes transporting cargo across the state. And with its international port and high population concentration, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County see a large percentage of Florida’s highway collisions.

I-95 is well-known for the dangers it poses to drivers, especially during commuting times and late weekend nights. Rush hour traffic can bring the highway to a near standstill, but when not in gridlock, it can be the site of some of the most aggressive driving witnessed by law enforcement across the region. Eager to take advantage of any opening, and frustrated with heavy traffic, drivers may take to speeding, tailgating, switching lanes without signaling, and refusing to let others merge at on-ramps and off-ramps. The Palmetto Expressway, Florida Turnpike and Dolphin Expressway also have their share of high-risk driving behaviors and road rage incidents.
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Intersection Car Accidents in Florida


A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report stated that between 35 and 40 percent of all reported vehicle collisions across the United States are intersection car accidents – and Florida is no exception. In fact, Florida is home to a number of the most dangerous intersections in the country.

Dangerous Florida Intersections

In 2004, a crossroads in Pembroke Pines was listed in the State Farm Danger Index as the intersection with the highest number of accidents in the nation – followed closely by other Florida intersections in Plantation, Tamarac-Lauderhill, Palm Harbor, Winter Park, Tampa, and Orlando. In response to these findings and continued reports of deadly intersection car accidents – including the death of Mark Wandall, a man killed by a red light runner in 2003 – the state government has worked to improve intersection safety.

In 2010, legislation passed to install “red light cameras” at known dangerous intersections in an effort to deter red light runners and reduce serious injuries and fatalities from intersection collisions. Although these cameras have, indeed, reduced deaths and serious injuries, the number of rear-end collisions has actually risen at many intersections with the cameras installed, as more drivers brake suddenly instead of hurrying through an amber light.

Causes of Intersection Car Accidents

The vast majority of intersection car accidents can be attributed to some kind of negligence or human error – the most common being distracted driving and a driver’s inattention to their surroundings. In fact, over 40 percent of all intersection-related collisions are due to the negligence of at least one driver. With the unfortunate increase in texting-while-driving behavior and the greater number of electronic gadgets in newer cars, this trend is expected to continue or even become worse in the near future.
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Dangerous New Trend: Taking Selfies While Driving

A number of alarming new hashtags are trending on Twitter and cropping up on other social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Vine: all related to “driving selfies.” This is the dangerous – sometimes deadly – practice of using a smart phone or tablet to take a self-portrait (or a group shot) while in the act of driving a vehicle. The number of car accidents caused by distracted drivers will continue to rise with this trend.

A quick search for “driving selfies” on Instagram or Twitter brings up at least five wildly trending hashtags, including #drivingselfie, #drivingfast, #drivingtowork, and #drivingintherain. There is even an “ironic” trending hashtag: #ihopeidontcrash. There are somewhere in the range of 15,000 posts on Instagram alone under these hashtags, with more popping up every day – and this does not include the other “while driving” shots, such as passengers hamming it up in the back seat, scenery flashing past the window, and even beads of rain moving across the windshield (see #rainx).

While there is a long list of unwise and dangerous distracted driving activities, very few are quite as disturbing as this new “selfies while driving” trend. All distracted driving has the potential to be deadly, but there are a number of reasons this is such an alarming development:
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What Do You Need to Prove a Slip and Fall Claim?

When someone slips and falls in a store, a public space, or someone else’s property, it is not automatically cause for a slip and fall claim. Whether the injured party wants to pursue an insurance settlement, or is interested in a personal injury lawsuit, there are key questions that must be answered regarding fault and liability – and evidence that must be gathered as proof.

When an injury accident is the result of something or someone outside of your control, you often have legal recourse to obtain compensation for injuries and other expenses. The principal issue determining whether or not you have a case is that of liability. In short, in Slip and Fall (premises liability) cases, you must have proof that the property owner – or entity responsible for managing the property – is liable for your injuries due to negligence or intentional wrongdoing that caused (or failed to prevent) the accident and injuries.

To prove negligence, you will need many kinds of evidence – the more the better. Types of evidence that may help you prove your case are:

Photographs of the scene: If you have a smartphone at the time of your slip and fall accident, you should take pictures of the specific cause of your fall (such as the puddle of liquid on the floor), as well as your surroundings. Include evidence of poor lighting, missing railings or signage, crowded aisles, and maintenance tools (such as a mop or towels near a leak). Such photos will back up your claims that 1) there was a hazardous condition, 2) the property owner was or should have been aware of it, and 3) there was inadequate warning regarding the hazard.

Evidence of your injuries: Photographs may also help to document your injuries, but medical reports from EMTs, ER visits, or follow-up physician appointments are even more vital. Many slip and fall accident attorneys have access to medical professionals who can attest to the fact that the injuries recorded could or did result from the type of fall you experienced.

Witness statements, accident reports, and security video if possible: If anyone was around to witness your accident, you should get their contact information and a statement from them, explaining what they saw and what they noticed about the hazardous conditions in question. If possible, get statements regarding how long the hazard was there or the property owner’s prior knowledge of it from employees or other customers. You should also request copies of any official accident/incident reports drawn up by employees on the premises, as well as copies of security footage that may have captured the incident. You should try to request these pieces of evidence as soon as possible, before anything is misplaced, altered, forgotten or deleted.
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