MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND DRIVING DANGERS

The roads can be a dangerous place on any given day, but statistics show that certain days stand out among the rest for being more dangerous. We happen to be coming up on one of those days, so be prepared if you plan to be on the roads this Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day has long-been heralded as the official start of summer, but it is also one of the deadliest driving holidays of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 400 people die annually during Memorial Day weekend from traffic accidents. Additionally, approximately 13 percent more traffic deaths happen on this weekend than others. The reason for this increase in traffic-related fatalities can be directly attributed to alcohol. Here are some additional dangerous driving days to beware of this summer. Fridays in the summer Some of the busiest times on the road involve Fridays in June, July or August. Think about it. People may get off work a few hours early to get an early start on weekend plans, and in Florida, this can mean people traveling from out of state to stay at one of our famous beach resorts. This extra traffic can often result in additional car accidents. Fourth of July  The Fourth of July has consistently been marked as the deadliest day to be on the road. Many reasons exist for this statistic. Increased travel on the roads can lead to more accidents, but alcohol consumption can also make this situation even more dangerous as people travel to and from Fourth of July celebrations. INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT THIS MEMORIAL...

Effectiveness of Tesla’s Autopilot System in Question, AGAIN After Another Fatal Crash

Tesla’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system is being blamed for another driver death.  It was reported that that the autopilot system was fully engaged when a Model 3 vehicle drove beneath a semitrailer in Florida, killing the driver of the Tesla. The autopilot system was engaged 10 seconds before the crash, and neither the system nor the driver stopped the vehicle, according to federal investigators.  The vehicle was traveling at approximately 68 miles per hour at the time of the crash.  The vehicle did not sense the driver’s hands on the wheel in the final 8 seconds. The roof of the Tesla was blown off in the accident and the car finally stopped at a median about 1,600 feet from where it hit the semi-truck. The driver of the semi-truck was uninjured. In 2016, another crash occurred under similar circumstances in Florida. In both instances, the driver was killed, and the roof of the Tesla was torn off. Neither report assigned blame on the driver or the vehicle. The crash remains under investigation by the NTSB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This fatal crash comes shortly after a California family sued Tesla for wrongful death and negligence, alleging a defective Autopilot system was to blame for the death of their loved one. Currently, Tesla vehicles are being used by tens of thousands of people and more lives could be at risk.  Automakers putting profits ahead of consumer safety is unacceptable.  If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective Tesla autopilot system, or any other type of automobile defect – you have legal rights....

Royal Caribbean Private Island to Include Water Park, Zip Line and Giant Balloon

The newest trend in the cruise industry is for cruise companies to purchase private destination islands where they can offer exclusive attractions for their passengers. Royal Caribbean is cashing in on the trend with its newest CoCo Cay destination island in the Bahamas. After spending $250 million to renovate the island, Royal Caribbean is officially debuting their most recent creation – Perfect Day at Coco Cay. The island features a new water park, including a 135-foot tall water slide and freshwater lagoon. The park also has a helium balloon that will take guests up 450 feet to view the island. Another excursion offered on the island is a 1,600 foot-long zip-line attraction. The attraction spans a total of 125 acres and can accommodate up to 10,000 people at one time. Cruise passengers can enjoy a full day at the water park for the cost of $44 to $99 per person. If you wish to take a ride on the zip-line, the cost ranges from $79 to $139 per person. Similarly, the cost to ride on the balloon ride is anywhere from $39 to $99 per person. Costs vary based on the season. So far, 11 of the Royal Caribbean ships are expected to visit Perfect Day in 2019, including the Empress, Symphony of the Seas, and Navigator of the Seas. The company has installed a new pier, which allows their larger ships in the Oasis class to dock at the island. Royal Caribbean does not plan to stop with this one island either. They are currently in the planning stages for four more private island destinations in the Caribbean,...

Not Having Uninsured Motorist Coverage Can Be a Costly Mistake in Florida

Florida has among the highest uninsured motorist rates in the country. It is estimated that nearly 1 in 4 Florida drivers are driving without car insurance. It is a scary statistic, but highlights the importance of Florida drivers carrying what is called uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.  Uninsured motorist coverage takes the place of liability coverage for the at-fault driver if he or she is uninsured or under-insured.  This coverage applies when: the other driver is at-fault for the accident; the other driver is uninsured or under-insured; you are the victim of a hit-and-run.  UM will pay for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering and for injuries sustained by both the insured and any family member.  Florida drivers have the option to “stack” UM coverage. This means you can add one vehicle’s coverage on top of another vehicle’s coverage to increase the total insurance payout if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured (or under-insured) motorist.  For example, if you have two vehicles insured under the same policy, each with $50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident UM coverage limits.  With stacked coverage you can combine the UM limits from the two cars, which will now give you $100,000 per person / $200,000 per accident. Some states require that drivers carry UM coverage, but Florida does not.  Because of this, many drivers feel that it is not important.  Not having this coverage can a costly mistake in Florida.  Many come to find this out after being involved in a serious car accident.  As a personal injury auto accident attorney in Miami, I have learned that insurance...

Legal options after an electric scooter accident in Miami

The number of people riding electric scooters in South Florida has increased in recent years. Lime and electric scooter rentals have become increasingly prevalent in Miami and popular tourist destinations like Key West.  They provide an easy and fun way to cruise the beaches and sightsee. They have also become an affordable and economical choice for Miami-area commuters.  As part of a six-month trial program, six scooter companies are adding the first of 300 ‘dockless’ rental scooters in Miami’s District 2. The district includes downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, Morningside and Edgewater. The companies taking part in the program are Bird, Bolt, Jump, Lime, Lyft and Spin. Although these companies promote their electric scooters as ‘fun and easy to operate,’ they pose many risks to riders and those sharing the road with them. Even if the proper safety precautions are taken, accidents can still happen.   Electric Scooter Laws in Florida In Miami, it is legal to ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk or in a bike lane (when available).  You must be 18 years or older to ride.  It is illegal to ride on the yellow lines in between lanes of traffic, to pass other vehicles. Florida law does not require operators of a scooter to wear a helmet. Miami motor vehicle laws apply to electric scooters.  This means you must stop at red lights and stop signs, drive in the same direction as traffic and always yield to pedestrians. Common Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents One major disadvantage a scooter rider has when sharing the road with other vehicles, is their lack of visibility.  They can be...
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