New Year’s Eve is the Most Dangerous Time to Be on the Road

Happy 2019 from Aronfeld Trial Lawyers! We have a very important safety warning for you: keep your kids and any of your loved ones off the roads on New Year’s Eve after midnight and until the following morning. Here’s why: compared to an average Saturday night, the 12-hour window between 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 6 a.m. on Jan. 1 has 71% more crashes where alcohol or drugs are listed as a contributing factor. New Year’s Eve is the most dangerous time to be on the road for anyone driving or even walking because nearly half of all fatal New Year’s Day car crashes involve drunk drivers, according to statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control. Florida Statute §319.193 defines “Driving Under the Influence (DUI)” as anyone who is driving under the influence of alcohol, chemical, controlled substances or who has a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. The combination of drinking and driving and late-night celebrations make New Year’s Eve the worst day of the year for deadly crashes involving drunk drivers. And it is not much safer for pedestrians; as New Year’s Eve is also the deadliest day to simply cross the street. In the United States, traffic crashes are still the leading cause of death for ages 1 through 34 years. At Aronfeld Trial Lawyers we want you to ring in the New Year safely! Your trusted Miami auto accident lawyers have some important tips to keep you and your loved ones safe this New Year’s Eve. 1. Wear Your Seatbelt. One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make...

$299M Settlement Approved Over Defective Takata Airbags in Ford Vehicles

Federal Judge Federico Moreno of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently approved a $299M Settlement involving the defective airbags manufactured by the Japan-based Takata Corporation. The class action settlement worth hundreds of millions of dollars is one of the largest auto recalls in history. The defective airbags were manufactured by Takata Corp., a Japanese company that provided the devices to Ford as well as Toyota, Honda and several major car companies. The Order compensates consumers for any losses and incurred expenses tied to Ford’s recall of vehicles containing Takata air bags, which have been documented as causing severe injuries and death. The Takata airbag recall accounted for more than 37 million recalls after the defective airbags caused 23 deaths worldwide over recent years. Thousands of individuals were injured due to these defective devices, as well. As a result, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched a website called Airbag Recall to keep drivers updated on recall notices. According to the NHTSA, 1-in-5 cars that are on the road are under some type of auto recall. The NHTSA has an additional website that allows drivers to look up whether their cars are facing any recalls by entering the car’s VIN. The NHTSA website goes back 15 calendar years and includes information for motorcycle recalls. The U.S. Department of Transportation also hosts a site that includes auto recalls, including recalls for child safety car seats, tires and school buses. FREE CONSULTATION WITH A MIAMI AUTO ACCIDENT PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, it is very important to consult...

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Parties! Celebrate Safely this Year

‘Tis the season for holiday parties- whether in people’s homes, at local business establishments or in the office, the month of December is filled with celebration. At Aronfeld Trial Lawyers we want you to celebrate safely this holiday season and year around. Whether you plan on hosting or attending a holiday party, it is important to have a plan in place prior to the party- not only for yourself but for your guests. Assign a designated driver, have your party use a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft to get home safely. Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Probably okay, isn’t okay. You are not only putting yourself in danger, but other passengers and motorists as well. Florida Statute §319.193 defines “Driving Under the Influence (DUI)” as anyone who is driving under the influence of alcohol, chemical, controlled substances or who has a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties are provided for in §316.193(2) and range from $500 to imprisonment or residential alcohol or drug treatment facilities. Even first offense DUI accidents involving property damage, serious bodily injury or death can result in prison time. The holidays are notoriously unsafe times for traveling because of the increased numbers of impaired drivers on the roads. Intoxicated drivers remain the biggest cause of traffic fatalities both in Florida and the U.S. Nearly 11,000 people, approximately one-third of the nation’s 37,000-plus traffic fatalities, died in 2016 and 2017 due to drivers impaired by alcohol. By comparison, deaths caused by distracted drivers in 2016 totaled 3,450. Drunk driving accidents often involve the intoxicated driver crossing lanes and hitting another...

Helping our Teens Be Safe Drivers

As parents, helping our teens become safe drivers starts long before they get behind the wheel. It starts by setting an example when they are still in the back seat. Showing them the importance of always wearing a seat belt, never texting and driving, keeping within a safe speed limit, never tailgating or cutting other cars off in traffic, and never drinking and driving. New teenage drivers were eight times more likely to have a car crash or close call within the first three months of driving, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. They were also more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors, like sudden braking, rapid acceleration and hard turns. We did a recent blog on teen passengers posing the biggest threat to teen drivers, which oftentimes encourages these types of dangerous driving behaviors. Graduated driver licensing policies, now nationwide for new drivers under 18, can help to reduce crash rates by requiring a specific number of hours of adult-supervised driving, restrictions on driving at night and with peers in the car, and phasing in exposure to more demanding driving conditions. As parents and guardians, it is our job to ensure that our young drivers are trained in how to react in various traffic safety situations. There are ways to prevent teen motor vehicle accidents and injuries. As the teen driver begins to become more comfortable in lower-risk driving situations, it is helpful to slowly move him or her up into more complex situations, such as driving on interstates, driving in adverse weather conditions, or driving at night. These practice drives...

Thanksgiving Driving Safety Tips from Aronfeld Trial Lawyers

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel holiday of the year. The 2018 Thanksgiving holiday travel period extends from Wednesday, November 21 – Sunday, November 25. Approximately 48.5 million Americans are expected to drive 50 miles or more for the 2018 holiday period, according to AAA. It is estimated that 2.8 million Floridians will do the same this Thanksgiving. The majority of those travelers, more than 89 percent, will be driving to their destination. If you plan to drive, be prepared for delays. Be respectful of other drivers and follow the rules of the road. Many accidents are a result of driver frustration. There were 20% more fatal crashes nationally in the 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. travel period during the Thanksgiving holiday. Not surprisingly, more crashes occurred in the rain and in inclement weather conditions, and 40% of the fatal Thanksgiving crashes involved drinking and driving, according to the Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As experienced Miami auto accident attorneys, we know the devastation a car accident can cause. It can ruin more than just your holiday. Here are some safe driving tips to help you arrive safely at your destination this Thanksgiving. • Avoid driving at the most dangerous times. Many drivers think it is best to begin their trip very early in the morning or late into the night to avoid the traffic. However, this strategy comes with risk. Driving between midnight and 6 a.m. is considered the most dangerous time to be on the roads. • Do not drive drowsy. Driving drowsy can produce some of the same side effects as drunk driving. Listen to your body....

Tesla Accused of Overstating the Safety of Its Autopilot System in New Lawsuit

Tesla, Inc., has found itself embroiled in a lawsuit with respect to the safety of its autonomous vehicles. The company has been accused of misleading consumers in believing that Tesla vehicles can transport passengers on the interstate, traveling at high speeds, safely. The lawsuit is a result of a Florida crash involving a Tesla Model S driver who was injured after operating the vehicle using the car’s Autopilot system which malfunctioned while traveling at interstate speed. The crux of the lawsuit is a claim that the Autopilot system poses what is claimed to be “an inordinately high risk of high-speed collisions.” The problem alleged is that the car’s Autopilot self-driving system malfunctioned, causing the car to steer erratically when traveling at a high speed. The plaintiff’s attorneys allege that the company has not been receptive to ensuring that safety features are installed on these vehicles. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California and is requesting class-action status, which is pending. In response, Tesla has firmly denied the claims and has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that the legal claims made are meant only to secure attorney’s fees and have no basis. The concept of autonomous driving has led to concern for many consumers, especially when accidents occur at the hand of these self-driving vehicles. While critics of this technology have warned of the risks, the government has been extremely supportive in promoting the development of self-driving technology in hopes of cutting accident rates, as well as highway deaths. However, lawsuits, such as this one, seem to give pause for concern as...
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