‘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...

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween from Aronfeld Trial Lawyers!

Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for children of all ages, but the grim statistics surrounding the holiday are something parents and drivers should take seriously. On average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to any other day of the year. We encourage parents to talk to their children about Halloween safety, as simple precautions and planning can make it a fun and safe night for all! At Aronfeld Trial Lawyers, we hope you and your loved ones have a safe and Happy Halloween. Here are some important safety tips for parents, children, motorists and property owners to remember this Halloween. Safety tips for motorists: • The safest thing you can do is avoid driving on Halloween night. The potential for car accidents involving young children increases four times on Halloween night, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). • If you must drive, do not drive distracted. Distracted driving involves more than using a smartphone while operating a vehicle. It is anything that takes your focus off the road for a second. Focus on safe driving and your surroundings, especially in residential neighborhoods where there is trick-or-treating. • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections waiting to cross the street, on medians and on curbs. • Always keep an eye out for children. Expect them to dart out in front of traffic. Halloween is an exciting night for them and sometimes they can forget the most basic of safety rules, particularly around vehicles. • If you are the parent of a teen driver, establish...

Teen Passengers Pose Biggest Threat to Teen Drivers

Teen cell phone use behind the wheel used to be thought of as the biggest danger to teen drivers, but according to a new study it is the passengers in the vehicle- specifically teen passengers in the vehicle who pose the biggest threat to teen drivers. The fatality rate in a motor vehicle crash, increased 51 percent, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, whenever a teen driver had teen passengers in his or her car. The fatality rate for the occupants of other cars involved in crashes caused by teen drivers with teen passengers went up by 56 percent. If a pedestrian or cyclist was also involved in this type of accident, the fatality rate increased by 17 percent.  In contrast, when older passengers (35 or older) ride with a teen driver, overall fatality rates in crashes decreased eight percent AAA reported that teen drivers were involved in more than one million car accidents resulting in more than 3,200 fatalities in the year 2016. This raises the question: Why is the rate of fatality higher when teen drivers are accompanied by teen passengers in the vehicle? One of the main reasons cited by AAA is the lack of supervision and training of these young drivers. One recommendation made by AAA is to require teen drivers log a certain number of supervised driving hours with a parent before being allowed to drive alone or with another teen. 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...
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