Archive for July, 2013

Could Driving too Slowly Increase Your Accident Risk?

Everyone knows that driving too fast is incredibly dangerous, as the faster you go the greater your chances of becoming involved in an accident. However, exceeding the speed limit is not the only risky behavior that can occur on the roadways. Any driver who travels at an unsafe speed for road conditions can cause or contribute to an accident, in some cases including drivers who are going too slowly on a highway. 

Our West Palm Beach injury lawyers know that when someone is traveling at too slow of a speed in a left lane on a highway, this can create a dangerous situation for everyone. Now, Florida is taking action to prevent these types of slow drivers from being a danger. According to 10 News, a new state law has just come into effect that imposes a $60 fine on drivers in the left lane going more than 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit

Driving too Slow a Dangerous Choice

While driving too slow may not seem to be a bad thing, the reality is that these drivers put everyone at risk. In fact, according to the Daily Mail, studies have shown that almost 1/3 of motorists have had a “near-miss” caused by a driver going excessively slowly.

These slow drivers are dangerous because, as the Daily Mail reports, the majority of motorists become frustrated and make the decision to speed up and pass cars using the inside  lane.

Slow driving is also dangerous because a driver who is going too slowly in the left lane can create confusion among other motorists and can result in chain breaking. Chain breaking occurs when a driver catches up to a slow moving vehicle, causing that driver to slam on his brakes. A domino effect can be created, causing all drivers behind to need to slam on their brakes as well. If the drivers are unable to stop, an accident can occur.

Florida aims to prevent these types of accidents by passing the new law that applies to drivers in the far left lane on roads with four or more lanes.  Drivers are exempt from the law if they are either overtaking (passing) another car or if they are preparing to make a left turn at an intersection. Otherwise, if the drivers are going 10 miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit, they can be ticketed and fined.

Responsibility for Slow Driving Crashes

When a driver is traveling too slowly and a crash happens, it is important to determine who was at fault for the accident so the responsible party can be held accountable for any injuries. In all most all cases, the second driver will be cited with a rear-end violation, further complicating the issues.

If a driver was traveling too slowly, then it is likely he could be considered at least partially to blame for the crash.  This new safety law will also help accident victims to prove that a slow driver shares responsibility for causing the crash since the slow driver will now be in violation of the law.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., at (800) 608-2965 for a free and confidential consultation.

Archive for July, 2013

Florida Vacation Accidents: Parasailing A Dangerous Choice

Visitors to West Palm Beach can enjoy a number of different activities while on their vacation, but unfortunately some of those activities are risky and can put your safety in jeopardy. Recently, two visitors to Florida found out firsthand about the serious dangers associated with one of the most popular tourist activities: parasailing. 

Our West Palm Beach accident lawyers know that parasailing is an inherently dangerous activity, especially if the boat operator who offers the parasailing experience fails to ensure that the lines are safe.  When a tourist is injured in a parasailing accident as a result of the negligence of the company offering the activity, the tourist can obtain monetary compensation. These operators are loosely regulated and notoriously dangerous – state lawmakers have failed repeatedly to hold them accountable through meaningful legislation and oversight.

Florida Tourists Injured in Parasailing Accident

According to ABC News, two teenage girls who were visiting Florida from Indiana were recently involved in a devastating accident. The girls went on a parasailing trip when the parasail broke loose. The girls were slammed first into a nearby condo building and then were carried by strong winds into nearby power lines before falling into cars in a local parking lot. They were described as being in critical condition after the incident.

ABC News reports that the girls are slowly recovering from the injuries they sustained, with one of the girls able to walk with the assistance of a walker. The other victim is still in critical condition and can only open one eye. While she can now communicate with nods and gestures, she still has a long way to go to recover.

The company that offered the parasailing activity released a statement about the events, expressing their heartfelt sympathies to the families of the injured girls and indicating that the company does its best to minimize the risks associated with water sports. The company also indicated that it had no comment on the incident because a full investigation is currently underway.

Parasailing Companies Unregulated In Florida

Parasailing is a fun activity for tourists, but this recent incident underscores just how dangerous it can be. Unfortunately, between 1998 and today, there have been more than 33 parasailing accidents just in Florida alone, including six fatal accidents.

Parasailing activities are made even more dangerous by the fact that the industry is largely unregulated. In fact, ABC News reports that the company that owned the boat involved in the recent accident helped to block Florida legislation this past May that would have imposed new safety standards.

While there may not be a lot of safety laws regulating parasailing companies, these companies can still be held legally responsible if they are negligent in a way that leads to injuries.  A personal injury claim can be filed to hold companies responsible for accidents they cause.

For tourists, of course, the injuries often happen far from home and claims for damages need to be pursued in a Florida court. Having an experienced local attorney can be invaluable in pursing a claim if you are hurt in an accident when visiting Florida.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., at (800) 608-2965 for a  free and confidential consultation.