West Palm Beach Brain Injuries & High Risk of Dementia

The lasting health effects of brain injury have become clear to researchers and medical professionals. A recent study published on Health Day confirms that there is likely a link between traumatic brain injury and dementia. The study was “able to point to an association,” although it could not conclusively prove cause-and-effect. 

Because of the seriousness of brain injuries, it is important for victims to understand their legal rights. Top causes of brain injuries include motor vehicle collisions, sports accidents, slip and falls and violence. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help brain injury victims pursue a claim for compensation to provide for lasting care and rehabilitative needs.

Brain injury and dementia risks

The new study involved an evaluation of 190,000 veterans who were 68-years-old on average. The veterans were free of dementia. A total of 1,229 of the veterans had been diagnosed with a brain injury.

Researchers followed these veterans over a period of nine years. Among the veterans who had been diagnosed with a brain injury, 16 percent developed dementia. Among the veterans who had not been diagnosed with a brain injury, only 10 percent developed dementia.

The vets who had a brain injury generally developed dementia at an average age of 78.5 years. Among those who did not have a brain injury and who developed dementia, the problem did not set in until an average age of 81.

Researchers said: “Our results suggest that [brain injury] may increase the risk of developing dementia in older veterans, with an age of onset about two years earlier.”

Other risk factors including high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and alcohol abuse, were taken into consideration when the study was performed. Even accounting for these variables, it seems clear that the brain injury played a role both in increasing the risk and in reducing the age at which dementia sets in.

Research also showed that the risk of dementia was higher in veterans who had both a brain injury and another health condition such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or cerebrovascular disease.

The study did not delve into the specific mechanisms that may have caused the increased risk of dementia. However, one potential theory is that each of the hits that the brain sustains reduces the brain’s ability to recover from the damage.

Another possible explanation for a link between a brain injury and dementia is that injury in the brain can cause a build-up of amyloid or tau. Both of these proteins are implicated in dementia and in Alzheimer’s disease.

This study is not the first to suggest that there is a potentially increased risk of dementia for people who sustain head trauma. The Alzheimer’s Association also warns that the effects of a traumatic brain injury can be lasting and permanent and may, among other things, make a person more susceptible to dementia as he ages.

Preventing head injuries is a top priority because of the lingering and indirect health consequences. Unfortunately, if an injury has occurred, victims have no option but to try to recover and ensure they have received full an fair compensation for the damage sustained.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 to schedule a free consultation. 

School Bus Safety Tips to Prevent West Palm Beach Accidents

With children heading back to school, many kids will be commuting via school bus. However, the Bradenton Herald reports that a recent school bus accident in Florida has raised concerns over child safety. 

The reality is that approximately one percent of children killed in transportation accidents when going to school lose their lives in collisions involving school buses, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Unfortunately, the NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts also reveal that there were 1,222 fatal school-transportation related accidents in the last decade. Between 2003 and 2012, the fatal accidents resulted in 174 kids losing their lives while commuting to school.

Of the kids who were killed, 55 were riding on school buses at the time of the incident and another 119 were killed as a result of pedestrian collisions involving a school transportation vehicle. A personal injury lawyer should represent families when a child is  injured or killed while in the care of a school district.

Avoiding school transportation accidents

Accidents involving transportation to and from school can be avoided if kids, drivers and parents follow best safety practices. The NHTSA has published a guide called Kids, the School Bus & You, which is targeted towards protecting the 23 million students nationwide who commute to school via bus.

Drivers must do their part to keep these kids safe. The NHTSA recommends:

  • Drivers lookout for kids who may be walking or bicycling by before they pull out of driveways or parking spots, especially as the school year starts and more kids are on the roads during high traffic times.
  • Drivers must pay attention to school zone areas and must be watchful of kids who are walking to school within these zones.
  • Drivers should slow down in areas where there are no sidewalks and should be watchful of kids who may be walking or biking to school or who may be waiting near bus stops.
  • Drivers need to follow the rules when it comes to stopping for school buses. Yellow flashing lights are an indicator to other motorists that the bus is preparing to stop in order to load or unload children. A stop arm and red flashing lights indicate that the bus has stopped and that kids are in the process of getting onto or off of the bus. Motorists are required to slow and prepare to stop at yellow flashing lights and must stop for red flashing lights.

Children should:

  • Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the time the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • Stand at least six feet (three giant steps) away from the curb and line up to board the bus away from the street.
  • Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop and until the driver says that it is OK before trying to climb aboard the bus.
  • Use the handrails to avoid falling down both when getting on and getting off of the bus.
  • Ensure that you are at least 10 feet ahead of the bus before crossing the road and make sure that the bus driver can see you before crossing.
  • Avoid walking behind the bus at any time.
  • Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of a bus.
  • Never try to pick up items that you have dropped near the bus until you have alerted the driver you plan to do so, as the driver may not see you if you are bent over.

Parents should make sure that kids know these best practices for school bus safety in order to reduce the risk that an accident will occur.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 to schedule a free consultation. 

West Palm Beach Boating Accidents Can Be Deadly

A boat collision in the waters of South Florida resulted in at least three deaths this July. According to Fox News 29, authorities believe that the boaters were out celebrating Independence Day when the collision occurred late on the Fourth of July. The collision was reported to rescuers at approximately 10:45 when the operator of a 36-foot pleasure craft called in and said he’d been struck by another vessel and his boat was taking on water. 

A total of eight people were taken to the shore and treated in local hospitals and two of the victims passed away. The second vessel was found by salvage crews with two unconscious women onboard. The body of another victim was found in the water and investigators were searching for one other party. The cause of the accident has not been reported.

Boating accidents are unfortunately common in the state of Florida. Victims of collisions and surviving family members of those killed in boat accidents should consult with a personal injury attorney in West Palm Beach.

Florida Boaters Face Risk of Deadly Accidents 

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there are more recreational boats and water vessels in Florida than there are in any other state within the United States. Unfortunately, there are also more collisions. Accidents that cause at least $2,000 in damage or injury are traced. In 2012 in Florida, there were 661 such accidents

Boating accidents have many different causes, but often drivers make mistakes that result in deadly wrecks. Some of the most common reasons for Florida boating accidents include:

  • Inexperienced boat operators who do not understand safety rules or how to operate vessels safely.
  • Boaters who operate their vessels when they are intoxicated after using drugs or alcohol.
  • Boat operators who are distracted and not paying attention to other vessels.
  • Operators speeding too quickly in their boats.
  • Bad weather.
  • Lack of appropriate safety gear aboard the vessel.
  • Failure to properly maintain a boat.

Boaters should be aware of these top causes of accidents and should follow boating safety tips to stay safe on the waterways. Tips to avoid boating accidents include:

  • Always check the weather before going out on the waters.
  • Have enough life jackets and safety gear on board the vessel for every passenger who will be out on the boat.
  • Avoid drinking or using drugs when operating a water vessel. Do not get onto a boat that is being operated by someone who has used an intoxicating substance.
  • Be on the lookout for other boaters or obstacles in the water and always pay careful attention when operating a boat.

Boaters should take recommended safety courses in order to ensure that they know how to pilot their vessel and how to respond in case of an emergency. A boater who fails to follow safety rules or who operates his vessel in an unsafe way can be held legally liable if he causes an accident and injures passengers or boaters aboard other vessels.

Personal injury lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 or visit http://www.gonzalezcartwright.com/ to schedule a free consultation. 

Pets Can Be a Deadly Distraction for West Palm Beach Drivers

Dogs love riding in cars and many motorists in West Palm Beach take their canine family members with them when they get in their vehicle. Unfortunately, having a pet in the car can be very risky for motorists. 

A driver with a pet in the car may be distracted and may endanger himself and others. Victims of a collision with a distracted driver need to understand their legal rights and should consult with a personal injury attorney.

Pets are a Dangerous Distraction for West Palm Beach Drivers

Esurance provides disturbing information about the major risks associated with having pets in your vehicle with you when you are driving.

According to a 2011 survey jointly conducted by AAA and Kurgo 65 percent of people who drive with their dogs admit that they have reached back, taken photos, held down their pet, or pet their dog while they were driving.

It takes just two seconds of driving while distracted to significantly increase the risk of a collision according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers who look away to deal with their pets may look away for much longer and are not focusing their full attention on the road.

If a driver does get into a collision when distracted by a pet, the animal may be at risk and may endanger everyone in the car. An unrestrained pet can turn into a projectile and fly around the vehicle, striking occupants. A 10-pound dog that is not restrained can generate as much as 500 pounds of force if the animal is in a car that crashes while the vehicle is going at least 50 miles per hour. An 80-pound dog can generate around 2,400 pounds of force even in a collision where the driver is going just 20 miles per hour.

Avoiding Dangerous Distractions

Although your pet can be dangerous, you don’t have to give up taking your dog along. There are plenty of ways to travel safely and avoid the risk a pet can present. For example, there are two common ways to restrain your pet both to prevent the dog from distracting you and to ensure the pet doesn’t fly around the car in a collision.

One option is to use a pet seat belt. These seat belts should be purchased separately as using human seat belts is ineffective and dangerous. Pet seat belts should be sized appropriately for your animal and they work in tandem with regular car belts. Pets in seat belts should sit in the back seat and not the front as air bags can cause serious injuries to animals.

Pet carriers are also a safe way to transport your pet in the car. Be sure to select a carrier that has enough room for your dog to turn around in and to stretch out in. The carrier should have plenty of room and you should secure it within the car so it stays safely in place if you get into a collision or if you are forced to break suddenly.

Personal injury attorneys in West Palm Beach can help. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 or visit http://www.gonzalezcartwright.com/ to schedule a free consultation. 

West Palm Beach Drivers Urged to be “Tire-Wise”

Summers in West Palm Beach are known for hot weather, which can be great for those who want to hit the beach. Unfortunately, the heat is not necessarily very good for tires. Warm weather can add to the risk of a blowout, which can cause a serious accident. Tire Safety Week was scheduled in early June of this year to remind drivers about best practices when it comes to tire safety. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provided some important safety tips to kick off Tire Safety Week. Drivers should follow the advice of the NHTSA to avoid the chances of an accident occurring. Unfortunately, sometimes tires are simply poorly made or dangerously designed and there is nothing that the motorist can do to decrease the risks. When an accident happens because of tire defects, lawyers in West Palm Beach at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., can help.

Tire Safety Tips to Prevent Collisions

The NHTSA recommends that all drivers check their tires regularly and that they replace tires when they become worn out due to damage or age. Proper tire maintenance can extend the average tire life by as much as 4,700 miles, so keeping up on maintaining tires can save you money. More importantly, taking care of your tires could help save your life by helping you avoid blowouts.

The most important maintenance step to take for your tires is to ensure that they are inflated to the proper level. This affects durability, safety and fuel consumption. Other maintenance tasks that should be performed regularly include balancing and aligning the tires, which will help them to last longer.

Even with the very best maintenance, however, tires do wear and age. Drivers should check their tires regularly to see if the tread has become too worn for safe use.

The components of the tire, such as the rubber, can also begin to break down over time even if the tire is not used often or when the tire is sitting in storage. Warmer weather can make tire aging worse, which is especially a problem for motorists living in West Palm Beach where it is warm year round. Follow the instructions of your tire manufacturers regarding how long your tires can be safely stored or used and replace them when it is time.

Finally, drivers are advised to sign up for NHTSA alerts and to make sure that their tires are registered with the manufacturer so that they will be notified of any possible recalls that may occur. If a tire is recalled due to a design problem or defect, the manufacturer can be held legally responsible for any losses that occurred because of the tire problems.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., today at 800-608-2965 or visit http://www.gonzalezcartwright.com/ to schedule a free consultation. 

West Palm Beach Motorcyclists Continue to Face Accident Risks

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) had some good news for motorcycle riders this May. The agency released a Spotlight on Highway Safety report that revealed a seven percent decline in motorcycle accident deaths in 2012.  This is only the second time since 1997 that U.S. motorcycle fatalities decreased. The decrease occurred nationwide, but also within the state of Florida. 

While a reduction in motorcycle accident deaths is good news, unfortunately it does mean that motorcyclists are that much safer on the roads. Forbes reports that while deaths are down, this can be explained by changes in weather and the economy rather than by the fact that riding a motorcycle has  become safer. Motorcyclists continue to be at greater risk of injury or death than most other motorists on the roads, and it is important for drivers and riders to follow safety advice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If a driver is responsible for causing a motorcycle collision, the rider can take legal action to obtain compensation for serious injuries. Lawyers in West Palm Beach  can help motorcycle accident victims and their family members to pursue a damage claim after a collision occurs.

Motorcycle Accident Risks for West Palm Beach Riders

According to the GHSA report, there were 222 motorcycle fatalities in Florida in the first six months of 2012 and 326 deaths in the first nine months of that same year. In 2013, the number of deaths in the first six months dropped to 207 and in the first nine months, there were 303 deaths. This is a seven percent decline in the number of motorcyclists killed, which is the same as the decline in deaths that occurred nationwide.

The biggest factor that explains the reduction in fatalities is the fact that the weather was better in 2012 than in 2013.  The first six months of 2012 were unusually warm and dry nationwide, while the first half of 2013 brought colder and wetter weather that resulted in fewer motorcyclists on the road. Improving economic conditions may have also meant that more people could afford the costs of a car and gas, thus reducing the need for commuting using a motorcycle.

Hoping for worse weather is not the best way to reduce motorcycle deaths long-term, but instead more consistent use of proven accident prevention measures is necessary to keep motorcyclists safe.   Motorcyclists account for six times more deaths per registered vehicle than motor-vehicle passengers, and motorcyclists are much more likely to be hurt or killed in a crash compared to those in passenger vehicles.

The NHTSA cites helmet use and prevention of drunk driving as two of the most important factors that can credited with reducing the motorcyclist death rate over the long-term. The agency also recommends that:

  • Motorcycle riders wear a helmet compliant with Department of Transportation (DOT guidelines) as well as other protective gear.
  • Motorcycle riders ensure they have proper licensing and training.
  • Both motorcyclists and drivers avoid distracted driving.
  • Motorcyclists use turn signals and hand signals to indicate lane changes.
  • Motorcycle riders wear bright colored clothes and ride in the middle lane to be more visible to drivers.
  • Drivers allow motorcycle riders the full width of a lane at all times.
  • Drivers signal when merging or changing lanes and check blind spots carefully before doing either.

By following these tips, motorcycle riders and drivers can both do their part to continue the downward trend of motorcycle accidents that seemed to start in 2013.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 to schedule a free consultation.

West Palm Beach Car Accidents: When Do You Need Legal Help?

April is both Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Alcohol Awareness Month.

At Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. we understand distracted driving, speeding and drunk driving are the top causes of traffic collisions in the United States. And, while we sometimes call them “accidents,” few are not caused by one or more negligent acts of those involved.

Can a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach help?

We provide free consultations to injury victims in West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas, because we believe everyone deserves access to quality legal representation in the wake of a serious or fatal traffic collision. Still, others ask whether they should seek help after a more “minor” incident or in cases where there are no serious injuries.

The answer, of course, is that it depends upon the facts and circumstances of your particular case. However, here is a certainty: It’s still free to speak to an experienced injury attorney and determine the best course of action.

The statute of imitations for personal injury and wrongful death in Florida is two years. This means your claim will likely be forever barred if not filed within 24 months of the date of accident or injury. However, as a practical matter your case begins to degrade more quickly. In cases where obviously dangerous behaviors may be to blame – distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving – pursuing a claim in the immediate aftermath of an incident offers the best chance for gathering the evidence needed to prove your claim in court. The more time passes, the less available evidence will be salvaged. Witnesses forget, change phone numbers and move. Seasonal variations, including vegetation growth, may materially alter the scene.

Most commonly, the reason for not pursuing a claim is a lack of apparent serious injury. However, there are many cases in which neck and back injuries are not readily apparent. Whether soft-tissue injuries such as whiplash, or something as serious or life threatening as a traumatic brain injury, gauging the long-term consequences of an accident by symptoms in the immediate aftermath is a fool-hardy endeavor, particularly if you are relying upon self diagnosis.

Ultimately, your ability to secure compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and other losses will be directly impacted by your ability to connect your injuries and associated medical complications with the collision.

If you or a loved one is involved in a serious traffic accident, seek immediate medical attention as appropriate, and then begin to gather documentation. Pictures of the scene, before the cars are moved if possible, can be invaluable months later. Get the names and contact information of witnesses. Note whether traffic cameras or private security cameras might have captured the collision. And seek the advice of experienced legal counsel before talking to an insurance company.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 to schedule a free consultation.

West Palm Beach Insurance Claims Best Handled with Experienced Legal Help

Each year, people in the United States pay more than $1 trillion in insurance premiums for car insurance, health insurance, homeowners’ insurance and other policies to protect from risk. Insurers collecting these premiums make average profits in excess of $30 billion annually.  They make so much money in part by making it difficult for insured policyholders to actually get the benefits they have been paying for in the event of a claim, sometimes for years on end. 

When you are in a car accident, you should not expect your insurer to treat you fairly. There are many different tactics that insurance companies use and many reasons why legitimate claims are denied. Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can assist in dealing with your insurer.

Tactics Insurers are Using to Avoid Paying Your Claim 

Allstate Insurance, named as number one on the list of the 10 worst insurance companies in the United States, developed a three-part approach to handling insurance claims. The three steps were: Delay, Deny, Defend. The company would deny legitimate claims, impose unreasonable delays on claims processing to demoralize policyholders and discourage lawyers from getting involved, and would aggressively defend itself in court when challenged.

A recent report from the American Association for Justice takes a close look at some of the tactics that insurance companies use to avoid paying out car insurance claims. These include:

  • Finding esoteric reasons to deny covered claims. In one example, a 60-year-old woman with a $2 million insurance policy tried to get coverage for a collapsed lung and broken bones caused by a motor vehicle collision. A pickup truck had crossed a double yellow line and hit her vehicle. The claim was denied because the incident was not an “accident,” according to the woman’s insurer. Instead, it was caused by “road rage.”
  • Rewarding claims handlers for claim denials. In some cases, representatives were given gifts like appliances and gift certificates for denying legitimate claims. Insurers also hosted pizza parties to celebrate high denial rates and low payouts.
  • Delaying claims until they cannot be paid. One particularly reprehensible example of this behavior involves avoiding paying long-term care insurance claims by delaying until the covered policyholder dies. However, delays are also detrimental to policyholders in auto insurance claims. If an insurer delays until the statute of limitations has expired, victims of collisions cannot sue at all. The delays could also result in policyholders becoming desperate as they incur medical bills and go weeks or months with no income because their injuries prevent work. A desperate policyholder might accept a lower payment just to get something.

These tactics show that you need someone on your side looking out for you. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible after a collision is a smart choice to have the best chance of getting your insurer to accept responsibility.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 to schedule a free consultation.

Sleeping Pills a Driving Risk for Elderly Motorists

In the past decade, the number of seniors with a driver’s license has increased 23 percent. Each day, there are 500 accidents involving senior drivers, many of which result from the impaired cognitive function and vision that go along with old age. Seniors over the age of 80 are at the greatest danger of a motor vehicle collision, although seniors begin to decline at different rates. 

Although age-related impairments make many seniors dangerous drivers, seniors are much less likely than younger people to consume alcohol before they drive. In fact, data shows only five percent of senior drivers have a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit at the time of a collision.

Unfortunately, while seniors might not be drunk, they may be on medication that affects their ability to drive safely. In fact, recent evidence indicates a growing trend of sleeping pill use among older Americans. Sleeping pills can increase the risk of collisions for drivers of all ages, but people over the age of 80 are especially at risk of side effects from these medications. This is especially a problem in the state of Florida, where 18.2 percent of the population is 65 and older as compared with a national average of 13.7 percent.

Victims of collisions with senior drivers on sleeping pills need to understand their rights and should contact an experienced West Palm Beach accident attorney.

Sleeping Pills and Senior Drivers 

Seniors, for the most part, should not be taking sleeping pills. For people over the age of 80, sleeping pills reportedly  increase the risk of fatigue during the daytime and the risk of cognitive impairment.

Unfortunately, sleeping pills are frequently prescribed to elderly individuals who suffer from either physical or mental problems that affect sleep, such as arthritis. As many as five percent of people over the age of 80 take some type of prescription sleep aid. For many seniors, these medications may react with other drugs they are taking for other conditions. For example, 10 percent of participants in a recent study were taking three or more medications that had a sedating effect, including opioid pain killers which may be prescribed to people suffering from osteoarthritis.

Seniors who are taking multiple drugs should think carefully before driving to ensure that it is safe for them to do so. Families with older relatives should also stay involved, finding out what types of pills are being prescribed and taking steps to ensure that a senior is still able to drive. Roadwise RX is a program that allows you to enter your medications and to learn how the medications affect driving abilities.

Although sleeping pills are legal, individuals of all ages who do take sleeping pills could potentially be charged with the crime of impaired driving if the medications affect their ability to operate their vehicles safely. Just recently, for example, Kerry Kennedy faced criminal charges for causing a collision when sleeping pills affected her ability to drive. She reported that she had taken the medication by mistake, and was acquitted of the criminal charges.

A West Palm Beach accident attorney can help accident victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 to schedule a free consultation

Palm Beach DUI Risks Remain Top Concern in 2014

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is continuing efforts in 2014 to encourage lawmakers to adopt regulations that could reduce drunk driving incidents. Florida has adopted the majority of the recommended laws but MADD’s 2014 Report to the Nation indicates that the state could do more. 

Drunk driving fatalities represented 29 percent of total traffic deaths in Florida in 2012, with 697 people losing their lives in collisions involving alcohol. This was a .4 percent increase from the prior year. Family members of victims who are killed have legal rights, as do victims hurt in a collision with an intoxicated motorist. A drunk driving attorney in West Palm Beach can help victims of drunk driving collisions. Contact Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A.,  today to schedule your free consultation.

Florida Can Take Steps to Combat Drunk Driving

Florida takes a tough stance on drunk driving and many regulations aim to discourage drivers from getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. For example, Florida allows for sobriety checkpoints and has a no refusal policy so drivers suspected of being impaired cannot decline to have their blood-alcohol content (BAC) tested without automatically losing their driver’s license. Child endangerment laws impose stricter penalties on drivers who are impaired with young people in the car and administrative license suspension (ALS) also occurs after a drunk driving arrest or refusal to submit to a BAC test.    Each of these laws has earned Florida a star for following MADD recommendations, giving the state four stars out of five.

Unfortunately, despite its tough laws, there are still hundreds of drunk drivers on the streets in Florida annually. MADD reports that:

  • 12,016 people were hurt in alcohol-related crashes in Florida in 2012.
  • A total of 17,199 Florida crashes involving alcohol occurred in 2012.
  • There were 53,664 arrests and 28,689 convictions of intoxicated motorists in Florida over the course of 2012.
  • A total of 18,268 drivers refused to take a blood alcohol content test over the course of the same year.
  • There were 113,076 three-time offenders and 11,681 five-time offenders in the state of Florida.

It is not uncommon for impaired motorists to drive drunk repeatedly, even after they have been caught and arrested. Florida could thus significantly improve its safety efforts by making one simple change: requiring ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for every offender convicted of driving drunk.

Lawmakers passed a law in 2008 that required the use of ignition interlock devices for first time offenders if they had a BAC above .15, but motorists convicted who were just over the .08 legal limit do not have to have one of these devices installed when they resume driving.   Drunk driving could be significantly reduced if all offenders had to use an IID, since there were more than 20,000 repeat DUI offenders arrested in Florida in 2010 who were driving on a suspended license.

Drunk driving not only has a devastating cost for victims, but it also has a huge financial cost as well.  The comprehensive economic cost of a drunk driving death is $5.2 million.  Florida lawmakers could save money and lives by following MADD’s recommendations and imposing an IID requirement for all convicted drunk driving offenders.

A drunk driving accident attorney in West Palm Beach can help accident victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., today at 800-608-2965 or visit www.gonzalezcartwright.com  to schedule a free consultation.