March 2012 Archives

Female Teen drivers more distracted than males

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted Distracted Driving Among Newly Licensed Teen Drivers ; an in car video study of the habits of teenage drivers. As previously reported in this blog, auto accidents is the leading killer among teenagers. Therefore, research was conducted in order to pinpoint exactly what activities these drivers engage in that puts them at risk.

AAA found that distracting activities are significant among all teenage drivers. These activities include use of cellular telephones, text messaging, makeup application and other grooming habits. Another distracting habit among the drivers was reaching for items in and about the vehicle.

The study found that the greatest distraction for all teenage drivers was the use of electronic devices. An alarming 70% of the drivers used an electronic device while driving. This was even greater among older teenage drivers.

Gender was also a huge factor as this study revealed that females in their teens use electronic devices, including cell phones, double the amount of time than their male counter parts. Female teen drivers also engaged in other distracted behaviors, including reaching for items and eating and drinking, significantly more than male teenage drivers.

What was particularly interesting was the finding that when parents or adults were in the vehicle, distracting behavior among the teens decreased.While the opposite was true when passengers were teenagers. With other teens in the vehicle distracting activities actually increased.

As a Miami personal injury lawyer, this study is not surprising as the number of accidents due to distracted driving is on the rise. Our office applauds the efforts of educators and law makers alike who have made efforts to decrease distracted driving habits on the streets of South Florida. However, more needs to be done to protect drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

Continue reading " Female Teen drivers more distracted than males" »

Automotive technology increase accidents?

Auto accidents are on the rise and lawmakers around the country are making efforts to increase driver safety by reducing distracted driving habits among drivers. and can certainly understand the call from Washington and state governments to eliminate distracted driving as much as possible. These efforts include bans on cell phone use while driving and, in certain parts of the nation, even eating.

In addition to cell phones, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other safety groups have endorsed bans on the use of hands-free devices for phone calls while driving as well.

In addition to cell phone technology, the NHTSA is also making efforts toward the banning of the moving map feature of GPS navigation devices. GPS stands for Global Positioning System and uses satellite technology to locate and direct drivers to their destination. These devices integrate a moving icon that shows drivers their exact location as they move on the roads. These devices update continuously so the driver can see where they are in relation to local streets and their destination.

The NHTSA is recommending changes to GPS devices and navigation systems that it believes will reduce the ongoing distraction of the moving icon on the map. Whether these recommendations will work is still debatable as they include a more static map system and the elimination of moving text.

As a Miami car accident lawyer I believe that distracted driving is a serious problem that needs to be addressed from all angles. Most of us only think of cell phone use as the problem and fail to realize the other life threatening distractions that we engage in on a daily basis, including eating, drinking, loud conversation, radio adjustments and others.

Personal Injury Protection laws in Florida undergo changes

Most, if not all, Florida drivers are familiar with this State's requirement that each vehicle owner carry $10,000.00 of personal injury protection coverage (PIP). Essentially this is $10,000.00 of medical and loss wage insurance. This form of insurance coverage applies no matter who is at fault in the accident and may cover others within the drivers household, children, and passengers in the vehicle who do not own a vehicle and have no PIP coverage. PIP insurance benefits are available if you are involved in an accident in another person's vehicle, as a pedestrian, or on a bicycle.


Also known as Florida's Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law , PIP insurance requirements are imposed on all owner/registrants of a motor vehicle with 4 wheels. In order to maintain legal licensing and registration, these vehicle owners must carry $10,000.00 policy limits of this coverage.

Florida law makers have recently approved a bill reforming the current law. The new version of the PIP law continues to require $10,000 in minimum coverage, but this can only be used by those who are seriously injured in a motor accident. The legislature has limited coverage in what it defines as moderate or "soft-tissue" damages to $2,500.

The new law allows victims up to fourteen days after the accident to seek medical treatment in order to receive PIP benefits. It also allows insurance companies to examine accident victims under oath. The law limits treatment with chiropractic care by only allowing coverage for treatment if referred. Although the change still permits chiropractic care, it does not cover acupuncture or massage therapy.

This personal injury lawyer in Miami believes these changes will cause greater harm than good for the drivers in Florida. By limiting benefits, it only causes greater losses to those injured in an auto accident. With the significant costs of medical care, the limits imposed by this change will leave many unprotected and without the ability to receive needed care and medical attention to their injuries. Simple diagnostic testing, including x-rays and cat scans will surely "eat away" at the available coverage for many. This will. leave very little or no coverage available for actual care of the injuries. By excluding various forms of therapy, this new act also leaves the injured party without access to forms of medical care that, in our office's experience, have proven beneficial for injuries. The exact benefit of this reform to the injured remains unclear.

Continue reading "Personal Injury Protection laws in Florida undergo changes" »