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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

Fiery head-on collision in Florida kills 1, injures 2 children

A head-on collision in Florida left one woman dead and injured three other people, two of them young children, on Feb. 14. The accident occurred just after 9 a.m. on State Road 60 in Osceola County. A 19-year-old Plantation man was traveling in a four-door Volkswagen in the westbound lanes of the highway when, according to police, his vehicle entered the eastbound lanes while passing other westbound vehicles. The Volkswagen then struck a four-door Hyundai traveling in the eastbound lanes. The force of the impact sent the Hyundai crashing into a guardrail. It then caught fire.

The 56-year-old Miami woman driving the Hyundai died at the scene of the accident. A 4-year-old girl in the Hyundai suffered critical injuries in the crash, while a 6-year-old boy suffered serious injuries. Emergency crews took both of the children, who are cousins, to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando. The Volkswagen's driver suffered minor injuries.

Road rage and its causes

Florida drivers may have heard about cases of road rage around the country and wondered what causes them. Sometimes, people who are mild-mannered in other areas of their life will give in to road rage. In February, there was a publicized road rage incident in Las Vegas, Nevada, in which a woman was shot after she and her son went looking for a driver who had nearly been in an accident with the woman earlier.

Experts say that people often behave the way they do because they feel invulnerable in cars. Drivers report making obscene gestures at other drivers or yelling at them when they would never do the same thing in other environments.

Florida pedestrian injured in bus accident

A pedestrian was injured in a bus accident in Palm Harbor on February 12. The pedestrian, a 72-year-old woman from Palm Harbor, was injured as she was using a crosswalk.

The Florida Highway Patrol reports that the woman suffered critical injuries after she was run over by a Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus as she used the east crosswalk at the Publix on East Lake Road. The driver of the bus, a 58-year-old St. Petersburg man, did not see the woman and hit her as he drove the bus north in the Publix parking lot. The woman was dragged by the bus for a while and was then trapped under the bus. The accident took place at about 4:00 p.m.

Massive vehicle recall could impact Florida residents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued recall notices on Feb. 6 for 104,000 Land Rover and Jaguar vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover North America is recalling as many as 74,648 Range Rovers from model year 2006 to 2012 due to potential brake hose issues. The company says that these fixes will be made for customers free of charge.

In addition, 2013 Range Rovers and 2014 Range Rover Sport vehicles will be recalled due to an possible issue with a brake vacuum hose. Finally, the company will be recalling 4,787 Jaguar XK's from model years 2012 to 2015 due to an issue with rear parking lights. Drivers who have either vehicle may take the car to a dealer to have the issue fixed. All recalls are expected to begin on March 13.

2 women injured in Florida airboat crash

Two women were injured when their airboats collided in the Everglades in western Broward County on Feb. 3. The accident occurred around 1 p.m., according to the Broward Sheriff's Office Marine Unit.

Authorities said the crash was between an airboat carrying at least two University of Florida students and a biologist from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and a private airboat carrying a man and a woman. The impact threw at least one victim into the water. The 37-year-old woman from the private boat was taken to Broward Health Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. One of the students, a 24-year-old woman, was taken to the same hospital with minor injuries. The private airboat was rendered inoperable by the collision.

Tire maintenance is a key to driving safely

One of the most important aspects of car maintenance is ensuring that tires are in good shape. Worn or bald tires are common contributors to car accidents, and risk can easily be reduced by regular replacement of worn tires.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration completed a recent study of 11,500 vehicles that showed that nearly 50 percent had at least one tire with half-worn tread. Another 10 percent had at least one bald tire with grooves with depths of 2/32 inches or less. Drivers need to be aware that, although their tires may be in good condition, there is no guarantee that other cars have received the required maintenance.

The dangers of whiplash

Florida individuals who have suffered whiplash may have a variety of symptoms from the mild to the severe. Whiplash may refer to a number of different types of injuries caused by the neck snapping backward and then forwards. It may result in torn ligaments, strained muscles and tendons, or even fractured or dislocated vertebrae.

A person with whiplash might suffer stiffness and pain and might have trouble turning their head. Other symptoms might include nausea, headaches, dizziness, vertigo and difficulty concentrating among others. While symptoms generally resolve after a short time, in some cases, an individual may suffer from whiplash symptoms for months or years. Whiplash symptoms may also take a few days to appear.

4 dead, 2 injured in 2-car crash at intersection

Florida Highway Patrol confirmed that four people were killed in an intersection crash on Jan. 24. The fatal accident involved two pickup trucks that collided at an intersection in Jackson County. One of the vehicles was traveling southbound, and the other car was going eastbound. In addition to the four deaths, two people were seriously injured in the crash.

The car accident happened when a 54-year-old man failed to stop at a stop sign. After entering the path of traffic, the man's pickup truck collided with another pickup truck that was being driven by a 57-year-old man. The collision caused both of the cars to overturn and catch fire.

Consumer rights and vehicle safety

Florida car owners should know their rights regarding those vehicles. For example, if there is a recall, then the dealer is obligated to fix the car free of charge. Individuals can find out if their car has been recalled by checking the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If a dealer will not fix the defect, individuals should contact the NHTSA or the vehicle manufacturer.

Another potential problem is purchasing a car that is defective. So-called "lemon laws" are designed to protect consumers from purchasing a vehicle that comes with a problem that cannot be repaired. It must also be a defect that makes it difficult for the consumer to operate the vehicle. A dealer is obligated to replace a lemon or give a refund.

NTSB calls for improved trucking safety regulations

Florida residents may be interested to learn of the National Transportation Safety Board's recent call for strengthened trucking industry regulations. The agency noted that Congress weakened safety regulations for the industry, despite 3,964 deaths in 2013 representing the fourth consecutive annual increase for truck-involved accidents.

According to a statement by the NTSB at a news conference on Jan. 13, the agency is calling for more than 100 regulatory actions for trucking industry safety, including anti-collision technology, stricter limits on allowed driving hours and increased oversight of violating carrier companies. One of the key recommendations the NTSB made is for the installation of alert systems so truckers are aware of the possibility of an accident when changing lanes or when they are about to hit slowed traffic ahead.

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