Category Archives: DUI

A Stands for April and Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol abuse is considered the #1 public health problem in our country.[1]  In addition, alcohol-related deaths are the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States. [2]  Excessive alcohol use is a serious, potentially fatal disease if left untreated. Frequent binge drinking, defined as consuming more than 4 alcoholic drinks for women and 5 for men on an occasion, can cause violent behavior and injuries and can lead to promiscuity and unintended pregnancies, as well as alcohol poisoning, liver disease and cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year.  In 2014, about 10,000 vehicle crash fatalities were deemed alcohol-related, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis.

But these numbers only tell part of the story.  2015 statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that 15 million adults in the U.S., ages 18 and older, consume excessive amounts of alcohol.  Nearly 10 million are men, with just over 5 million women falling into this category.  And, another 600,000 adolescents ages 12-17 are suffering from alcohol abuse. [3]

Yet, in 2015, only about 1.3 million adults and 37,000 adolescents received treatment at a specialized treatment facility.  [4]

What about the other millions of adults and adolescents who need treatment?

In 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) sponsored the first Alcohol Awareness Month to help increase visibility of alcohol recovery programs, making it easier to find help.  They also aimed to diminish the stigma of alcoholism and teach the public where individuals who abuse alcohol can get treatment and recover.

As part of NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month, the Alcohol-Free Weekend in April is a weekend push to generate public awareness about alcohol use and abuse, and how it affects our communities.  It’s a time to join together and help individuals who are struggling.

If you or a loved one needs treatment for alcohol or drugs, contact NCADD at 800/622-2255 or click here for the closest NCADD Affiliate.  NCADD provides confidential, one-on-one assessments by trained professionals to help individuals find the most suitable local treatment or recovery services.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

[1] https://www.ncadd.org/about-ncadd/events-awards/alcohol-awareness-month

[2] National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Alcohol Facts and Statistics

[3] National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)

[4] National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)

Celebrating Safely on St. Patrick’s Day

While partygoers nationwide are donning their bright green shirts and drinking chartreuse-tinted drinks at themed St. Patrick’s Day parties, law enforcement officers are prepared and out on the streets looking for drivers who should not be on the road.

There are a few specific days throughout the year that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) observes a spike in serious vehicle accidents and fatalities related to drunk driving.  One of those spikes occurs in March each year — on St. Patrick’s Day. 

According to the NHTSA, approximately 40% of all vehicle accident fatalities around St. Patrick’s Day in 2013 were linked to driving under the influence.  Moreover, looking back at the statistics from 2009 to 2013, we can see that over 75% of the drunk driving fatalities involved drivers who had consumed at least double the legal limit of alcohol.

Here’s what you need to do before going out on St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Make your Patrick’s Day plans and designate a safe, sober driver, also known as the Very Important Partygoer (VIP).
  • Make sure your Uber or Lyft apps are ready to go just in case you need it. And you can always call a taxi.
  • Before you drink, leave your keys with a responsible person who is not going to drink.
  • Celebrate the person who agrees to be the designated driver. Instead of posting your own personal pictures or drinks, make the night about your Very Important Partygoer (VIP) on social media.
  • Check on your other friends and family members to ensure they have a VIP and a clear plan in place to get home safely.

Keep in mind that if you have a party and alcohol is served, you could be liable if one of your partygoers ends up in a crash linked to driving under the influence.  As an alternative, collect keys at your door and let guests stay or call a taxi or ride sharing service to get them home safely.

For St. Patrick’s Day and for every holiday, we encourage you to enjoy the celebrations, drink responsibly, and always have a sober way home.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

National Teen Drive Safety Week (NTDSW) Oct. 16 – 22, 2016

teen_drivers

October 16 – 22, 2016 is National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), a week designated to raise awareness for teen driver safety. Research indicates that teens often recognize they are at higher risk for vehicle crashes than others, but NTDSW endeavors to help these teens better understand both the crash statistics and the specific factors that put them at risk, including distraction, fatigue, drug use, alcohol consumption, as well as overpowering emotions.

The Stats
Although teenagers drive less than nearly all adults over 19, the number of crashes involving teens at the wheel is disproportionately high. In fact, in the U.S., the rate of fatal crashes per mile for teens (ages 16-19) is 3 times that for adult drivers over age 19. Moreover, the fatal crash rate per mile for 16-17 year olds is double the rate for 18-19 year olds.

With the intention of reducing teen crashes, U.S. states added state-controlled, phased licensing systems, whereby teens would gradually gain driving privileges. Some states also raised the age for obtaining a drivers license. Studies show that these laws have helped lower teen fatal crashes, but we still need to drastically reduce the number of teen driver crashes.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, “Young drivers tend to overestimate their own driving abilities and, at the same time, underestimate the dangers on the road. An Institute research review confirmed that age and experience both have strong effects on teenage drivers’ crash risk. Crash rates for young drivers are high largely because of their immaturity combined with driving inexperience. The immaturity is apparent in young drivers’ risky driving practices such as speeding. At the same time, teenagers’ lack of experience behind the wheel makes it difficult for them to recognize and respond to hazards. They get in trouble trying to handle unusual driving situations, and these situations turn disastrous more often than when older people drive.”

The statistics below, also from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, show the percentage of driver crashes with driver error, speeding, and single vehicle crashes by age. Not surprisingly, teens have a much higher percentage of speeding and driver errors in crashes than other adults. Evidence also shows that the presence of other passengers with teen drivers elevates the risk of crash. For adults over 30, the presence of passengers actually decreases risk of crash.

Percentage of passenger vehicle driver involvements in fatal crashes with specific crash characteristics, by driver age, 2014

Teen Driving Stats

Wondering how you can assess your own teen? Click here to find out “What You Need to Know Before Your Teen Gets Behind the Wheel” and “What can you do to reduce these risks for your new teen driver?
Teen Driving Stats

Do you have a new teen driver? If so, we recommend reviewing “How to Guide Your Teen Towards Safe Driving and Independence” (link to earlier post)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provides free recommendations for safe and affordable vehicles. Check out the “Best Choices” and “Good Choices” lists, comprised of the safest vehicles appropriate for teen drivers under $20,000 and $10,000 respectively. The list is broken up by large, midsize, minivans, pickups, and small, midsize and large SUVs. To review this list, click here or visit http://www.iihs.org and search for status report 2015.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.
Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work. Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury. For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

Traffic Fatalities in Florida: On the Rise

MyCar

Despite numerous driving safety campaigns across the country and the integration of new vehicle safety technology, traffic fatalities in the U.S. increased by 8% in 2015 over 2014.  According to the National Safety Council (NSC), over 38,000 people were killed and 4.4 million were seriously injured on U.S. roadways last year.  This represents the largest year-over-year increase in 50 years,[1] and reverses a longer decreasing trend of motor vehicle deaths.

What is even more exasperating is that the increase in motor vehicle deaths in Florida was more than double the U.S. average, at 18%.  Florida ranked #3 for largest increase in traffic fatalities, following Oregon and Georgia.  Meanwhile, thirteen states, including New Mexico and Kansas, actually showed improvement in traffic fatalities with significant decreases in 2015 over 2014.[2]

While further research is needed to understand the detailed causes, the NSC notes that “while many factors likely contributed to the fatality increase, a stronger economy and lower unemployment rates are likely at the core of the trend. Average gas prices were 28% lower in 2015 than in 2014 and are projected to continue dropping this year, making driving more affordable for many Americans.” [3] People are driving more miles.  In fact, the Department of Transportation estimated that motorists drove an average of 3.5% more miles in 2015 than 2014.

Based on safety tips developed by NSC, we also recommend the following to help make daily driving a safer activity:

  1. Always buckle up!
  2. Get enough sleep; take breaks if needed.
  3. Set up any navigation systems before leaving home; avoid touching systems while driving.
  4. Avoid using a cell phone or any electronic device when driving (even hands-free).
  5. Find a designated driver (alcohol- and drug-free) or find another safe option to get home.
  6. Pay careful attention to teen drivers, as they are at higher risk of causing a crash.
  7. Read “My Car Does What“, a website developed by NSC to help drivers understand newer vehicle features including adaptive cruise control and backup cameras.

If you, a family member, or a friend has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help.

For more information on driving safety, visit the National Safety Council website at nsc.org.  To understand the newer safety systems in your car, check out mycardoeswhat.org.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

[1] http://www.nsc.org/Connect/NSCNewsReleases/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=103

[2] http://www.nsc.org/Connect/NSCNewsReleases/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=103

[3] http://www.nsc.org/Connect/NSCNewsReleases/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=103

Public Transportation Accidents in Florida – What You Need to Know

You may not have noticed, but there are several forms of public transportation that make up a large base of our South Florida traffic.  In fact, last school year there were 1,220 school buses on the Miami roads transporting nearly 60,000 students to and from Miami-Dade Public Schools each day.[1]  In addition, combining all three major modes of public transportation in Miami-Dade —  the Metromover, Metrobus, and Metrorail, Miami-Dade County Transit maintained monthly ridership at  over 8 million in October and November, 2015.[2]   That’s a lot of public transportation!  With so many buses on the road amidst South Florida drivers rushing to work, it’s a blessing that there are not more accidents involving public transportation vehicles.

But what happens after a bus is involved in an accident?  

When a bus is involved in an accident, first and foremost, call 911 and immediately seek medical help.  Then, answer any questions EMS has for you, and take pictures and notes of the accident, if possible.  Next, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. to review any claims you may be entitled to make.

Your attorney will be able to discuss your specific circumstances in more detail.  In the meantime, the following information may help you better understand the situation.

What is the “Common Carrier Law”?

The “Common Carrier Law”, is actually a doctrine applied by the courts in the state of Florida that holds public transportation to a higher level of care than drivers of passenger vehicles.  Buses and other commercial vehicles often must follow slower speeds.  Some states have special laws for turning and passing in commercial vehicles.  Drivers must pay acute attention to driving, foregoing conversations with passengers.  Most states have a maximum number of hours that drivers can operate commercial vehicles.  If proven, crashes that involve violations of any of these laws by drivers of public transportation vehicles may result in driver negligence, consequently leaving the driver, employer, and bus owner legally responsible to any injured victims.  However, other potential causes for the crash including maintenance issues may also be at play.

Why would an accident involving municipal public transportation potentially result in a complex lawsuit?

Complex litigation may be necessary due to the common carrier doctrine  as well as the potentially numerous plaintiffs and defendants, statutory guidelines and restrictions, insurance coverage, as well as other issues that may typically arise.

What about PIP coverage? 

If you were injured while riding in public transportation, you may be entitled to make a claim against the transportation company.  But in Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) will not apply if you were injured while traveling on the public county or city bus.  PIP may apply if you were injured while in a vehicle that was hit by a public bus or school bus or if you were injured while riding on a school bus.

Who can help?

Personal injury attorneys at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you evaluate your legal claim, submit and process your claims within the legal deadlines, and navigate the complexities of Florida law.  While your attorney directs your case, you can focus on healing.

If you were injured while riding in or school bus, county or city bus, train or tram, or as the result of a crash with a school bus or public transportation vehicle, the experienced attorneys at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

[1] http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/library/rtr/2015-11-Ridership-Technical-Report.pdf

[2] http://dot.dadeschools.net/

Driverless Vehicles Part II: Coming to Your Dealer Soon!

driveless-car2016

One year ago, we wrote a post about driverless cars.  At that time, these futuristic cars seemed like something, well, of the more distant future.  But self-driving vehicles have been all over the news lately.   And we decided we should revisit this topic and find out what all the talk is about.

Are self-driving cars on the roads now?  You bet they are.

Self-driving cars are not far off from becoming a common sight on our roads.  The technology is moving ahead quickly and these vehicles are further along than most people appreciate.  Google’s nearly 50 self-driving cars are out on the roads in Mountain View, California, near its Silicon Valley headquarters and in Austin, Texas.  These vehicles have logged over 1 million miles since testing began in 2009.[1]  And, there are over a half dozen other companies that hold California permits permitting several driverless cars on the roads.  One of these prototypes, an Audi 7, drove from Silicon Valley to Los Angeles, with company executives and journalists onboard documenting the experience.  Another Audi vehicle drove from San Francisco to New York, operating autonomously 99% of the way.[2]   To top it off, many current vehicles available for purchase, including Tesla vehicles, offer several of these advanced self-driving features.

On the Market in 4 Years?

And while fully driverless vehicles aren’t available for consumer purchase yet, Ford CEO Mark Fields announced last month that self-driving cars would be on the road by 2020.  Chris Urmson, Director of Self-Driving Cars at Google, backed up the time horizon noted by Ford, indicating that he expects to have self-driving cars available on the market for consumer purchase within 4 years.  Sergey Brin, Google Co-founder, has mentioned timeframes as early as 2017.[3]

China’s leading online search firm, Baidu Inc., recently announced it plans to have self-driving buses on the roads of China within 3 years.  Moreover, Baidu Inc. expects mass production of the buses within 5 years.[4]

Other Considerations

These vehicles will likely be quite costly, at least initially.  At present, most self-driving cars require a component called a LIDAR, a sophisticated technology that sends out laser signals to create high resolution digital maps in real time.  Initially, this technology cost $70,000 but recently has been manufactured at lower costs ranging from $8,000 to $30,000.  Even so, the addition of these costs and other self-driving component costs to current vehicle prices will make vehicle prices considerably higher.

While much of the technology has been developed, key legal and regulatory issues may slow down the integration of self-driving vehicles in our marketplace.  As mentioned in the previous post, the tough legal and regulatory questions including liability for self-driving car crashes are still a large part of this debate that must be addressed.  We will follow these complex discussions and provide updates at key milestones.

Are you ready for self-driving vehicles on the streets of South Florida?  Why or why not?  Tag or share this post, and let us know what you think.

 Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

 

[1] http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2015/11/02/google-had-nearly-50-self-driving-cars-on-the-road-in-october/

[2] http://ww2.kqed.org/quest/2015/10/27/self-driving-cars-the-road-ahead/

[3] http://ww2.kqed.org/quest/2015/10/27/self-driving-cars-the-road-ahead/

[4] http://venturebeat.com/2015/12/14/forget-self-driving-cars-chinas-baidu-says-it-will-put-self-driving-buses-on-roads-in-3-years/

From Champagne Corks to Fireworks: Staying Safe on New Year’s Eve

NYE toast

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2…. 

Are you ready to ring in 2016? 

From champagne and music to illuminating fireworks, New Year’s Eve brings a time for renewal, joy and fun.  Whether you plan to head out to Times Square or gather at home with close friends, be sure to review these guidelines to help you and your friends celebrate in style while staying safe on New Year’s Eve.

CHAMPAGNE (and other alcohol)

New Year’s Eve is a great excuse to spend time with friends and have a few drinks.  If you drink alcoholic beverages, be sure to do so responsibly.

  • Eat a decent meal before you begin drinking and pace yourself.
  • Drink responsibly. Do not mix prescription medications or drugs with alcohol.
  • Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Drink “mocktails” – non-alcoholic versions of popular drinks.

FIREWORKS

Some people have a blast using fireworks to celebrate holidays and the new year.   If you enjoy fireworks, take these necessary precautions to safely illuminate the night.

  • Carefully read and follow firework instructions.
  • Know the local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks.
  • Never keep fireworks in your pocket or on your person.
  • Use safety goggles and keep a bucket of water nearby in case of emergency.
  • Never attempt to ignite a firework that didn’t work previously – this could create a safety hazard.
  • Always light fireworks individually in a large outdoor area free from debris, buildings, and vehicles.
  • Never shoot fireworks into glass, metal, or any other type of container.
  • Throw out all used fireworks in a metal garbage can after dousing with water.

TRAVEL ON NEW YEAR’S EVE

If possible, stay off the roads.  New Year’s Eve is one of the riskiest nights for car travel due to the number of vehicle accidents involving drunk drivers.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will enforce the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign with the objective to reduce the number of traffic fatalities over the holiday period.  Last year, over 800 lives were lost in traffic fatalities over the holidays; nearly 40% of these accidents involved alcohol impairment.[1]

  • Never drink and drive.
  • Determine a Designated Driver before arriving at any party.
  • If public transportation is not available, take along the number of a reputable taxi service and use it!
  • If you have no safe alternative transport, stay where you are.

PUBLIC VENUES

If you’re going to watch the ball drop in New York City or attend a concert in a public venue, be sure to go with a group of friends – think about safety in numbers.

  • Make a clear emergency and communication plan in case you get separated.
  • Keep an eye on your friends; know the signs of alcohol poisoning and call 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect someone is in danger. Take a minute to review important alcohol poisoning signs by clicking on  http://awareawakealive.org/educate/know-the-signs
  • Survey your surroundings. If something just doesn’t feel safe, leave with your group.

THE NEXT MORNING

After a great time with friends and arriving home safely, you managed to get some sleep.  However, if you are exhausted or had a bit too much champagne, be sure to hydrate and rest.

  • Drink lots of water and non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic liquids to hydrate your body.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Start your New Year’s Resolution!

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. wishes you and your loved ones a very safe and happy new year.  Please pass along these important holiday tips to your friends and family!

 Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

[1] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration http://www.nhtsa.gov/Misc/HeadLines

SAFETY ALERT: ATV-related injuries (All-Terrain Vehicles)

ATV Accidents

Last year, six-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken Rouen was enjoying the outdoors riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV.)  After hitting a curb, she went flying in the air and landed on the pavement with a severed spine.  Amy was incredibly fortunate to be alive.  Today, this champion is in a wheelchair, striving to achieve the ability to one day walk again.

Unfortunately, Amy’s story in not unique.  In 2012, there were over 100,000 emergency visits for ATV-related injuries.  Approximately 25% of these visits were with children younger than 16 years old.

Between 1982 and 2013, there were over 13,000 reports of ATV-related fatalities in the U.S., according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC.)  Sadly, 23% of these were children under 16.  (CPSC data:  http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/ATV-Safety-Information-Center)

In the last decade, ATVs have become popular not only for recreation but also for transportation on farms and ranches.  Along with this increased use in the U.S., we have also seen an increase in injuries and fatalities.

ATVs can be a fun recreational sport and a very useful vehicle on the farm if drivers take safety precautions.  If you are considering using an ATV, we urge you to follow these important recommendations from the National Safety Council (NSC):

  • Take a Safety Course. All ATV drivers should take a hands-on safety course from a skilled instructor.  Courses are offered by the ATV Safety Institute as well as some local ATV rider groups, National 4-H Council groups, state agencies and ATV manufacturers.  The ATV Safety Institute (ASI) offers an ATV RiderCourse that is free to anyone who has recently purchased a new ATV.  For new owners of used ATVs, the course can be taken for a small fee.  The ASI is a not-for-profit division of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America®. For safety information or to enroll in a local ATV RiderCourse, visit atvsafety.org or call 800-887-2887.
  • Read Up! Read the owner’s manuals carefully before driving.
  • Wear the Right Gear. The ATV Safety Institute recommends that all drivers wear appropriate riding gear including U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell) certified helmets, goggles, gloves, over-the-ankle boots, long-sleeve shirt and long pants.
  • Steer Clear of Paved Roads. Never operate the ATV on any paved roads. ATVs are designed for unpaved roads and can be difficult to maneuver on paved roads.
  • Operate age-appropriate vehicles. Over 90% of ATV-related injuries involving children are due to lack of developmental skills to properly maneuver adult-sized ATVs.  ATVs with engine sizes greater than 90cc should only be operated by individuals 16 years old or older; ATVs with an engine size of 70cc to 90cc should be operated by people at least 12 years old.  Children under 6 should never drive an ATV.
  • Never carry passengers on an ATV. Most ATVs are not designed to carry people other than the driver.
  • Don’t add any attachments to a ATV unless it is approved by the manufacturer. Attachments can affect the stability, operating and braking of the ATV.
  • Ride only on designated trails. Always use a safe speed.

 Inspect before riding. In addition, you should always complete a thorough inspection before riding.  Here are the key questions to ask:

  • Is the rider wearing appropriate helmet and gear?
  • Are the tires and wheels in good condition?
  • Are the controls and cable operational?
  • Is the chain lubricated and have the right amount of slack?
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

 (Information adapted from Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC,) ATV Safety Institute (ASI), and National Safety Council (NSC) websites.)

Do you have questions about ATV safety? 

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can answer them.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

Motorcycle Safety: What You Need to Know Before Going Out on the Road

It’s hard to beat the exhilarating feeling of riding a motorcycle on the open road.  But motorcycles can be dangerous.  In order to stay safe, motorcyclists must be cautious and use solid judgment when riding.

The facts tell the story:

  • Motorcyclists are 6 times more likely to be injured in a motor vehicle crash than car occupants.
  • Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than car occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash. Over

4,300 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2013.

  • Motorcycles represent 11% of highway fatalities even though only 3% of registered vehicles are motorcycles.
  • Sport motorcyclists have death rates that are double the rates of standard motorcyclists. Super sport motorcycles have driver death rates that are four times the rates of standard motorcyclists.

Motorcycles are less stable than cars and much less visible to other traffic.  In addition, motorcycles have no protection like enclosed vehicles.  With high performance capabilities and no protection, motorcyclists involved in crashes have a greater risk of serious injury or death.

Optimal protection and good defensive driving must go hand-in-hand with that sense of freedom to make motorcycle riding an enjoyable and safe activity.

Follow these tips to enjoy an exhilarating but safe motorcycle ride:

Protect Your Head and Eyes.  Helmets are the #1 safety equipment to protect motorcycle riders. According to US Department of Transportation studies, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 37 percent. Studies show that motorcycle riders without helmets are 3 times more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries in a crash than those wearing helmets.  Wear a helmet that meets all U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) requirements along with proper eye protection.

Learn first.  Riding a motorcycle requires different skills than driving a car.  Read the owner’s manual.  Attend a training class and obtain a motorcycle license. Then Practice so that you are comfortable with the maneuvers before riding with traffic. 

Check it out.  Before each ride, check tread depth, brakes, tire pressure, fluid levels, lights and signal indicators.  If you plan to take a passenger or to pack a few items, check that you are within weight limit requirements.  Adjust tire pressure as needed.  Make sure your motorcycle is safe before you leave home.

Get Protected.  Wear the right shoes, gloves, and clothing.  Thick clothing can protect you in a crash.  Brightly colored or fluorescent clothing with reflective materials can help you be easily seen, especially at night.

Use a bike with ABS.  Antilock braking systems (ABS) reduce the risk of a crash by preventing the wheels from locking up.  ABS is critical for motorcycles in order to avoid skidding and potential falls.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that motorcycles with ABS have a 30% lower rate of fatal crashes.

Never drink and ride.  Don’t risk your life and the lives of others by drinking and driving.

Ride safely and courteously.

  • Avoid sudden braking or turning, especially on slippery surfaces.
  • Always use safe speeds, especially on wet surfaces or gravel roads can be hazardous.
  • Obey all traffic laws and use turn signals.
  • Be careful not to stay in drivers’ blind spots.
  • Don’t tailgate – you won’t have time to stop if vehicles in front of you stop quickly.
  • Do not ride between lanes.
  • Brake firmly and progressively.
  • Be courteous and respectful to motorists on the road.

To learn more about motorcycle riding safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles. 

Do you have questions about motorcycle safety?  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

Know Your Role on Super Bowl Sunday

Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk

SuperBowl-poster-Partying

Are You Drinking?

If so, don’t drive. Follow these tips to have fun, stay alive, and avoid getting pulled over or crashing your vehicle on game day.

  • Before Super Bowl Sunday, make a game plan that includes a sober driver – someone who is not drinking at all.
  • Leave your keys at home and designate a sober driver.
  • Consider getting a sober ride or taxi to your destination, so you won’t even have the option later to drive impaired.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself. Eat plenty of food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Keep track of the number of drinks you consume.
  • Stop drinking after the third quarter, just like they do at the actual stadium.
  • Make sure your designated driver is sober, not just less intoxicated than you.
  • Don’t let others drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home, too.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come get you; or if possible stay where you are for the night and don’t drive until you are sober.
  • When you ride home with your sober driver, wear your seat belt. It’s your best defense in a crash.
  • Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

Or Are You Driving?

If so, don’t drink. Your responsible choices can save lives.

  • Take your role seriously as the designated sober driver—don’t drink and drive.
  • Enjoy the party with food and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Brag about your MVP status on social media using the hashtag #designateddriver.
  • Wear your seat belt and require your passengers to do the same.
  • If someone you know has been drinking and tries to drive, take their keys and help them get home safely. They’ll thank you later. Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

Are You Hosting a Super Bowl Party?

If so, plan now how you’ll prevent your guests from driving drunk and help get them home safely.

  • Ask all of your guests to designate their sober drivers in advance, or help them arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers. If you plan to stay sober, offer to drive guests home.
  • Encourage your drinking guests to pace themselves.
  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter—this is a good time to serve coffee and dessert.
  • Thank the designated sober drivers at your party. You could even acknowledge them on social media using the hashtag #designateddriver.
  • Keep the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand and take the keys away from any guests who are thinking of driving drunk.
  • Remember, if you serve a guest alcohol and he or she gets in a drunk-driving crash that night, you could be held liable.
  • If an underage person drinks and drives, the parent or guardian may be legally liable for any damage, injury or death caused by the underage driver.
  • Likewise, parents or other adults who provide alcohol to – or host a party where alcohol is available to – those under age 21, could face jail time.

Are You Aware of the Risks?

Drunk driving is a serious problem with serious consequences. Don’t become a Super Bowl stat.

  • In 2012 alone, there were 10,322 people killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, 31 percent of all crash fatalities.
  • An average of 1 alcohol-impaired-driving fatality occurred every 51 minutes in 2012.
  • Drunk drivers face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.
  • The average DUI case costs approximately $10,000.
  • Refusing to take a breath test in many jurisdictions results in immediate arrest, the loss of your driver’s license on the spot and the impoundment of your vehicle. Also, there’s the added embarrassment, humiliation, and consequences of telling family, friends and employers of your arrest.
  • If you injure or kill someone in a drunk-driving crash, it’s something you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life.

This Super Bowl Sunday, be a team player: Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. For more information, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.com.