Category Archives: Motorcycle Accidents

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

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The Statistics

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), each year there are nearly 17,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries.  In the United States, the NSCISC estimates that there are between 243,000 and 347,000 individuals living with spinal cord injuries.  Damage caused by spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis and can be life-threatening.

While the cause of spinal cord injuries is varied, motor vehicle crashes are the single leading cause of spinal cord injuries.  Estimates show that 46% of new spinal cord injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents each year.  Additionally, 22% are caused by falls, 16% by acts of violence including gunshots, and 12% by severe injuries while playing sports.

National Spinal Cord Month

September is National Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness Month.  The bill that created the national awareness month was sponsored by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and was designed to increase public awareness around the prevalence of spinal cord injuries, support and treatment for those with spinal cord injuries, and to highlight the successes of those living with spinal cord injuries.

Each of us can spread the word and increase public awareness of spinal cord injuries.  Acknowledging someone with a spinal cord injury and joining a support group such as the National Spinal Cord Injury Association’s United Spinal Team Advocacy Group can benefit thousands of injured people in the United States.  Donating to charities that support research and treatment for spinal cord injuries is another great way to help.  You can learn more about charities that benefit individuals with SCI by visiting the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation at https://www.christopherreeve.org and the National Spinal Cord Injury Association at https://unitedspinal.org/.

A good source of information for active wheelchair users is called New Mobility by the United Spinal Association.  New Mobility aims to provide wheelchair users with important information about advocacy, travel, employment, and relationships, and can be found at http://www.newmobility.com/.

Spinal Cord Injury Prevention

In order to help prevent spinal cord injuries, we recommend that you and your loved ones use properly installed child restraints, wear seat belts, avoid distractions such as cell phone use, and never use drugs or alcohol while driving a motor vehicle.  In addition, be sure to keep your home free of hazards and debris to avoid slips and falls in the house.  Installing handrails on staircases helps avoid falls on  stairwells.  Next, avoid extreme and dangerous sports!  Take time to review the pool depth before diving and confirm that it’s at least 10 feet deep.  Finally, never move an individual that you think may have a spinal cord injury.  Call 9-1-1 for help.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  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.

 

The More You Know: Headaches After Accidents

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Vehicle crashes occur daily on our busy South Florida roads.  Unfortunately, injuries and even fatalities are often the result of these automobile accidents throughout the state of Florida.

Sometimes the collision results in what may appear to be only very minor or no apparent injuries.  In fact, those with head and neck injuries may experience delayed pain…feeling the damage only hours or days after the accident.  Whiplash symptoms may take days to materialize because adrenaline and cortisol flowing through your body right after the accident can mask the pain, allowing your brain to move beyond pain and respond to what it perceives as danger.  When the adrenaline and cortisol begin to dissipate in your system, the swelling and pain caused by the injury become apparent.

Brain injuries can cause severe, long-lasting damage.  Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be caused by a strong jolt to the head.  Traumatic brain injuries most often arise from injuries such as skull fractures and concussions, however, they may also come about from other less apparent trauma to the head.  Resulting health repercussions may include headaches, mood changes, sleep disorders, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, nausea, loss of coordination, speech or vision problems, and comas.  Traumatic brain injuries often require a high level of care, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical treatment.  Sadly, some accidents leave victims unable to care for and/or support themselves.

Individuals often assume that if they did not seek medical attention promptly after a vehicle accident, they are no longer entitled to obtain medical treatment paid for by an insurance company.  Under the Florida no-fault law, motorists may be entitled to benefits under their own insurance policy, or that of the vehicle they are a passenger, if treatment is received within 14 days after the accident.  The amount of coverage and benefits may differ as well depending on the severity of the injuries.

Generally speaking, you should always seek medical treatment promptly after an automobile collision if you feel you have sustained injuries.  If the medical problem is urgent, call 911 or go immediately to the ER.  If the injury is not an emergency, call your insurance company to report the accident and make sure they are aware you plan on seeing a medical professional.  Make sure to let your doctor know that you were involved in an auto accident and provide them with any claim information so their office can submit any bills and reports timely.

Once you receive medical treatment, we recommend that you find an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you and recover any lost wages and injury compensation to which you are entitled.  Goldman and Daszkal, P.A., is a reputable Florida based law firm and has been representing those injured in auto accidents and other personal injury claims for the past 27 years

When you contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., the firm will provide a free consultation to help you understand your rights and obligations.  A firm representative can meet with you at the law office or at a convenient location for you.  Then, your attorney can then take over the handling of your claim and contacting any remaining parties, allowing you to have peace of mind while you recover.  Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

 

Motorcycle Safety Awareness for 2017

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May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.  For our friends and family members who support their need for speed with adrenaline-pumping motorcycle riding, we urge you to read and share the following information to ensure each and every motorcycle ride is both exhilarating and safe.

For car and truck drivers

Share the roads!  Roads are designed for multiple types of vehicles, motorcycles included!  We urge you to pay special attention to motorcycles as these vehicles are challenged with safety issues unlike cars and trucks.  Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than cars.  Be aware!

For motorcycle riders

You already are aware that motorcycles are not only less visible to other drivers, but are much more dangerous in a crash because they provide no protection for the body.  Riding a motorcycle requires balance, good coordination, and the ability to follow road signs, speed limits, and respond quickly to changing road conditions.  Please make sure to be well rested and ready for the challenges of the roadway.

 Did you know?  Important facts to keep your motorcycle riding practice safe.

  1. Motorcycle riders are 6 times more likely to be injured in a crash than occupants of a car. [1]
  1. National crash data show that motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to suffer fatalities than car drivers and passengers.[2]
  1. In order to legally drive a motorcycle, you need to pass a written and practical skills test to obtain a state motorcycle license to supplement your driver’s license. In addition, most states require motorcycle riders to take a motorcycle rider training course, but if your state doesn’t offer one, contact the Motorcycle Safety Foundation at https://www.msf-usa.org/ or (800) 446-9227 for the nearest class.  Contact your state licensing agency for license information.

Tips from the NHTSA

We urge you to review these important tips recommended for all motorcycle riders by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

  1. Practice riding any new motorcycle in a controlled environment without traffic before taking it onto roads with traffic.
  2. Take a motorcycle rider training course and review how to handle the motorcycle in wet weather as well as in sand, mud, and with road debris.
  3. Before loading any cargo on your motorcycle, check the owner’s manual to determine where to place the load and if you’ll need to make any adjustments to the vehicle.
  4. Check that your motorcycle is safe to ride each time. Check the brakes, lights, signal, tire pressure and tread, and cargo.
  5. Communicate with your passenger that he or she should sit directly behind you, lean forward, and keep feet on footrests at all times.  The passenger should hold the driver’s waist or hips and keep legs and feet away from the muffler.
  6. Always ensure that you and your passenger wear a protective motorcycle helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Be sure to adjust the helmet so it fits properly and use goggles if the helmet has no shield.
  7. When riding, be sure to wear bright colored long sleeves and long pants to improve your visibility and protect you in the case of a crash.
  8. Obey all speed limits, traffic signs, and lane indications.
  9. Ride with the traffic flow and always drive defensively.
  10. Be alert and drive sober. Never ride a motorcycle after consuming alcohol or any prescription medication that might impair your ability to ride safely.

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

[2] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Traffic Fatalities in Florida: On the Rise

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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

Guardrail Collisions in Florida

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Over the last decade, guardrail collisions have become a growing source of injuries and death on U.S. roadways. 

Guardrails

Guardrails are metal barriers designed to prevent drivers from going off the road.  Typically, guardrails are used on the shoulder of the road near steep drop offs, rough terrain, or heavy traffic moving at high speeds.  

Dangerous Guardrails

Although guardrails are designed to protect motorists from going off the road, some poorly designed guardrails have been the cause of serious injury or death.  Properly designed guardrails deflect vehicles, absorb the speed from a collision, and act as a barrier.  However, poorly designed or defective guardrails can function like a spear, slicing into the vehicle and causing serious damage to those inside.  One type of guardrail known as ET-Plus, made by Trinity Industries, has been implicated in many lawsuits throughout the U.S. over the last decade.  The ET-Plus guardrails should sweep vehicles to the side upon impact, but according to reports,  these guardrails allegedly cause the rails to pull up, piercing through the front of the vehicle.

If you, a friend, or a family member has been seriously injured after colliding with a guardrail, we can help.  If the injuries were the result of defective guardrails, we will hold the appropriate companies responsible as we fight to obtain proper compensation for medical bills and other losses.  

After a vehicle accident, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and to have lots of questions.  We can start by answering your questions.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.  (954) 428-9333

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.

 

“MOVE OVER!” It’s the LAW

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moveover.logoEnacted in 2002, the “Move Over” law is one of the most important yet lesser known laws for U.S. roadways.  The law requires all drivers to move over or slow down when approaching any emergency vehicle using a visual signal and that is stopped, parked or next to a roadway.  If you are driving near an emergency vehicle, the law requires you to change lanes to move away from the emergency vehicle or, if unable to make a lane change, slow down considerably to a reasonable speed considering factors such as weather and road conditions.

More specifically, The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has published the following “Move Over” requirements for all drivers:

Multi-Lane Roadway:

  • “Drivers must vacate the lane closest to the stationary emergency vehicle, tow truck, sanitation, or utility vehicle. (Always signal your intention to change lanes.)
  • Drivers must slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit if they cannot move over safely.
  • Drivers who are not in the lane closest to the stationary vehicle should be prepared to allow those who are to move over into their lane.”[1]

Two-Lane Roadway:

  • “Drivers must slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
  • If the speed limit is 20 mph or less, drivers must travel at 5 mph.”[2]

The first “Move Over” law was enacted in South Carolina after a paramedic was hit by a vehicle while providing care to someone who was in a crash.   Sadly, each year other paramedics and law enforcement officers are killed while they are responding to traffic-related incidents.

In Florida during 2013 there were more than 130 crashes caused by motorists who violated the “Move Over” law.  Of the 130 crashes, 81 resulted in injuries and 2 resulted in deaths. [3]  In the U.S. during 2003 -2012, 1,540 officers were killed while on duty, with nearly half of them killed in traffic incidents.[4]

Unfortunately, misinformed drivers think “moving over” is an optional courtesy.

It’s not.    It’s the law.

If you have a question about the “Move Over” law, violation of the law, or a Florida roadway vehicle crash, we can help.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.  (954) 428-9333

June Move Over_Infographic_121814_v5_tag

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.flhsmv.gov/2015/01/13/slow-move-save-life/

[2] https://www.flhsmv.gov/2015/01/13/slow-move-save-life/

[3]  https://www.flhsmv.gov/2015/01/13/slow-move-save-life/

[4] The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/MoveOver

“M” is for May, Memorial Day, and Motorcycle Safety

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When you think of the month of May, you may think of Memorial Day, that special day set aside to commemorate our military who died during active duty.  But this May, after you think about those who bravely served our country, we also urge you to take some time to think about motorcycle safety.

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month 

You probably know that motorcycles are less stable and less visible than passenger vehicles, but did you know that over 13% of all highway fatalities were motorcycle riders?  Yet motorcycles represent only 3% of all registered vehicles on the road![1]   Clearly, motorcycle riders are significantly overrepresented in vehicle accidents and fatalities.

Motorcycle Accidents

Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics

With the beautiful, warm weather in Florida, motorcycles are especially appealing.  According to the most recent report available from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, motorcycle fatalities accounted for 15% of all highway fatalities in Florida in 2009, even higher than the national average of 13%.[2]  Also higher than the national average, alcohol use played a significant role in Florida motorcycle fatalities in 2009 (the most recent full report available), with 37% of motorcycle fatalities involving alcohol use.[3]  According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the 2014 national average for alcohol involvement in motorcycle traffic fatalities was 30%.

In addition to the numerous motorcycle fatalities each year in Florida and the rest of the country, thousands of motorcycle riders suffer serious injuries from motorcycle accidents.  Despite the fact that many riders are cautious on the road, they often suffer from accidents caused by other motorists.

Motorcycle riders who were injured in accidents caused by other drivers have the legal right to seek compensation to cover medical costs as well as other related expenses.  These legal claims require an in-depth understanding of personal injury and vehicle traffic safety.  If you have questions about a motorcycle accident, injury, and the law, the experienced personal injury law firm of Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can answer them.

Motorcycle Accident Prevention

The Highway Patrol offers these few simple tips to help prevent motorcycle accidents:

  • Check traffic from right, left, rear and front before riding through an intersection
  • Keep the motorcycle in the left part of the lane before passing
  • Look ahead to avoid road hazards
  • Maintain a safe following distance

Drivers should also use caution and follow these suggestions:

  • Watch out for motorcyclists hidden by buildings or other vehicles, especially at intersections
  • Use mirrors and head checks when passing to ensure safe passing
  • Maintain a safe following distance

For more tips, check out this related article on Motorcycle Safety:  What You Need to Know Before Going Out on the Road

If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident, 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.

[1] Insurance Institute of Highway Safety http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/motorcycles/fatalityfacts/motorcycles; 13% is accurate for both 2009 and 2014.
[2] Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/VulnerableUsersRpts/Motorcycles2010.pdf
[3] Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/VulnerableUsersRpts/Motorcycles2010.pdf

Public Transportation Accidents in Florida – What You Need to Know

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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/

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

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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

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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.