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car accident attorney for Miami-Dade Broward and Palm Beach Counties Archives | Osborne & Francis

Car Color Impacts Risk of an Accident Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Drivers in cars whose colors stand out against the background may have a lower risk of an accident says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

Many cyclists, motorcyclists and construction workers on the nation’s roads wear bright, lime green jackets or shirts. Why? It makes them more visible and reduces the chances a driver may not notice them and collide into them. An Australian study shows that if the color of a vehicle makes it more difficult to see the chances of an accident increases. Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne says being more or less visible may be the difference between an accident and a near miss.

Black cars are up to 47% more likely to be involved in vehicle accidents, according to researchers at Australia’s Monash University reports the Daily Mail. They looked at police data covering 850,000 accidents over twenty years which covered the cars involved, when the accidents happened and the type of accident. Commercial vehicles, taxis and white vans were excluded from the study which was published in the journal Safety Science in 2010.

White, gold and yellow vehicles were found to be the safest. Black, grey, silver, red and blue colors were found to be less safe because they don’t stand out as much against the background of the road, scenery and other traffic. Researchers tried to take into account some drivers may be more likely to take risks and prefer driving cars of a certain color.

Black cars, during the daytime, were up to 12% more likely to be involved in an accident than white vehicles. At dawn and dusk black cars had a 47% greater risk of a collision. Results suggested orange cars may be the safest, but the data wasn’t conclusive.

If everyone started buying white and orange cars their safety advantage may disappear, researchers claim. If a car owner switched from a black car, he or she might be safer but if the majority of vehicles became white and orange there would be less contrast and accidents involving them would increase. Researcher found that although vehicle color could impact crash risk, bad driver habits like speeding and drunk driving have a far greater impact.

In 2013, white was the world’s most popular car color, followed by black, silver and gray, according to reports from PPG Industries and Axalta Coating Systems, reports Edmunds. White was the most popular car color in North America since 2006 and its popularity has spread around the world. Jim Parker, head of exterior color and trim for the Chrysler Group, is quoted as saying color choice normally boils down to one of two things, “It’s either what they feel about themselves or what they think they would like to feel about themselves.” Whether or not white or orange is your style, if safety is a priority you may want to consider colors that stand out.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident , contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 800-4011 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.

Traffic Jams are More Than a Nuisance Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Vehicles stuck in traffic jams can be rear-ended at highway speeds, often leading to serious injuries and deaths says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

You want to get somewhere and you thought the highway would be the quickest way there. You found out too late that a traffic jam has forced vehicle speeds down to a crawl. No matter what your plans may have been, you are going nowhere fast. As big as a pain as this might be, Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne says, the fact is that vehicles coming from behind you may not stop in time to avoid crashing into those stuck in the traffic jam.

An accident on Interstate 75 south of Ocala earlier this month involved nine vehicles and left one person dead and several people injured, according to Ocala Star Banner. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that southbound traffic stopped because of a crash ahead. As drivers waited for that accident to be cleared, a semi truck coming to the scene failed to stop, drove off the highway, hit a guardrail, sideswiped a minivan and FedEx truck and struck six more vehicles before coming to a stop. The accident happened shortly before midnight on July 14 and it took about ten hours to clear the all wreckage.

Negligence is often at the heart of why these kinds of accidents happen.

  • Many times in these situation drivers just aren’t prepared to stop in time to avoid striking vehicles slowing down, or stopped, ahead of them. They may be driving too fast, too focused on getting where they want to go and not prepared for the fact traffic could stop in front of them at any time.
  • This crash happened in the evening so it may be more likely drivers are dozing off, asleep or simply distracted because they’re tired or fiddling with an app on their smart phone hoping to find an alternate route around the tie up. By the time they understand what’s going on it’s too late to act and avoid a crash.
  • In the case of a semi-truck under ideal conditions if it’s going highways speeds it could take more than 500 feet (or almost the length of two football fields) for the truck to stop. So a truck driver needs to pay attention not only to the traffic directly around the truck but also to what’s going on more than 500 feet ahead. In this accident the driver may have driven off the highway to avoid colliding with more vehicles, but severe damage was done, including the death of one person and injuries to several others.
  • If the truck isn’t properly maintained and the brakes fail that can also lead to an accident at a traffic jam.
  • If the truck of overloaded it will take a longer distance to come to a stop.
  • If cargo in or on the trailer isn’t properly loaded or tied down and the driver slams on the brakes the truck could jackknife, roll over or cargo could spill off the trailer and onto, or in front of, other motorists on the highway.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused in a traffic jam, contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 800-4011 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.

Don’t Let Bugs Bug You Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Don’t let insects or spiders in your car distract you so much you cause an accident warns Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

It’s summer in Florida and along with the tourists insects and spiders seem to be coming out of the woodwork. By one estimate there are more than 400 types of insects in Florida and some of them may hitch a ride with you in your car. All types of insects look for a safe and dry refuge during the summer rainy season and cars are the perfect place to nest. If you find yourself in a vehicle with an insect or spider, even one that may really freak you out, don’t freak out behind the wheel says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

Drivers being distracted by spiders is a documented cause of car accidents.

  • The Broward Sheriff’s Office announced that a June car crash in Cooper City happened after the driver saw a spider in the car. The car hit a light pole, knocking it onto the street, reports the Associated Press.
  • A driver panicked and crashed his car in May in Ephrata Township, Pennsylvania, because he thought there was a spider in his lap. Lancaster Online states the driver reported to police he lost control of the vehicle which struck a utility pole. The driver wasn’t injured but the car had to be towed from the scene.
  • A spider dropping down from the rearview mirror caused a driver to lose control of her car, which went off the road and rolled over in Portland, Oregon, in September, according to CNN. The driver suffered minor injuries but the car was severely damaged.

United Kingdom auto insurer Esure released a survey of a thousand motorists in 2007 which spelled out how drivers are distracted by bugs and respond in ways that may cause accidents, according to Automotportal.

  • 75% of those surveyed stated that bugs drove them to distraction,
  • 4% admitted to slamming on the brakes when an insect flew into their car,
  • 21% stated they took their hands off the wheel to swat at an unwanted bug,
  • Women were more distracted by insects while driving (78%) than men (70%) but men admitted to more insect-related accidents than women, and
  • 51% of respondents stated they had never been stung before or haven’t been stung in the last ten years and the fear of a serious allergic reaction caused them to get so distracted.

Many of us have phobias about insects and spiders and our reaction to them can be much worse when we’re in a car. Our fears and anxieties can intensify because we’re in an enclosed space, possibly causing a severe response and panic, resulting in being distracted and losing control of the car.

Esure suggests that if you find an insect in your car while driving,

  • Focus on driving, not the bug,
  • Open the windows so it can get out of the car on its own accord or safely pull over and open the windows, and
  • Try not to panic and swat at the insect to try to force the insect away. It will distract you from driving, make you feel more frantic, may irritate the insect and increase the chances of being stung.

We all need to be as rational as possible when we’re driving, even if a spider appears on the dashboard, your kids are screaming at each other in the back seat or another driver cuts you off. Distraction causes accidents which can result in serious injuries or deaths. That accident you cause may inflict far more harm than a bug bite.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused by a distracted driver, contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 800-4011 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.

Incapacitated Drivers Threaten Others Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Drivers who suddenly suffer medical emergencies may cause about 9000 accidents a year in Florida says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

A driver facing a health crisis behind the wheel may only have partial control of the vehicle or none at all. Hopefully he or she will be able to safely pull over and get medical help. All too often it’s not the driver stopping the car, it stops because it hits an object or another vehicle. If such an accident occurs multiple people could be facing health crises due to injuries says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

This type of car accident is not uncommon.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studied a sample of 5,471 accidents that occurred nationwide from July 2005 through December 2007. It found that 2.4% of the accidents were caused by drivers having heart attacks or other physical impairments while driving.

Though the dangers of people falling asleep behind the wheel are better known, NHTSA found they were only a slightly greater risk, causing 3.2% of the accidents. Other conditions and factors similarly related to accidents as an incapacitated driver include driving when it’s snowing or sleeting (2.7%), at dusk (2.6%), while changing lanes (2.1%), swerving to avoid another vehicle (3%) and poor road conditions (2%).

During that time frame there were 2,041,943 accidents across the country. NHTSA estimates 48,822 of them were caused by incapacitated drivers. In Florida in 2015 there were 374,342 traffic accidents. If NHTSA’s estimate of the share of accidents caused by incapacitated drivers is accurate, almost 9,000 of those accidents were related to drivers suddenly too ill to drive. That would mean about 25 accidents a day were caused by incapacitated drivers in Florida in 2015.

There are real people behind these numbers. Last month two men were killed in an accident in Palm Beach County that involved a driver possibly suddenly incapacitated by a health issue. It happened on the Florida Turnpike, according to the Miami Herald.

One driver pulled his pickup truck, with a trailer attached, onto the right shoulder of the northbound lanes. He got out of the vehicle and was next to the trailer when he was hit by a tractor trailer.

The Florida Highway Patrol believe the truck driver may have suffered a medical problem while driving, causing it to hit the victim and his pickup, then the truck continued and struck a chain link fence. The first driver was killed at the scene. The truck driver later died at St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach.

In these types of situations the driver suddenly too ill to drive is not necessarily at fault when it comes to a legal action seeking compensation for injuries to victims. Under Florida law the driver may have a valid defense if,

  • The defendant suffered a loss of consciousness or capacity.
  • That loss occurred before the defendant’s allegedly negligent conduct (such as striking another vehicle).
  • The loss was sudden.
  • The loss was not foreseen by the driver nor could the driver have foreseen it.

This defense wouldn’t apply if the driver was aware of facts sufficient to cause a reasonably prudent person to anticipate that he or she might lose consciousness or become incapacitated while driving and that driving or operating a vehicle under the circumstances would likely result in an accident.

In such a case the driver’s medical history would be key to the case, including what the person may have been diagnosed with, his or her medications or treatments, and whether the person was warned he or she may suddenly lose control or consciousness or that it was unsafe to drive.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused by a driver who suddenly became incapacitated, contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 800-4011 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.