Plan Ahead: Don’t Drink and Drive

drunkdriving Many people like to wind down with a drink or two after a long day at work while others like to enjoy drinks with friends on the weekend. Whether you’re leaving a bar or a party, finding alternate transportation to get home after drinking is essential. Planning ahead helps keep you and others safe from injury. Avoid drunk driving yourself and help prevent others from driving drunk by following these tips:

  • If you are going out to drink, choose someone to be the designated driver before leaving.
  • If you are the designated driver, do not drink any alcoholic beverages.
  • If the whole group decides they want to drink, find a different form of transportation like a taxi.
  • If you notice that a friend has been drinking and is planning on driving home, take their keys and help them find another form of transportation.
  • If you’re throwing a party make sure to have non-alcoholic options for your guests in case they are the designated driver for their group.
  • If a guest at your party is unable to drive and can’t find alternate transportation, suggest they spend the night.

Taking necessary steps to avoid drunk driving can help save lives and help prevent potential injuries in the event of a car accident. Drinking and driving is not only against the law, but it put many lives in danger. MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, sheds light on the dangers of drinking and driving with the following data:

  • Two in three people will be involved in an accident involving drunk driving in their lifetime.
  • A person is injured in an alcohol-related accident every two minutes.
  • The age group of 21 to 25 has the highest rate of drunk drivers.
  • 290,000 people were injured in alcohol-related accidents in 2013.
  • In 2013, there was a total of 10,076 fatalities, which equates to one fatality every 52 minutes.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles compiles data regarding car accidents within Florida that involved drunk driving. Just like the above information, the following data from 2014 stresses the dangers that comes with drunk driving.

  • Of the 344,170 traffic accidents in Florida – 16,873 were suspected to have involved alcohol, while 5,660 were confirmed to have involved alcohol.
  • It is suspected that 7,362 injury crashes and 11,210 injuries were alcohol-related.
  • Of the confirmed 2,143 alcohol-related injury crashes, 3,387 injuries were reported.

This type of information puts the dangers of drinking and driving into perspective and shows the importance of planning ahead. The next time you are going to go out for drinks or to a party, make sure to have a plan for getting home safe.

If you have been injured in a car accident, please visit or contact us at for a free consultation.

Always Wear Your Seat Belt

seatbelt-021716The first thing both drivers and passengers should do when getting in a car is put on a seat belt –  not only because it is the law, but also because wearing a seat belt could potentially save a life or help prevent severe injuries in the event of a car accident.  Information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, demonstrates the importance of always wearing a seat belt:

  • In 2013, an estimated 12,584 lives among people age 5 and older were saved in the United States by the use of seat belts.
  • An additional 2,800 could have been saved with proper seat belt use.
  • About 43,000 people were injured in an accident while not wearing a seat belt.
  • 1,928 people were killed as a result of not wearing a seat belt.
  • In Florida only about 750 lives were saved by the use of seat belts.
  • An additional 179 lives could have been saved in Florida with proper seat belt use.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 87% of vehicle occupants across the United States wear their seat belts.  Of vehicle occupants in Florida the estimate is 88.8%.  These percentages have slowly risen from previous; however, many people are still not wearing their seat belts.  To help prevent potential injuries and fatalities, it is essential to put on a seat belt and to wear it properly:

  • Place the shoulder belt across your chest
  • Place the lap belt low on the hips
  • Make sure the belt fits closely to your body

Keeping the above in mind when putting on your seat belt allows for the proper performance of the seat belt. Making sure the shoulder belt and lap belt are in the correct positions can help minimize possible injuries and help prevent internal injuries.  Having the seat belt fit closely to your body, can help prevent injury from the belt itself in the event of a car accident.  Every time you get in your car, make sure to put on your seat belt, and if you have passengers make sure they have their seat belts on as well.

If you have pain resulting from a seat belt related injury due to an accident, please visit or contact us at for a free consultation.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road: Put Down Your Phone

putdownyourphoneDistracted driving is often the cause of car accidents.  Using a cell phone is one of the more distracting activities for drivers. Texting requires manual, cognitive and visual attention.  This means drivers take their hands off of the wheel, their attention off of driving, and their eyes off of the road.  Answering a phone call also causes drivers to take their hands off of the wheel and their minds off of the road.  Even if hands-free technology is used, the driver’s focus shifts away from driving and instead his/her attention is on the conversation with the person on the other end of the call.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled data on distracted driving and details about accidents involving cell phone use:

  • There were 826,000 non-fatal crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011.
  • Of these accidents – 50,000 involved cell phone use.
  • Each of these accidents resulted in injury or property damage.
  • It was estimated that 21,000 people were injured in accidents resulting from cell phone use.
  • Of the fatal accidents in the distraction-affected category, 385 people were killed in accidents in which at least one driver had been using his/her cell phone.
  • For the age group 15-19 years old, 21% of fatal crashes caused by distracted driving involved use of a cell phone.
  • About 20% of teenagers and 10% of parents admit to having multiple text message conversations while on the road.
  • The average time a driver’s eyes are off the road when texting is five seconds, which is enough time to cover the length of a football field if driving at 55mph.

Keeping the above information in mind, it is important to keep your full attention on the road while driving.  Make sure to leave you phone alone while driving.  If you feel it is necessary, you can turn off your phone while you’re in the car.  If you need to make a call or send a text message or email, find a safe place to pull over to do so.  Arriving at your destinations safely is the main priority when driving.  Disconnecting from your cell phone during your drives can help you avoid an accident as well as potential injuries.

If you have been injured in a car accident, please visit or contact us at for a free consultation.

Defend Yourself – Be a Defensive Driver

defensive drivingThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2013 there were 5,687,000 traffic accidents in the United States. Of those accidents – 1,591,000 were injury crashes and 30,057 were fatalities. These numbers can be quite alarming, but drivers can help protect themselves by becoming a defensive driver. It is impossible to control other drivers’ actions, but you do have control over your own driving. By following these defensive driving tips, you can reduce your chances of getting into a car accident.

  • Before setting out on the road, make sure all of your mirrors are adjusted properly.  While driving check your mirrors periodically and be mindful of your blind spots.
  • Always wear your seat belt.  Your seat belt can help reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.
  • Focus your full attention on the road.  Put down any possible distractions such as phones and avoid adjusting the radio and air-conditioning if possible.
  • Follow the posted speed limit signs.  If a danger should arises, it will be harder to control your vehicle if you are speeding.
  • Leave enough space between your car and the car in front of you.  It is suggested to leave about 3 to 4 seconds of lead time in normal weather conditions.
  • In times of rainy weather, use your headlights and leave extra space between your car and other drivers.
  • Use your blinkers to ensure that other drivers know when you will be changing lanes or making a turn.
  • If you identify a reckless driver, get away from them as safely as possible following the rules of the road.
  • Make sure to keep your emotions in check.  If you tend to get frustrated with other drivers, find ways to keep yourself calm while on the road.
  • If another driver shows signs of road rage, do not engage them and keep your focus on driving.
  • Keep your eyes on the road.  Being aware of your surroundings can help you anticipate any possible dangers that may arise

Because you have no control over other drivers, it is imperative that you are aware of your own driving. By keeping these defensive driving tips in mind, you can help reduce the chance of a car accident and prevent possible injuries.

If you have been injured in a car accident, please visit or contact us at for a free consultation.