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Articles Posted in Clearwater Auto Accident Attorneys

Congress passed the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act in 2010. The law noted that hybrid vehicles are very quiet, especially when driven below 18 miles per hour. Due to this,  Congress required the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop regulations for noise alerts on these silent hybrid vehicles by January 2014. This deadline was then extended to November 2015, and then to March 2016. Auto makers are expected to have 18 months to comply with the new mandates once they are issued.

Sadly, in the meantime, pedestrians remain at risk. Pedestrian accidents have actually increased since 2009, and the fact that people cannot hear hybrid and electric vehicles approaching the same way that they can hear traditional gas-powered vehicles places pedestrians at a greater risk of becoming involved in an accident.  

Drivers should always keep a close watch out for all pedestrians, especially those who may be blind, distracted or need extra time crossing the street.

If you have suffered harm from a pedestrian accident in Tampa Bay, you may have the right to recover for your past, current, and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket expense related to the accident and pain and suffering.

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The driver of a Mini Cooper involved in a crash with a school bus on Thursday morning in Clearwater has died.

The crash happened at 7 a.m. on South Missouri Avenue at Lotus Path.

According to Clearwater police, two school buses were headed south on Missouri Ave. when the first one stopped to pick up students. The second bus stopped behind the first, and the man driving the Mini Cooper ran into the back of the second bus.

He was taken to Morton Plant Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

There were no students on the second bus.

The bus driver was not harmed in the accident.

School bus accidents can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Driver negligence
  • Dangerous roadways
  • Inclement weather
  • Improper vehicle maintenance

These accidents may lead to serious physical injury or death, including:

  • Head injuries
  • Brain and spinal cord injuries
  • Fractured bones
  • Burn injuries
  • Cuts and bruising
  • Disfigurement or Loss of Limbs
  • Internal injuries

In certain cases, the driver of the school bus may be at fault for the accident. Sometimes the driver of another vehicle is responsible for causing the collision. A Tampa Bay Auto Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can gather and investigate any and all evidence to determine who is liable for your injuries or the loss of someone close to you.

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A motorcyclist was killed in a crash in Clearwater on Friday morning.

According to reports, a 22-year-old was driving a motorcycle eastbound on Belleair Road at a high rate of speed east of Belcher Road when he collided with a 2001 Buick Century, driven by 78-year-old man, who was pulling out of a driveway.

The biker was ejected from the motorcycle, and died at the scene.

According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are more than 200 people who are killed every year in the United States and another 17,000 injured in backover accidents. Backover accidents happen when a driver is backing up their vehicle and hits an object, pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, etc. that they did not see, usually because of a blind zone in the vehicle. SUVs and trucks are notorious for having blind spots, and their increasing popularity has only resulted in more reports of backover fatalities. Trucks and SUVs are responsible for a whopping 60 percent of backover tragedies.

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A Seminole woman was killed Saturday evening when she was hit by an SUV while riding her bicycle.

The crash occurred just before 7 p.m. on the east side of the 8600 block of Seminole Boulevard.

The 68-year-old woman was riding her bicycle on the sidewalk when a 2003 Ford Expedition pulled out of the Florida Mobile Home trailer park, preparing to turn right, according to reports.

Deputies believe the driver of the Expedition did not see the woman and hit her.

The woman was taken to Largo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Neither alcohol nor speed appear to be factors in the crash, according to deputies.

The investigation is ongoing.

When in an accident with an automobile, bicycle riders are at an increased risk for serious injuries. Any motor vehicle can cause serious, catastrophic injuries to an unprotected bike rider.

Our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are dedicated to helping bicycle riders who have been injured as a result of a vehicle operator’s negligence.  Bicycle accidents most often occur due to:

  • Driver failing to stop for a bicycle rider at a crosswalk
  • Vehicle failing to stop at a stop sign
  • Distracted driver on the cell phone or texting while driving
  • Sideswiped by a vehicle making a turn at an intersection
  • A vehicle turning into a driveway
  • A vehicle backing out of a driveway
  • Being struck while riding on a sidewalk

Our Tampa Bay area personal injury lawyers at Whittel & Melton have extensive experience in representing bicycle accident victims. We are very familiar with the complicated laws that govern bicycle use in the state of Florida. We understand that many insurance companies are quick to place the blame on the the bicycle rider, which is why we fight aggressively to stand up for your rights.  

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If you are like most Americans, you will be celebrating Halloween this weekend. Halloween is quite a fun holiday, providing you with the opportunity to dress up in a unique costume and eat a lots of candy! Halloween is known by children for its trick or treating, and for good reason. This year alone, Americans are projected to spend $2.1 billion on Halloween candy!

Around 41 million trick or treaters between the ages of 4 and 15 are expected to be out on the streets this Halloween. And while Halloween is a spooky fun holiday, it is important to not forget the list of potential dangers that can arise. Serious injuries can occur, ranging from pedestrian accidents, dog bites and even slip and falls or trip and falls. The following safety tips can ensure that you and your family and friends stay safe this Halloween while out and about in the Tampa Bay area.

Tips for a Safe Halloween

  1. Carry a flashlight with you while stomping through the streets. A flashlight can warn motorists that you are on the road and help illuminate your walking path so that you can clearly see ahead and avoid a trip and fall accident.
  2. Put reflective tape on your children’s costumes, and even their candy bags, so that they can easily be seen at night. You want to make sure your children are as visible as possible when out trick or treating. Accidents usually occur when drivers cannot see children.
  3. Make sure your child can walk in his or her costume and that it is not too long. You may need to hem or trim the bottom of the costume to avoid any unnecessary falls.
  4. Never let your child go out trick or treating alone. Make sure your kids are in a group and escorted by a parent or guardian.
  5. Remind children to stay away from dark houses.
  6. Inspect all candy before you let your children dig in.

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A Bradenton man riding a scooter was killed Sunday night after being hit from behind by a SUV on State Road 70, according to reports.

The 41-year-old man was riding a scooter east on State Road 70 near the I-75 interchange around 7:20 p.m. when a Jeep Liberty changed lanes behind him and crashed into the scooter, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The man was thrown from the scooter and transported to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, where he later died.

The driver of the Jeep, an 18-year-old, was cited for careless driving, according to the FHP.

The most common scooter and moped injuries are fractures, broken bones, back and spine injuries, and head trauma. While some of these injuries can heal with time, others can have permanent, life-changing effects. In some tragic cases, scooter accidents can result in wrongful death. Scooter and moped riders should always wear helmets when operating their vehicles. However, even when riders use their safety equipment and drive defensively, they are still among the most vulnerable drivers on the road due to the lack of protection that these motor vehicles provide compared to passenger vehicles.

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A 13-year-old boy suffered minor injuries Tuesday morning after he was hit by a vehicle while riding his bike in Tampa.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred shortly after 8 a.m. at the intersection of West Waters Avenue and Riverwood Boulevard.

Deputies believe the boy was riding his bicycle when a vehicle at the intersection turned and struck him.

The boy received minor abrasions to his hands and was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital to be checked out.

The driver was not cited.

A parent’s worst nightmare is seeing his or her child suffer an injury of any kind and deal with the pain as well as the healing process. Sadly, many children are the victims of other people’s negligence, which can result in serious harm. Even worse, sometimes another person’s carelessness or recklessness can lead to the accidental loss of a child. When this happens, the parents may have the right to bring a claim for wrongful death and seek compensation for the loss of their child.

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There were no injuries Saturday morning after a car crashed into Manos Bakery at 1975 Drew Street in Clearwater.

According to police, a westbound Honda Civic on Drew Street ran a red light and collided with another car, resulting in the Honda crashing through the front of the bakery.

The Honda came to rest inside the bakery.

The bakery owner and one employee were inside, but neither they nor the drivers were injured.

The 34-year-old driver of the Honda was cited for running a red light and not having a valid driver’s license, according to police.

The technical rescue team from Clearwater Fire & Rescue examined the structural integrity of the building and boarded up windows that had been smashed out by the impact, police said.

Thousands of people in the U.S. are injured or killed because someone ran a red light. In fact, it is the one of the leading causes of urban accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

  • More than 1/2 of all American’s admit red-light running.
  • More than 60 percent of American’s will see someone run a red light at least once each week.
  • It is the leading cause of urban crashes.
  • Almost all drivers fear being hit by a red-light runner.
  • 1 in 3 Americans know someone that has been killed or injured by someone running a red light.

Traffic lights and signals are in place to protect drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. When these signals are ignored, the results can be catastrophic.

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For most, Labor Day weekend symbolizes the unofficial end of summer. As a three-day weekend, this gives many Americans the chance to celebrate with friends and family one more time before fall comes around and the weather gets cooler. Whether you plan on taking one last road trip for a weekend getaway or staying home and celebrating with family and friends, the Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you and your loved ones to stay safe!

Labor Day Weekend has a high rate of preventable accidents, injuries, and deaths, both on the roadways and at homes across Tampa Bay and the rest of the country. To help you and your loved ones stay safe this holiday weekend, our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers have compiled a few helpful safety tips:

  • Roadway Safety AAA anticipates that nearly 35 million Americans will travel this Labor Day weekend. With this many people on the road, it is very important to remember roadway safety, obey traffic laws and to always stay alert and avoid distractions when behind the wheel.
  • Vehicle Safety – Along with obeying the rules of the road, it is equally important to make sure your vehicle is safe for travel. Check your vehicle’s fluids, brakes and lights before going on a trip. It is recommended to take your vehicle in for a quick inspection before you head out of town. If you have an older vehicle, you may want to consider renting a car with up-to-date safety features for your road trip.
  • Water & Pool Safety Because Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, pool parties and water activities are common. Make sure that all children are always supervised around and in the water.
  • BBQ Safety Tips – Labor Day weekend and barbecues go hand in hand. If you are planning on an outdoor grilling party, make sure that your grille is properly cleaned to avoid grease fires. Also, make sure to grill in a safe area away from structures, furniture and other flammable hazards. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and have a safety plan ready in place your barbecue goes awry.
  • Drink Responsibly – Holiday weekends, like Labor Day, see some of the highest rates of alcohol-related accidents and injuries than any other time of year, especially on roads and highways. If you plan on drinking, please do so responsibly and plan a safe ride home. Remember, police will be on high alert for motorists driving under the influence, so do not drink and drive.

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A 33-year-old Plant City motorcyclist was killed in a crash near Brandon early Tuesday.

The motorcyclist lost control of his Yamaha around 3:15 a.m. while making a right turn from E Adamo Drive onto northbound U.S. 301, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The motorcycle hit the raised center median, overturned and came to rest in the path of a northbound Toyota Camry.

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