Articles Posted in Manatee County Auto Accident Attorney

Authorities nabbed yet another wrong-way driver on Sunday on a Tampa Bay area roadway.

Around 2 a.m., a 24-year-old Bradenton man drove around a road block put in place on the eastbound Lee Roy Selmon Expressway for a crash investigation, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers claim the man then turned his 1999 Saturn sedan around before reaching the crash and traveled west in the eastbound lanes.

A trooper helping with the traffic investigation pulled the man and arrested him for driving under the influence. The FHP said he refused to provide a breath sample.

4627093882_fb4b2f8e38_zWrong-way traffic accidents claimed 16 lives on Tampa Bay area roads in 2014. Many of these crashes occurred on divided highways. A handful of wrong-way drivers have been stopped before they could cause an accident.

Just last week the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office stopped a woman travelling the wrong way on the Veterans Expressway. It was found that she was confused, but not under the influence of alcohol.

According to the Florida Integrated Report Exchange Program, a total of 223,110 traffic accidents were reported in Florida this year. Of those, 98,817 accidents have resulted in 147,285 people being injured and 1,611 deaths. In 2014, the record month of accidents was March, with 30,183 crashes reported. Moreover, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported in their “Traffic Crash Facts Annual Report 2012” that of the 281,340 accidents in Florida in 2012, a large amount were attributed to wrong-way drivers. A total of 363 accidents resulted in property damage due to vehicles being driven on the wrong side of the road or travelling the wrong way. Another 541 car accidents involved bodily injury, and 53 wrong-way collisions resulted in death.

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The start of 2015 is right around the corner, which means it is important to address that the New Year’s holiday is known for being one of the most dangerous times of the year, especially for accidents involving drunk drivers.

According to the National Safety Council, in 2014, the three-day period around New Year’s Day was the holiday period with the highest amount of drunk driving deaths. Partygoers who are out celebrating should factor safety precautions into their holiday planning to improve their chances of avoiding a holiday accident.

2154575545_f58be7229d_zThere are numerous dangers that drivers and passengers face when traveling on the roadways during the New Year’s holiday. Some of the most common holiday hazards include:

  • More Traffic: With gasoline prices low, more people have been travelling for the holidays. New Years Eve and New Years Day is no exception. With more vehicles on the roads, there is an increased risk for holiday travelers. Drivers can get easily frustrated or distracted when traffic is congested.
  • Bad Weather: Rain, hail, snow and ice only add to the hazards of New Year’s travel. Even the most skilled drivers are no match for poor road conditions caused by inclement weather.
  • Drunk Drivers: Holidays and alcohol go hand in hand. Many people use New Year’s celebrations as an excuse to get drunk. When drunk drivers choose to get behind the wheel, they pose a serious danger to themselves and others.

Whether you are hosting a New Year’s party or attending one yourself, remember that there are numerous things you can do to protect yourself from becoming a New Year’s statistic.

  1. Know your limit when it comes to alcoholic beverages.
  2. Designate a driver, take a cab, use Lyft or Uber, call AAA, use public transportation or ask a sober friend to come pick you up.
  3. Report suspected drunk drivers.
  4. If you are planning to attend a New Year’s party, arrange to stay at the party location, or stay at a hotel or motel that is within walking distance.
  5. Celebrate the New Year without alcohol.

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Wrong-way collisions have been highlighted in the news more than usual this year because of five crashes that claimed 11 lives on interstate highways in Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

While this most recent wrong-way crash did not happen on an expressway, a Brandon man was killed and a Lithia man was critically injured on State Road 60 in Plant City early Saturday.

4152256392_d68970e3ab_zThe crash happened near Cable Road just before 5 a.m., leaving the eastbound lanes of S.R. 60 closed for several hours.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 2014 Ford F-250 truck was traveling west in the eastbound lanes of S.R. 60 and crashed head-on with a 2005 F-250.

The wrong-way driver, a 52-year-old Brandon man, died at the scene. The second driver, a 28-year-old man of Lithia, was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition. Authorities have confirmed that he is in stable condition.

Wrong-way accidents usually involve more than one other vehicle. Due to the fact that these accidents are high impact collisions, most wrong-way crashes result in serious injury and fatalities. Wrong-way accidents are usually head-on collisions. And while the wrong-way driver may immediately realize he or she is driving in the wrong direction, it is often too late to avoid oncoming vehicles who are not expecting or prepared for a wrong-way vehicle.

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Two wrong-way drivers were arrested on Friday after officials said the drivers were operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol.

According to reports, a 41-year-old Miramar man was driving a 2005 Acura traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of S.R. 574 around 2:15 a.m.

Deputies said they stopped the vehicle and noticed that the man had glassy and bloodshot eyes, was unsteady on his feet, appeared very confused and had an odor of alcohol on his breath.

The man’s blood alcohol content was .196., according to deputies.

Nearly two and a half hours later, police arrested another wrong-way driver in Tampa.

7777982086_2cf9c19bd8_zOfficials claim the man was operating a 1998 Honda around 4:45 a.m. traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Adamo Drive when deputies pulled him over.

Reports show that the man smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech and watery eyes.

Both of the men were charged with driving under the influence.

Drunk driving is a very serious offense that can result in jail time for the offender. Victims of drunk driving accidents deserve to be compensated for their pain and suffering, medical costs and other losses that resulted from the accident. Most people recognize that they can sue a drunk driver for their injuries, but what most people fail to realize is that the pub, bar, restaurant or even the party host that served alcoholic drinks to the driver could also be held liable for damages under Florida’s dram shop laws.

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Gas prices across the country are at an average of $2.85 a gallon, which is the lowest cost for the entire year and down 43 cents from this time last year. According to AAA, travelers should anticipate more traffic on the roads as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.

AAA estimates that nearly 46.3 million people will travel a distance of at least 50 miles from home over the Thanksgiving weekend, Wednesday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 30. This is a 4.2 percent increase from last year and the highest anticipated volume since 2007.

According to AAA, around 90 percent of those travelling for the Thanksgiving holiday will do so by automobile. In accordance with that, Thanksgiving air travel is also expected to be at the highest level since 2007, with 3.55 million people flying.

Those who are driving to get to their Thanksgiving destination should plan their time out properly. It is estimated that it will take at least 25 percent longer to get to your final stop. In fact, Wednesday pre-Thanksgiving rush hour is expected to begin about two hours earlier than on a typical Wednesday. The worst delays are expected to occur between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

2363258975_4c1a659c4b_mThe National Safety Council expects 418 people will be killed during the Thanksgiving holiday and another 44,700 seriously injured. The best thing that you can do to protect yourself and those you love is to buckle up.

The following safety tips can help make sure your Thanksgiving holiday is safe and sound:

  1. Check to see that your vehicle is in proper working order.
  2. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, check the tire air pressure and make sure the windshield fluid is full.
  3. Always wear a seatbelt and follow the speed limit.
  4. Stay well-rested so that you can be alert behind the wheel.
  5. Exercise caution in construction areas and work zones.
  6. Avoid distractions – do not text and drive, refrain from calling or receiving phone calls and always pay attention to the road.
  7. Take a break. Long trips may require you to stop frequently or even switch drivers.
  8. Keep an emergency preparedness kit inside the vehicle with useful items, such as water, snacks, a flashlight, first aid kit, extra cash and blankets.

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Takata Corporation, the Japanese maker of air bags used by auto manufacturers, is accused of selling faulty airbags to at least 11 different automakers dating back as far as 2001. The problem with these airbags is that they can rupture and spray shards of metal at drivers and front-seat passengers. The first reported airbag shrapnel ejection occurred in 2004, however, Takata apparently tried to conceal the incident and did not issue a recall until 2008.

Further scrutiny by experts shows that in high-humidity environments, like the Tampa Bay area and the rest of Florida, moisture can seep inside the airbag inflator and destabilize the chemical explosive. This can lead to an airbag explosion even after a minor accident.

2900548360_0b564a1036_zNumerous people have been injured, blinded or killed after these airbags sent metal and plastic shards flying through a vehicle. Just last month the government added 4.74 million U.S.-market vehicles sold by Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan and General Motors to the recall list for housing faulty Takata airbags. This is a serious safety concern, which is why the owners of vehicles that contain Takata airbags are urged to have the vehicle repaired as soon as possible.

More than 14 million vehicles from 11 automakers have been recalled for the defect to date, with most of these recalls occurring in the last two years. Takata’s faulty airbags have been linked to at least four deaths and more than 100 injuries, dating back to 2004.

A full list of recalled vehicles can be found below:


2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan

2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe

2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon

2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible

2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe

2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible


2004 – Ranger

2005 – 2006 GT

2005 – 2007 Mustang


2004 – 2005 Lancer

2006 – 2007 Raider


2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima

2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder

2002 – 2004 Nissan Sentra

2001 – 2004 Infiniti I30/I35

2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4

2003 – 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45


2001 – 2007 Honda Accord)

2001 – 2002 Honda Accord

2001 – 2005 Honda Civic

2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V

2003 – 2011 Honda Element

2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey

2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot

2006 – Honda Ridgeline

2003 – 2006 Acura MDX

2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL

2005 – Acura RL


2003 – 2007 Mazda 6

2006 – 2007 Mazdaspeed6

2004 – 2008 Mazda RX-8

2004 – 2005 MPV

2004 – B-Series Truck


2003 – 2005 Baja

2003 – 2005 Legacy

2003 – 2005 Outback

2004 – 2005 Impreza


2002 – 2005 Lexus SC

2002 – 2005 Toyota Corolla

2003 – 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix

2002 – 2005 Toyota Sequoia

2003 – 2005 Toyota Tundra

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The number of fatal bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles is on the rise, and the state of Florida is just second behind California with the highest number of deaths.

According to a report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, the number of U.S. bicyclists killed in accidents involving motor vehicles rose by 16 percent between 2010 and 2012.

During that same period, California had 338 cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles, and Florida had 329.

742586262_4198415493_zFlorida and California also had the largest increases in annual cyclist traffic fatalities from 2010 to 2012. Florida’s deaths rose by 37 to 120 in 2012 and California’s cyclist deaths rose by 23 to 123. California had the most bicyclists killed of any state in 2012.

The GHSA report also found the following:

  1. 722 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2012 across the nation. This number is up 6 percent from 680 fatalities the previous year. That number is also a 16 percent jump from the 621 bicyclists killed in 2010.
  2. More than two-thirds of bikers killed were not wearing helmets. Despite the fact that many states have laws requiring minors to wear helmets while riding bikes, wearing a helmet is generally not a state or federal requirement for adults.
  3. More than one-fourth of bicyclists killed in accidents were impaired. According to the report, 28 percent of bicyclists killed in motor vehicle accidents had blood alcohol concentrations over the legal limit of .08.
  4. Findings show that nearly 9 in 10 bicycle fatality victims are adult males. In 2012, men made up 88 percent of those killed in bicycle traffic collisions.
  5. Bike accidents are increasing in urban areas. According to the report, 69 percent percent of fatal bike accidents happened in urban areas in 2012, compared to only 50 percent in 1975.

If injured, it is important for Tampa Bay area cyclists to understand their legal rights and seek medical attention immediately. Fortunately for injured bicyclists, the city of Tampa and the surrounding areas, as well the state of Florida, have passed favorable laws that hold negligent, careless and reckless drivers accountable for bicycle accidents.

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This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, so this is a time to bring up the real dangers teens face when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teens. Moreover, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that almost half of teen drivers involved in a collision are killed.

While the above statistics present a real problem in regards to teen drivers, a recent survey found that only 25 percent of parents have had a discussion with their teens stressing the importance of driving safely.

The NHTSA discusses the following rules for teens in its “5 To Drive” campaign:

  1. No cell phones while driving
  2. No extra passengers
  3. No speeding
  4. No alcohol
  5. No driving or riding in a car without a seatbelt

7979444605_e1a36803ce_mThe “5 to Drive” campaign was launched during Teen Driver Safety Week last year, and it addresses the five most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers. The thought behind this initiative is to help parents address these five key issues when talking with their teens about driving.

The statistics regarding teenage driver collisions are sobering. Approximately 60 percent of the teens that died in crashes in 2012 were not wearing a seatbelt and 48 percent of those killed were speeding. Teens are involved in crashes where speeding is an issue at a rate of 60 percent higher than that of adults.

As parents, it is our responsibility to set a good example for our children by always wearing our seat belts and stressing the importance of why we wear them. Seatbelts save lives. In addition, it is important to continue setting a good example by following all posted speed limits and other rules of the road.

Alcohol is another key issue in teen driver deaths. In 2012, NHTSA statistics showed that 28 percent of teen drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 who were killed in crashes had been drinking.

Another serious problem for teens is texting and driving. In 2012, a study found that cell phones distracted nearly 1 in 5 teens in distraction-related fatal crashes. Extra passengers in the vehicle also cause distraction for teens, and the risk for an accident only increases with each additional passenger. In fact, just one passenger raises a teen driver’s risk of a fatal crash by 44 percent.

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A Tampa high school teacher was arrested on Sunday for driving the wrong way near I-75, according to troopers.

Reports indicate that the Florida Highway Patrol received a call around 3:50 a.m. regarding a wrong-way driver on State Road 618 near 22nd Street.

Troopers were told a gold 2001 Saturn was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes and would eventually turn southbound in the northbound lanes of I-75. A trooper arrested the 24-year-old teacher as he exited at the northbound Gibsonton Drive entrance ramp.

14506627582_fea1a0f30d_mThe social studies teacher was charged with driving under the influence and driving the wrong way on a limited access roadway.

The man allegedly refused to provide a breath test, but the trooper claims he had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol.

This year alone has shown an outbreak of wrong-way driving on the interstates in the Tampa Bay area. Fortunately, some of these wrong-way drivers have been stopped by local police before a tragic collision occurred, as this case shows, limiting the effects of wrong-way drivers. However, unfortunately, there have been five serious wrong-way crashes on the interstates in the Tampa Bay area this year, resulting in 11 deaths and numerous injuries.

Many drivers are the victims of wrong-way accidents in the Tampa Bay area every year. Those injured or those who have had loved ones taken from them may be left with the financial burden of medical expenses and lost wages to handle on top of the pain and suffering they must go through while working towards recovery. These victims are not without relief, though, as the laws in Florida give accident victims and immediate family members the right to bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim for their damages against negligent motorists who caused a car accident.

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A wrong-way driver and her two passengers were killed in a head-on collision with a gasoline tanker truck on Interstate 275 just south of Bearss Avenue early Sunday.

This is the fourth fatal wrong-way crash on I-275 in Tampa this year that has happened just before sunrise.

The Florida Highway Patrol believes a 2013 Honda sedan was traveling south in the inside lane of northbound I-275 when it crashed into a Gemini Motor Transport tanker that was headed north. Both vehicles came to a halt in the northbound lanes.

SONY DSCThe car’s driver, along with another woman in the front passenger seat and a man sitting in the back, all died at the scene.

There is no information regarding when, where or why the women entered the interstate heading in the wrong direction at this time.

The driver of the tanker, a 50-year-old Lakeland man, was not injured. No fuel was spilled, however the crash created a lot of debris.

This is not the first wrong-way collision on I-275 in Tampa in the last seven months.

On Feb. 9, a 28-year-old man driving south in the northbound lanes of I-275 collided near Busch Boulevard with a 2010 Hyundai carrying four University of South Florida fraternity brothers. All five men were killed.

Less than two weeks later, a 25-year-old drove a Honda Civic north on the southbound side of I-275 and smashed into a rental truck near Bearss Avenue. The man was killed and the two men in the truck suffered personal injuries.

Last month, a 23-year-old man was killed after he crashed into an ambulance after entering I-275 from I-4 going north in the southbound span.

According to the FHP, most of these wrong-way accidents involved drivers making U-turns on the highway. Impairment was at least suspected in the previous wrong-way crashes. Troopers said it is too early to tell whether it was a factor in this crash.

In an effort to combat this serious problem, officials with the Florida Department of are taking steps to better protect motorists against wrong-way drivers. Message boards warn motorists once a 911 call has been made. The agency is also testing interstate sensors that would automatically notify the FDOT of a wrong-way driver even before that first 911 call.

Wrong way collisions are usually very serious due to the fact that two vehicles traveling at moderate to high speeds generally do not have enough time to break or take any other evasive action to avoid a head-on collision. A crash of this magnitude creates significant impact forces into the occupant compartments of both vehicles. Sadly, catastrophic injuries and death are quite often the result of wrong way accidents.

One of the most common causes of wrong way collisions is drivers operating their vehicles under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. While this is certainly not the only reason these accidents occur, it is usually a factor.

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