Articles Posted in St. Petersburg Auto Accident Attorney

There were more than 1,400 wrong way crashes in FL in 2015, resulting in 1,454 injuries & 96 fatalities, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Wrong way driving collisions occur when a vehicle has failed to observe a posted traffic sign or pavement marking and proceeds in a lane travelling in the wrong direction.

Motorists are encouraged to stay in the right lane to avoid a crash with a wrong way driver, especially at night and during transitional light times such as dawn and dusk. In most wrong way wrecks, vehicles are hit head-on, resulting in 81 percent of all wrong way fatalities. Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous crashes, and sadly, result in the most fatalities.

The FLHSMV offers the following safety tips for drivers to avoid a wrong way driving crash:

  • Stay Right at Night to avoid crashes with wrong way drivers.
  • Call 911 right away to report wrong way drivers. If you see a wrong way driver approaching, you should reduce your speed right away and pull off the roadway.
  • Stay alert. Do not drive distracted and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Learn and obey all traffic signs. If you drive past a wrong way sign, turn around immediately. When you see a posted red sign, think about what red traffic sign colors are for: “Stop.” “Do Not Enter.” “Wrong Way.” Orange is used for construction and maintenance warnings. Yellow is for a general warning and advisory of unexpected roadways conditions. Fluorescent Yellow Green is for added emphasis warnings of school, pedestrian and bicycling activities. White/Black are regulatory signs, such as “Left Lane Must Turn Left.” Green signs are for guide or directional information. Blue signs are for motorist services guidance and to identify parking spaces or disabled drivers. Brown signs are reserved for areas of public recreation, cultural and historical significance.

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The Fourth of July is the perfect time to enjoy food, fun, and maybe a few drinks with family and friends. Whether you’re attending a fireworks show or hitting the bars, Tampa is the perfect place to celebrate America’s Birthday.

The sad truth is that Independance Day is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. Fireworks, hot grills, traffic, and other hazards can cause serious injuries or even death. Drunk driving rates spike over the July Fourth weekend.

The best way to prevent injuries and deaths this holiday weekend is to follow the below safety tips:

Do Not Drink And Drive

The best way to avoid a DUI collision is to stay sober if you will be getting behind the wheel of a car. Too many people believe they can operate a vehicle safely after a few drinks, but the truth is that driving under the influence puts your life, your passengers’ lives, and the lives of others sharing the road at risk, so do not chance it.  

Look Out For Possible Drunk Drivers

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, police use more than 100 visual cues to identify drunk drivers. Knowing the signs can help you to avoid a DUI crash. Some of the cues include:

  • Swerving
  • Almost hitting an object in the road
  • Stopping well before or after a stop line
  • Not using headlights at night
  • Using the wrong turn signal
  • Parking too far from a curb
  • Abnormal accelerating and braking patterns

Use Lyft Or Uber

Both Uber and Lyft operate in the Tampa Bay area. If you intend to drink or if your DD gets drunk, use a taxi or rideshare service to get to your destination. You can even split the fare with your friends. Even if you are riding alone, the cost of a ride home safe  is much cheaper than a DUI.

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A man on a scooter was killed early Tuesday by a car that had run a red light in Clearwater.

According to Clearwater Police, the crash occurred at 1:45 a.m. at the intersection of Belcher Road and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard.

Police believe the 55-year-old Palm Harbor man was on a scooter traveling northbound on Belcher Road when he was struck by a westbound 2006 Chrysler Sebring that ran the red light on Gulf-to-Bay.

The impact of the collision pushed the scooter into the side of a 1995 Lincoln Town Car that was also heading north on Belcher.

The scooter driver died at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.

Police have identified the driver of the car that ran the red light and believe the driver showed signs of impairment.

The driver was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County Jail on charges of driving with a suspended or revoked license in an accident involving death or serious bodily injury.

The driver of the Town Car suffered minor injuries.

Due to the increased use of mopeds and scooters, we have seen many more accidents, crashes, injuries and even fatalities. Lots of Floridians opt to travel by moped or scooter because of the pretty much warm year-round climate, which makes sense as these vehicles have much better gas mileage compared to cars, truck and SUVs.

A recent Florida study found the following to be common factors in scooter accidents resulting in serious injuries and wrongful death: lack of a helmet, the speed of the moped or scooter, the speed limit in the area of the accident, and the amount of traffic in the area.

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A 19-year-old man suffered critical injuries in a St. Petersburg crash Saturday night.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash took place on 28th Street North and 47th Avenue North just before 11 p.m.

Troopers believe a 1999 Toyota Corolla traveling northbound on 28th Street was slowing to make a left turn onto 47th Avenue when a GMC pickup truck crashed into the back of it.

The Corolla was knocked into the parking lot of the adjacent B&N Food Mart at 4700 28th Street North and struck an unoccupied Ford Explorer.

The GMC continued northbound after the second collision and came to rest in the intersection of 28th Street and 50th Avenue North.

The 19-year-old passenger in the Corolla suffered critical injuries and remains at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.

The driver of the Corolla, a 20-year-old Largo man, suffered serious injuries.

The driver of the GMC truck, a 40-year-old man, suffered minor injuries.

Troopers said charges are pending.

After an auto accident, taking care of your injuries should be your top priority. Most people injured in car crashes assume that because they have insurance that all of their injuries from the accident will be covered. However, the truth is that insurance companies are in business to make money, and even though your medical care is of the utmost importance, it is entirely possible that your insurance company won’t cover the full extent of your injuries.

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One person died and two others were injured in a two-vehicle collision at 22nd Avenue South and 34th Street in St. Petersburg early Saturday morning.

According to authorities, at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday, a 2010 Audi A4 was traveling southbound on 34th Street South. A 2000 Ford SUV was also headed southbound on 34th Street, and had stopped for the traffic signal at 22nd Avenue South.

The Audi was traveling at a high rate of speed and failed to stop. It slammed into the rear end of the Ford SUV, propelling the Ford into a 2006 Honda, which was also was stopped for the red traffic signal.

The Ford caught fire. The driver was pulled out of the vehicle by a passerby as the interior went up in flames.

All three drivers were taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg for treatment. The Audi driver was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other two drivers were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Speed was a factor in the severity of the crash, according to police. It is unknown at this time if the Audi driver was impaired – toxicology reports are pending.

Speeding is one of the top causes of auto accidents. Speed limits exist for a reason –  to keep those sharing the roadways safe. Engineers consider many factors when determining posted speed limits, such as the roads characteristics, shoulder conditions, grade, etc. The numbers they come up with matter and are heavily researched, which is why drivers should obey these rules. Sadly, many drivers ignore speed limits, which is why countless auto accidents occur each year that result in injuries or deaths.

Anyone who causes harm to others due to speeding can be held liable for all damages the victim(s) suffer. Our St. Pete Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand that car accidents are terrifying tragedies that can result in severe damages and injuries to those involved. Accidents that are caused by another driver’s negligence can only intensify these situations. We can immediately investigate the cause of your crash and identify all crucial pieces of evidence that can determine exactly what happened.

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A pedestrian was killed Saturday night in Brandon after being hit by a Jeep , according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened around 11:30 p.m. along Parsons Avenue South.

Deputies believe the 44-year-old pedestrian crossed Parsons Ave. into the direct path of a Jeep for unknown reasons.

The woman was struck and thrown to the east shoulder of the roadway. She died at the scene.

The driver, a 30-year-old woman, told investigators she did not see the pedestrian until she was right in front of the vehicle.

Investigators believe the woman may have been intoxicated at the time.

No other details have been released.

Drivers who have consumed alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car are more likely to make poor decisions and less likely to adjust to any abrupt changes in traffic conditions. Alcohol can affect your judgment, impair your motor functions and alter your depth perception, which is why a good amount of Tampa Bay DUI crashes result in very serious or fatal injuries.

If a drunk driver has killed someone you love, it is imperative to act quickly in order to ensure that they are held responsible for your losses. When a loved one is killed, the surviving family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

It is important to understand that even if the driver responsible for your loss is convicted for drunk driving, it will not automatically result in a financial settlement. Our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will help protect your rights and make sure that you are offered fair and full compensation for your losses.

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Pinellas County sheriff’s investigators have cited a pedestrian for contributing to a crash that resulted in the death of a motor scooter operator in St. Pete Beach last month.

The crash occurred at the intersection of 70th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard in St. Pete Beach on Feb. 2.

According to investigators, the 18-year-old  pedestrian was crossing Gulf Boulevard from east to west at the intersection of 70th Avenue, and was not utilizing a crosswalk when he walked into the path of a motor scooter that was being driven by a 72-year-old man.

The pedestrian collided with the man’s motor scooter causing the biker to lose control and fall to the ground.

The motorcyclist was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The pedestrian sustained minor injuries as a result of the crash and refused medical attention.

The initial report indicated the man had suffered a heart attack following the crash. The Medical Examiner’s Office conducted their investigation and determined that the man’s death was caused by blunt trauma resulting from the crash. The manner in which he died was determined to be an accident.

The pedestrian received a Uniform Traffic Citation for failure to yield to the right of way for a vehicle.

Even though pedestrians do generally have the right-of-way, there are cases where they can be liable for a car accident. In a pedestrian vs. motor vehicle accident, the pedestrian can actually be to blame, either wholly or partially.

The following are the most common scenarios under which a pedestrian may be found at least partially at fault for an accident involving a scooter or other type of vehicle:

  • Jaywalking – crossing in the middle of the street, outside of a crosswalk
  • Crossing against the traffic signal – in the crosswalk but against a red “Do Not Walk” command
  • Entering a street or highway while intoxicated
  • Walking along highways, bridges, or causeways where pedestrian access is prohibited.

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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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A St. Pete Beach man crashed his motor scooter into a pedestrian Tuesday, according to deputies.

The crash happened at 3:02 p.m. at the intersection of 70th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard on St. Pete Beach.

The 72-year-old man was riding his 1985 Honda Elite motor scooter north on Gulf Boulevard when he hit an 18-year-old pedestrian, who was crossing at the intersection.

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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