Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

The Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton would like to wish everyone throughout Tampa and the state of Florida a very happy Fourth of July! During this summer holiday period, many of us celebrate the time with friends and family. As with many other holidays, risks of accidents and injuries can increase during the Fourth of July weekend.

To help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe this weekend, we have compiled some helpful safety tips:

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving accidents, injuries and deaths always peak during Fourth of July weekend. If you plan on celebrating Independence Day with a few drinks, make sure to drink responsibly and plan for a ride. Make arrangements with friends or family, or call a cab or transportation service like Uber or Lyft. Remember, law enforcement officers will be out in full force this weekend looking to catch intoxicated motorists.

Fireworks Safety

4428561177_831c2f9269_zIf you plan to light off a few Sparklers or fireworks yourself, please remember these important tips:

  • Always follow instructions and supervise children. Never provide fireworks to small children.
  • Use fireworks in a safe area where they cannot harm others or damage property. This may be  a given, but never throw or point fireworks toward people, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials.
  • Do not light multiple fireworks at once and never attempt to relight a “dud” firework that failed to go off the first time.

Water Safety

Many Tampa Bay residents celebrate the Fourth at the beach, lake or by enjoying the water at backyard pool parties. When having fun near the water, make sure that safety is a top priority. Supervise children, use safety vests when on the water, drink responsibly and have a safety procedure set in place in the event of an emergency.

Grilling Safety

Use caution when barbecuing! Many people suffer injuries when cooking on charcoal and gas grills. Never grill indoors, supervise the grill when it is on, follow all instructions and never add lighter fluid when charcoal has already been ignited.

Continue reading

Most people recognize that using a cell phone while driving can prove deadly. However, a new AAA study shows that cell phone use is hardly the only activity that may cause you to become involved in a serious auto accident.

The most recent research carried out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concludes that most teens involved in crashes are guilty of distracted driving but, not all of these cases involve distracted driving associated with cell phone use.

According to AAA, distracted driving is a factor that is present in 6 out of all 10 accidents that are moderate or severe. Distracted driving among teens has only been associated with 14 percent of all teen driver crashes by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so this new study may indicate that teens are much more likely to be involved in serious distracted driving crashes than we once thought.

According to the results of the study, the number one cause of distraction among teen drivers who are involved in crashes is talking to other passengers.

7838240744_a3b0aeaaa3_zThe study also found that out of the 1,700 videos of crashes involving teens recorded by in-vehicle event recorders, 58 percent of the crashes were caused by distraction. Here is the breakdown of the results: 89 percent of road-departure crashes were associated with distractions, while 76 percent of the rear-end collisions were caused by distractions.

While talking to passengers accounts for the highest number of crashes, cell phone use follows in second with 12 percent of all crashes involving teens. AAA also reports that 8 percent of the distracted driving crashes involving teens they researched were caused by personal grooming while driving and another 6 percent of collisions were caused by teens reaching for items inside the car.

This study is important because it highlights the dangers that teen drivers face on a daily basis. Creating awareness of these distractions could help safety advocates and lawmakers develop better solutions to the distracted driving problem.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

While numerous safety campaigns and drivers’ personal experiences have made motorists more aware of the dangers that distracted driving poses, a recent survey has found that many adults do not fully appreciate the fact that distracted driving can greatly increase the risk of automobile accidents. The survey concluded that many adults continue to use their cellphones while driving, even though they know the dangers of doing so.

The Harris Poll surveyed 2,045 adult drivers about their driving habits during May 2014. Of those adults surveyed, 94 percent said that sending texts while driving is either dangerous or very dangerous. Moreover, 91 percent of those surveyed said the same about reading text messages while driving. However, despite knowing the dangers of texting while driving, 45 percent of those surveyed said that they regularly read text messages while behind the wheel. Another 37 percent admitted to sending text messages.

8598246170_a96656631a_zThe poll also found that 69 percent of those surveyed agreed that using a handheld cellphone while driving was dangerous, but 74 percent admitted to talking on the phone while driving and 21 percent confessed they did so frequently.

These results combined with the fact that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that driver distraction killed 3,328 people across the nation in 2012 are especially alarming. The NHTSA also estimates that distracted driving injured 421,000 Americans in 2012.

In order to combat the havoc that distracted driving unleashes on roadways, many states, including Florida, have instituted laws limiting cell phone use while driving. In October, 2013, Florida enacted a limited ban on text messaging while driving. Florida drivers cannot type, send or read messages when behind the wheel. However, Florida’s law is a secondary law, meaning that a law enforcement officer can only pull a driver over and issue a ticket if the officer witnessed some other violation, such as running a red light while texting. A police officer cannot stop a driver for simply texting while driving. Violation of this law is punished as a nonmoving violation, but if a crash occurs because of a moving violation and texting the driver will be penalized six points.

Continue reading

Police are further investigating an accident that critically injured a 7 and a half month pregnant woman in downtown St. Petersburg Wednesday afternoon.

The 36-year-old mom-to-be was struck by a tow truck near the intersection of 3rd Street North and 1st Avenue North around 2:30 p.m.

According to police, the woman was crossing 1st Avenue North just west of the crosswalk when the truck attempted to turn left onto 1st Avenue North.

14182450870_fb96de91ff_zThe woman was halfway across the center lane when she was hit and knocked down, striking her head on the pavement, according to police.

The light for the truck driver was yellow at the time, according to reports.

The woman was taken to Bayfront Hospital with critical injuries.

No further information regarding the woman’s injuries or the crash is available at this time.

Car crashes, no matter how minor, can present a number of unique risks to pregnant women. The most serious types of after-effects can include preterm labor, miscarriage, internal bleeding, hemorrhaging, birth defects, and the possibility of a high-risk pregnancy that did not exist before the collision. A high risk pregnancy can create a number of complications to both the mother and unborn child before, during and after the birth.

The less serious risks for a pregnant woman can include stress and emotional duress. Mental anguish can often result from the trauma of a car accident, child birth complications, or, in some cases, the loss of the child.

Studies have shown that an expectant mother’s immediate actions following an auto accident are crucial to ensure the best possible treatment and overall outcome for the mother and child.

Continue reading

A man was killed early Monday after he walked into the path of an oncoming pickup truck in Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The man was struck along 50th Street just north of Palm River Road at 4:27 a.m.

Troopers believe a 54-year-old Ruskin man was driving his Ford F-150 pickup northbound on 50th Street when the man attempted to cross the street.

13986844278_cfb0d656c7_mThe man died at the scene. The driver of the F-150 was not harmed.

Parts of Palm River Road and 50th Street were closed Monday morning while authorities investigated the crash site.

Intersections can create dangerous conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists. Even though there are guidelines that detail how to proceed at intersections as well as who has the right of way, it is common for these rules to be ignored. In many cases, negligent driving practices such as speeding, drunk driving or distracted driving create life-threatening situations when cars and pedestrians enter an intersection at the same time.

The most common intersection accidents entail:

– Running a stop sign or a red light

– Making a right or left turn without checking to make sure the intersection is clear of other vehicles or pedestrians

– Failing to adhere to stop signs or traffic lights

When pedestrians are involved in intersection collisions, the potential for serious injury is increased due to the fact that they lack the protection that a vehicle provides for drivers and passengers. Unfortunately, many drivers do not always keep an eye out for pedestrians in the roadway that are entering an intersection with them, and they often fail to yield the right of way. Intersection car accident claims are usually highly complex. Insurance companies often use this to their advantage and will try and reduce your financial compensation.

Continue reading

A 20-year-old dancer with the Sarasota Ballet died in a bicycling accident on Wednesday after he collided with a delivery truck, according to reports.

The dancer, from Brazil, was transported to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton where he died from his injuries Wednesday evening.

The accident occurred in the 5400 block of North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota around 2 p.m.

bicyclistAccording to Sarasota Police, the delivery truck, driven by a 58-year-old Tampa man, was making a right turn onto a service entrance road leading into the Ringling Museum.

Police believe the delivery truck pulled in front of the dancer as he was approaching the road. Reports indicate that the driver may have failed to see the man or the bicycle.

The man’s bicycle hit the side of the delivery truck, causing significant injuries.

The driver of the delivery truck has been charged with violation of right-of-way to a bicyclist.

The accident is currently still under investigation.

Bicycle riders suffer an astounding number of serious injuries and fatalities  every year in accidents involving motor vehicles. Many of these accidents are the fault of the motor vehicle drivers. In 2012 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that 49,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic accidents in the United States and another 726 were killed.

As many bicyclists are aware, drivers of cars, trucks and SUVs can easily fail to notice cyclists, and many choose to ignore their rights. When motorists do not pay attention to their surroundings, they can make moves that threaten the lives of bicycle riders and others sharing the roadways. Bike riders can suffer severe injuries or even death when motorists fail to check their blind spot before changing lanes, execute right turns directly in front of bikers, sideswipe cyclists travelling on the shoulder, drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, open car doors in front of them, fail to stop at stop signs or even back out from driveways without looking. Even worse, many motor vehicle drivers do not respect the fact that Florida laws protect bicyclists and award them the same rights to use the streets as motorists.

Continue reading

A recent study shows that the Tampa Bay area, including St. Petersburg and Clearwater, is one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians. In fact, Tampa took second place in the top 10 deadliest metro areas for walkers.

The new report from the National Complete Streets Coalition, Dangerous By Design 2014, used a Pedestrian Danger Index to rank the deadliest places to walk in America. Florida is home to the top four cities.

Top 10 Deadliest Cities for Pedestrians:

  1. Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida
  2. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida
  3. Jacksonville, Florida
  4. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Florida
  5. Memphis, Tennessee-Arkansas-Mississippi
  6. Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama
  7. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas
  8. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia
  9. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona
  10. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, North Carolina-South Carolina

And here are the 10 safest metros for pedestrians:

  1. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachussetts-New Hampshire
  2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  3. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington
  4. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, New York-New Jersey, Pennsylvania
  5. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, California
  6. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota-Wisconsin
  7. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Oregon-Washington
  8. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin
  9. Rochester, New York
  10. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio

You can view the full list here.

pedestrians flThe study looked at people who walk to work as well as respective cities’ fatality numbers. Through this research it was found that 47,025 pedestrians died as a result of car crashes between 2003 and 2012. Another 676,000 were injured in pedestrian-related accidents.

Pedestrian accidents are most likely to occur in the following settings:

  • Urban Areas
  • Nighttime
  • Clear Weather
  • Non-intersections

If you are going to be travelling on foot in Tampa or anywhere else in Florida or across the U.S., please follow the below tips:

  • Always use crosswalks and sidewalks when they are available for use.
  • Watch out for things going on around you. Just because you are on a sidewalk does not mean you are in the clear. Pedestrians are often overlooked by passing cars, so keep your eyes open and stay alert.
  • Never assume that a driver can see you.
  • Do not walk near freeways, restricted-access highways or other dangerous roadways where signs indicate that pedestrians are prohibited.
  • Avoid distractions while you are walking, such as texting, playing video games, talking on the phone and other disruptions.
  • Do not walk near traffic while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Continue reading

One person was killed and another remains in critical condition following a serious collision in Hillsborough County Tuesday night.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, a 53-year-old man was killed when his car struck a disabled dump truck along Bruton Road in Plant City.

dump truckDeputies believe the driver of the GMC dump truck was putting gasoline in the truck, which was broken down on the north side of Bruton Road facing west. The rear of the truck was still in the road when the deceased man’s 1996 Nissan collided with it at about 45 miles per hour.

According to authorities, the deceased man failed to see the edge of the truck and ran into it.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger was transported to Tampa General Hospital via helicopter and remains in critical condition with severe trauma to the neck.

The dump truck driver was not harmed.

Charges are pending.

A fully loaded dump truck can be very heavy, weighing as much as 65,000 pounds. Unfortunately, an accident between a large truck and a passenger vehicle can result in serious injuries, ranging from broken bones and amputation to traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma and even death.

Like all commercial vehicle operators, dump truck drivers are held to a higher standard than non-commercial drivers. If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a dump truck or any other commercial vehicle, you need to discuss the facts of your case with an injury lawyer who has a firm understanding of state and federal laws. While every case is unique, there are many truck accident cases that involve drivers violating regulations or laws that you may not have been aware of.

Continue reading

Contact Information