Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Law enforcement officials throughout the state will be cracking down on drunk driving this Super Bowl weekend. It’s all a part of the national campaign “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.”

When it comes time for the big game, fans will be cheering either the Seahawks or the Patriots at a local sports bar, a restaurant or over at a friend or family member’s house. Because of these rowdy sports events, there is usually a significant increase in the number of drunk driving accidents in the early and late evening hours. Expect to see more law enforcement officials on Pasco County roadways to help get any dangerous drivers off of our streets and highways.

Super Bowl parties usually start mid-afternoon and continue into Sunday night. Due to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 16165977478_fa0a3fc559_zcampaign, more than 170,000 NFL fans have pledged to be designated drivers this season, a new record! However, that does not mean no drunk driving accidents will occur. You can help by making sure that you and those you love stay out of the driver’s seat after consuming any amount of alcohol during this year’s Super Bowl extravaganza.

Whether attending the game, watching at a sports bar or hosting a party, the NHTSA is urging everyone to ensure a designated driver is on their team. Before heading out, make sure that you have a designated driver if drinking is going to be involved in your Super Bowl party. If you are going to be drinking, pace yourself. Should you find yourself drunk and without a designated driver, ask a sober friend or family member to give you a ride home, call a cab company or stay where you are and sleep it off.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl celebration, remember to make sure that everyone in your crew has a designated driver before kickoff. Keep plenty of non-alcoholic beverages for these drivers and consider shutting down the bar at the end of the third quarter. And most importantly, make sure that you have phone numbers to local cab companies ready to give out to help intoxicated friends and family members get home safely.

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A teenager was killed and two other people suffered serious injuries Monday morning in a head-on crash on U.S. 301 in Zephyrhills.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 16-year-old Tampa teen was driving a U-Haul rental truck south on U.S. 301, just south of Chancey Road, around 10 a.m. when a tractor trailer hauling fertilizer was heading north on U.S. 301 at the same exact time.

Investigators are unsure why, but the U-Haul truck crossed over the double yellow line of the two-lane road and veered into the path of the tractor trailer.

7390225772_637619f827_zThe driver of the tractor trailer, a 31-year-old Bradenton man, drove partially onto the shoulder to avoid a collision, but the U-Haul truck smashed into the rear axles of the trailer.

The U-Haul truck flipped and eventually came to rest in the northbound lane of U.S. 301.

The teen died at the scene of the crash. Two passengers in the U-Haul, a 14-year-old and a 23-year-old, were both taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital with serious injuries.

The crash caused the northbound lanes of U.S. 301 to be shut down for three hours.

A person who has been injured or the surviving family members of someone who has died in a head-on collision caused by the driver of another vehicle may make a claim for financial compensation for losses resulting from the accident. Due to the severity of the injuries usually associated with head-on crashes, victims often endure hefty ongoing medical bills and are usually unable to return to work.

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The mayor of San Antonio was arrested Thursday on charges of driving under the influence.

The 43-year-old mayor was driving 71 mph in a 45-mph zone on U.S. 19 near Cross Bayou Boulevard just after midnight when he was pulled over, according to the arrest affidavit. Police said he was driving through a construction zone at the time of his arrest.

Police allege that the man had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, bloodshot and watery eyes and slurred speech.

The mayor apparently told police that he hadn’t had anything to drink that night.

3299783919_c4bcc93195_zThe arresting officer said that the mayor performed poorly on sobriety tests, which led him to his conclusion that the man was drunk and “unfit to operate a vehicle in a safe manner,” according to the affidavit.

The mayor was placed under arrest and taken to the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center. He provided law enforcement with two samples of his breath for alcohol testing and came up with blood-alcohol content of 0.21, officials said. In Florida, intoxication is presumed at 0.08.

The mayor was released from jail Thursday morning.

People who make the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking are far more likely to cause accidents than sober drivers. Intoxicated drivers have slower reaction times and their better judgement is impaired, so it is not uncommon to see serious injuries and even death after a drunk driving collision.

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A New Port Richey woman was assisting a motorcyclist that was injured in a crash when she was struck and killed by an SUV in Holiday, according to troopers.

The Florida Highway Patrol believes that the 66-year-old woman was struck by a vehicle while trying to cross southbound U.S. 19 just south of Alternate 19 Sunday night just after 9 p.m.

Troopers said there was a chain of incidents that lead to the woman’s death that started earlier in the evening, when an impaired driver drove north in the southbound lanes of U.S. 19. Investigators said the drunk driver hit three cars.

7567577632_e2bb5ced9e_zA passenger in one of the vehicles involved in that crash was taken to the hospital. As a result, Ward’s Towing Company was called to the scene to assist. The deceased woman and her husband are the owners of the towing company, according to reports.

Troopers said that during the time that the couple was there, a motorcycle in the northbound lanes of U.S. 19 was thrown onto the roadway after slamming his brakes. The deceased was rushing to help the motorcyclist when she was hit by a Toyota SUV heading southbound.

The drunk driver was arrested and taken to the Pasco County Jail on DUI charges.

An auto accident between a motor vehicle and a person on foot is most likely to result in serious harm to the pedestrian. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 4,000 pedestrians are killed in U.S. traffic accidents every year, accounting for nearly 11 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities.

When pedestrian accidents are caused by another driver’s recklessness or negligence, the injured pedestrian or the family of a deceased pedestrian has a right to seek financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, funeral costs, pain and suffering and other losses.

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Thanksgiving is a holiday to celebrate with friends and family that serves as a reminder of what we are thankful for this year. With that said, there will be millions of Americans hitting the roads this week to be with their loved ones. This means the streets and highways will be crowded, so you should make an effort to plan in advance how to safely make the most of this holiday season.

Avoid Drunk Drivers

Many of us have the Thanksgiving holiday off from work to spend with loved ones and friends. Because of this, some people may choose to spend their free time consuming cocktails with friends and co workers, leading to more drunk drivers on the road during this Thanksgiving holiday. Making sure to avoid crowded bar and nightlife areas, which can limit your chances of encountering a drunk driver.

2363258975_4c1a659c4b_mAlways Prepare for a Road Trip

Travelling on Thanksgiving is all about timing. No matter if you are making the long haul back to your hometown or are just going down the street to grandma’s house, it is important to be realistic about timing. Normally traffic free roads will be congested with cars trying to get to their holiday destination, so give yourself enough time to get to your final stop safely. Moreover, if you are tired, stop and take a rest break. Auto accidents are much more likely to occur when you are tired and easily distracted.

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A recent study shows that as many as 93 percent of new parents make a big mistake when positioning or installing their newborn’s car seat on the way home from the hospital.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the following positioning errors were found when it comes to new parents installing car seats for their infants:

  • 69 percent of infants had harnesses that were too loose
  • 34 percent of infants had latches that were too low
  • 18 percent of infants had latches that were too high
  • 20 percent of infants had a product that was not deemed compatible with their car seat
  • 15 percent of parents did not know how to secure their child in the car seat.

125486076_5dc1245ba9_zThe following additional installation errors were found:

  • 43 percent of installation errors occurred when a car seat was unfastened.
  • 26 percent of installation errors occurred when the car seat was at the wrong angle.
  • 23 percent of installation errors included an unlocked safety belt.
  • 17 percent of installation errors occurred when the infant car seat was too close to the front seat of the car.

The above mistakes could result in serious harm to an infant if a car accident occurs. As a new parent, it is very important to make sure that your child is properly secured before leaving the hospital parking lot. Many hospitals, police stations and fire departments in the local area host free car seat clinics. At these events, professionals will be on hand to check the installation of your child’s car seat, and make all the necessary adjustments. You can can also look for a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area that can help.

Your child is the most precious cargo in your vehicle, so take the time to ensure they are buckled in safely every time you get on the road, whether you are going across the street or taking a lengthy road trip.

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A man driving a pickup truck exited the road and hit a mobile home Friday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

3937464237_0c5f7a1919_zThe 23-year-old Zephyr­hills man was driving north on 23rd Street approaching Lizbeth Circle at 12:04 p.m. when he left the roadway and struck a mobile home on Lizbeth Circle, according to authorities.

The 22-year-old resident was not home when the crash occurred. The truck driver suffered minor injuries and was ticketed for failure to drive within a single lane.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States each year. The injuries that people can suffer in motor vehicle accidents can range from relatively minor cuts, bumps and scrapes to more serious injuries that can lead to permanent disability or could even be fatal.

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With Halloween on Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is speaking up about their annual safety campaign. They are advocating for everyone to make safe transportation arrangements before celebrating or taking part in any Halloween festivities.

This year Halloween falls on a Friday night, and Halloween night and weekend are traditionally dangerous times to be out on the road. Despite the fact that impaired drivers face serious legal penalties like jail time, court costs and fines, there will still be impaired drivers on the road this Halloween.

58965867_e1a9992cca_zHalloween Drunk Driving Statistics

  • From 2007 to 2011, 52 percent of fatalities across the country took place on Halloween night because of drunk driving accidents.
  • In 2011, 44 percent of fatalities throughout the United States on Halloween weekend involved a drunk driver or motorcyclist.
  • In 2011, about half of all drunk drivers killed in car accident nationwide during Halloween were 21 to 34-year-old males.

There are many things that people can do to avoid getting into trouble on Halloween. Partygoers can help keep the roads safe for everybody by acting responsibly. First and foremost, anyone that knows they will be going somewhere and drinking, should plan their way home ahead of time. The list below can help make sure your Halloween night/weekend is safe and enjoyable.

Safety Tips for Halloween

  1. Make a plan for a sober ride home before you head out.
  2. Delegate a designated driver before attending any festivities.
  3. If you are impaired, don’t get behind the wheel. Call a cab, a sober friend or any other type of car service that can get you to your final destination safely.
  4. If you see an unsafe or drunk driver, contact your local law enforcement agency right away.
  5. If you know somebody who is attempting to drive drunk, take his or her keys away and find them sober transportation home.

The Pasco County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to stress that buzzed driving is drunk driving. Halloween is a particularly dangerous night mostly due to the fact that drunk and buzzed individuals often make the choice to get behind the wheel. We cannot say this enough: always make plans ahead of time, and always find a safe ride home if you have been drinking.

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A 29-year-old father of five was killed Monday night when he stopped to help a driver who ran out of gas on a Zephyrhills highway.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the man was on a 1998 Suzuki ATV trying to tow a Ford Ranger pickup truck when a semi-truck caused the fatal accident on U.S. 301 around 10:30 p.m.

As the man moved into the left turn lane to execute a left turn onto Central Avenue, the tow strap connecting the vehicles stretched across U.S. 301. The semi traveling south on U.S. 301 then ran into the strap, causing the ATV to eject the man and overturn.

8303067574_d98a3ab5b1_mThe ATV driver was not wearing a helmet and suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene, according to troopers.

Troopers believe the person inside the Ranger made it to the gas statio, pumped gas and drove off.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 45-year-old St. Petersburg man, was not injured.

Investigators are asking for anyone with information regarding the crash to contact the FHP at 813-631-4020.

ATVs have a high center of gravity and a narrow wheelbase, which places riders at an increased risk of a rollover accident. These vehicles weigh up to a quarter of a ton and are able to reach top speeds of 100+ miles per hour. With that said, ATVs can cause serious injuries when they do overturn. Common ATV rider and passenger injuries include:

  • Skull fractures
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of Limbs
  • Death

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A 25-year-old woman was killed early Monday after she drove the wrong way on Interstate 75 in Pasco County and struck a semi-truck, according to authorities.

The Florida Highway Patrol claims the woman was driving northbound in the southbound lanes at 4:35 a.m. when her 2012 Nissan sedan hit a southbound tractor-trailer carrying food and beverage products near St. Joe Road, four miles north of State Road 52 in San Antonio.

Officials believe that the woman’s Nissan smashed into the semi and then a concrete barrier. The impact caused the semi to roll over in the crash.

14527872443_451e16ec6e_mTroopers said the semi-truck driver, a 42-year-old Port St. Lucie man, tried to avoid a collision by moving to the outside lane, but was unsuccessful. The Nissan hit the left side of the semi, but the diver was not injured.

As the semi came to a halt on the highway, the Nissan traveled to the median and onto the concrete barrier wall.

The driver of the Nissan was airlifted to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, where she later died.

The southbound lanes of I-75 were closed at mile marker 290. One of the southbound I-75 lanes was reopened just before 7:30 a.m.

This crash marks the fifth serious wrong-way crash in the Tampa Bay area interstate highway this year, now totaling 11 people being killed.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a Highway Special Investigative Report entitled Wrong-Way Driving in December 2012 that focused on wrong-way collisions, mostly addressing incidents that occurred on high-speed divided highways or ramps for controlled-access roadways. The study concluded that wrong-way crashes were relatively infrequent, accounting for only about 3 percent of the accidents on those roads. However, just because these accidents are not the most common, due to the fact that they tend to be head-on accidents, wrong-way crashes are usually more serious and more often fatal than other types of highway accidents.

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