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    DUI Statistics in Florida

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Florida is already one of the most dangerous states for auto accidents, but drinking and driving remains a leading factor in fatal auto collisions nationwide. Despite increasingly harsh legal ramifications, DUIs are still common throughout the state of Florida. Learn more about alcohol-related accidents in Florida:

    DUIs by Area

    In 2010, Hillsborough County in the Tampa area was the worst area in the state with 3,256 DUI convictions. The Miami-Dade area—which is also one of the worst areas for pedestrian and vehicle-on-vehicle auto accidents—placed second with 2,274 convictions. In 2011, there were a total of 33,625 convictions throughout the state—the equivalent of more than 92 DUI convictions every day. Of these convictions, there were 716 alcohol-related driving fatalities in Florida, with 79 involving drivers under the age of 21. DUI convictions in Florida peak around popular holidays, particularly around the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.

    How Drinking Affects Driving

    Although the legal BAC limit is set at .08, judgment can be affected with a BAC of little as .02—Florida has a Zero Tolerance for drivers under 21, which means that underage drivers will have their license suspended for 6 months with a BAC of .02 or higher. At a BAC of .05, movement and coordination are significantly impaired. Muscle coordination, speech, hearing, and reaction time are significantly affected at a BAC of .08.

    DUIs are a major crash risk on Florida roadways, and they often result in death or severe personal injuries requiring substantial medical care. Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. has more 20 years of experience defending Florida victims and providing reliable legal guidance and representation. As a medical doctor and lawyer, he can help you assess your rights to compensation for any personal injuries. Call (407) 329-3923 to schedule a free professional consultation and confidentially evaluate your case.

    Tips for Keeping Your Car Cool This Summer

    Last updated 10 months ago

    With summer quickly approaching, it’s more important than ever to keep your car in good condition to avoid getting scalded by the seatbelt or stranded under the Florida sun. Parking indoors or under shade whenever possible is a given, but there are some other tips and tricks that you can use to make the heat a little more bearable and avoid a car accident.

    If your car has vinyl or leather seats, or even just inconveniently placed seat belts, then you’re in for several unpleasant burns. Invest in a cloth steering wheel cover or keep a hand towel nearby to cover the steering wheel, and keep a blanket in the car to cover the seats when they get too hot.

    After your car’s been sitting for several hours, it can feel like a sauna for several minutes until the air conditioning kicks in. To cool off the interior a little faster, you can crack your windows (if you’re parked in a safe and easily visible location, or course). A solar powered fan can also promote more ventilation and cool off your interior even faster than just the windows. If you don’t like the idea of leaving your windows cracked or investing in other accessories, then a fitted sun shade can help you keep your car several degrees cooler.

    And finally, keep your car’s a/c system and radiator in good condition. Periodically having your ducts vacuumed and refrigerant levels recharged will keep you cool on the road, and topping off your coolant levels will protect your car in the Florida heatwave. Consider keeping a bottle of distilled water or extra coolant handy to address an unexpected radiator leak.

    Road safety is more important than comfort, but every little distraction only increases the risk of getting into an auto accident. Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. is a licensed doctor and lawyer with several years of experience in cases involving personal injuries, medical malpractice, and auto accidents in Florida. Call (407) 329-3923 or send an online message to set up a professional consultation.

    The Basics of Pedestrian Safety

    Last updated 10 months ago

    It’s easy to put traffic safety out of sight and out of mind when you’re actually not behind the wheel, but pedestrian accidents are still a common occurrence on Florida roadways. In fact, the Orlando-Kissimmee and Tampa-St. Pete areas are two of the most dangerous metro areas in the U.S. statewide, with an average of six pedestrians severely injured each day and nine killed every week.

    While drivers are usually typically held to a higher standard of responsibility in a pedestrian collision, an accident can occur due to negligence from either party. It’s no coincidence that eleven of twenty-five most dangerous areas for pedestrian crashes are found in Florida. Many of the streets in Florida metro areas are designed for speeding and can span several lanes, often leaving pedestrians with limited opportunities for crossing the road safely.

    Motorists should always slow down when driving at night or approaching a blind corner. A car going just 30 miles an hour can travel 88 feet in a couple seconds—and that’s not including driver reaction speed or stopping distance. Even if the pedestrian was acting negligently, a driver can still be held partially responsible depending on the specific circumstances.

    Following all traffic laws is a responsibility that all pedestrians share, and that means avoiding dangerous situations such as jaywalking, walking on the side of the road, wearing dark clothing in high-traffic areas, or attempting to run a across a busy street. Even if you have the right-of-way, never assume that a driver has already seen you; especially beware of drivers turning “right on red” at signaled intersections.

    These are just a few of the pedestrian safety tips outlined by Florida’s See the Blind Spots campaign. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can still happen with proper safety guidelines, resulting in significant personal injuries or a wrongful death due to another driver’s negligence. If you’re in need of professional legal representation following an auto accident, then contact the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. at (407) 329-3923 today.

    Are Self-Driving Cars Legal?

    Last updated 10 months ago

    Deep in Silicon Valley, Google has been piloting new driverless cars on the streets of California and Nevada. Although these self-driving cars are still in their preliminary testing stages, they’ve already clocked several thousands of miles without a single accident.

    Self-driving cars use a combination of video cameras, laser rangefinders, and radar sensors to detect a range of traffic conditions. So far, Google’s self-driving cars have completed 300,000 miles of road testing in a “wide range of conditions” with no accidents—already statistically better than the average human driver, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration.

    Driverless cars are only street legal in California and Nevada, so Florida residents aren’t likely to see an empty Prius on the road anytime soon. Considering that Florida is still one of the most dangerous states in the nation for traffic accidents, these vehicles could revolutionize road safety.

    While self-driving cars are still a distant prospect, the immediate danger of a negligent driver can change your life in an instant. If you’ve been in an auto accident and need an auto accident attorney in Florida, contact Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. at (407) 329-3923 today._

    Exploring the Relationship Between Speed and Safety

    Last updated 10 months ago

    Speed is an obvious factor in auto accident injuries, but you may be surprised to learn just how much of an effect it has. Although the severity of personal injuries varies based on several factors such as age, gender, physical health, vehicle size, and the type of collision, speed is one of the most easily preventable risk factors.

    The human body is incredibly resilient, withstanding everything from lightning strikes (90% survival rate) to cardiac stab wounds (approximately one in three victims survive), but even a low-speed car collision can have a devastating effect. A pedestrian collision at just 30 mph has an estimated nine percent chance of death in a healthy adult. The risk of death increases significantly in small speed increments; at just 40 mph, the odds of death are three to five times greater.

    Occupant injuries vary due to differences in vehicle models, but studies show that change in velocity (delta-v) is the most reliable measurement for predicting driver injuries. For reference, a head-on collision between two identical vehicles travelling at 30 mph results in a delta-v of 30 mph for each, while a frontal collision with a stationary vehicle (or a side collision) results in a delta-v of 15 mph for each.

    Research shows that a frontal collision resulting in a delta-v of about 34 mph fatally injures about half of all drivers, and causes severe injuries in 90 percent. Driver’s side collisions are much more serious; half of all drivers are fatally injured with a delta-v of just 24 mph, and over 95 percent are severely injured. All estimates reflect seat belt usage.

    It’s easy to forget the immediate dangers of moving vehicles weighing thousands of pounds when you see them every day, but auto collisions are a real and common risk in Florida. If you have suffered due to another driver’s negligence, then set up a consultation with the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. by calling (407) 329-3923 today.

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