South Florida is one of the greatest places to spend the Fourth of July weekend. Towns on both coasts like Ft. Myers, Naples and Boca Raton all have all kinds of family activities planned. Many will attend cookouts, others will go to the park, and at the end of the night there will be spectacular fireworks displays. Our personal injury lawyers urge you and your family to stay safe, and we would like to take this opportunity to point out some of the most common causes of injury.
Drunk driving is one of the major causes of car accidents year after year over the Fourth of July holiday. It is an unfortunate fact that many people will spend the entire day drinking alcohol and then get behind the wheel. Drunk driving accidents often have tragic results. In a recent story in the Naples News, a man was sentenced to 17 years in prison for a fatal drunk driving crash. The defendant pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide. According to reports, the 59-year-old driver ran a red light and hit two cars. An 81-year-old driver was killed, and the victim’s wife and the other driver were both injured in the crash. Following the crash, the defendant purchased beer at a local store and returned to the scene to drink the beer. His blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .024. That is almost three times the legal limit of .08 grams per hundred milliliters of blood.
While this drunk driving crash involved someone running a red light, there are often signs you can familiarize yourself with to help stay clear of drunk drivers. The National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published a list of clues of impairment to teach police officers during the DUI detection training. When driving this Fourth of July weekend, especially at night, you should watch out for drivers weaving in their lane, traveling the wrong way down a one-way street, traveling in the wrong lane, breaking and accelerating for no apparent reason, and having a slow reaction time at a traffic light. In addition to running red lights, as was allegedly the cause of this tragic case, many intoxicated drivers will simply sit at a green light. This is an indicator that the driver might be intoxicated. If you come in contact with a driver you suspect of being intoxicated, you should leave plenty of room.
In addition to the dangers caused by drunk drivers, we urge you to use care to stay safe on or near the water. Many will go to the beach to relax, fish, swim, or use personal watercraft like jet skis. While these are fun activities, you should also take some steps to stay safe. When swimming, only swim in the view of a lifeguard. While crossing the road to get to the beach, don’t assume drivers will stop for you just because you are in the crosswalk. If you are going out on the water, avoid alcohol. Boating while intoxicated can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.
Drunken driver gets 17 years for fatal crash, June 4, 2014, Naples News
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Proposal Aims to Reduce Cape Coral DUI Accidents, April 24, 2014, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog