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Crash data shows that lower speed limits save lives

The state of Florida has set speed limits at 70 mph on interstates, 65 mph on rural divided highways with four lanes and 60 mph on other state highways. While frantic commuters and long-distance truck drivers may approve of these measures, most road safety groups would prefer speed limits to be set lower. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety studied the impact that rising speed limits have had on traffic accident fatality rates over the last 20 years, and the nonprofit group concluded that road deaths increase by 4 percent for every 5 mph that these limits are increased.

IIHS testing reveals safety flaw in Tesla Model S

Florida residents have likely heard about the impressive safety features fitted to Tesla's range-topping Model S. The luxury sedan has been called the safest car to ever go on sale in the United States, but it failed to impress testers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when it was put through its paces in a series of grueling accident simulations. The IIHS evaluated six full-sized sedans, and the Tesla Model S was one of three that failed to earn a coveted place on the nonprofit organization's safest cars list.

Steps to take after a car accident

A car accident can happen on a Florida road in the blink of an eye, and in most cases, drivers have little or no time to prepare for one. However, there are a few steps that motorists might find it advisable to take in the immediate aftermath, especially if they were not at fault for the collision.

Study looks at car crashes involving children

Florida residents might like to know how their state fares when it comes to children's safety during automobile accidents. In general, fatalities involving children below the age of 15 were most common in the South and least common in the Northeast. Common causes of fatalities were unused or improperly used restraints. Florida had one of the lowest percentages of child deaths with 12 percent.

Distracted drivers injure more people than drunk drivers

The statistics about distracted driving reveal the extent of the danger for travelers on Florida roads. Information collected by AT&T about the problem showed that a shocking 70 percent of people surveyed admitted to using their smartphones while driving. With such a high percentage of people taking their eyes off the road, distracted driving has exceeded the menace of drunk driving. Annually, distracted drivers injure between 400,000 and 600,000 people whereas drunk drivers inflict injuries on about 290,000 people.

Accidents caused by vehicles that failed to brake

Drivers staring at cellphone screens instead of the road ahead are a worryingly common sight in Florida, and this has led to a sharp increase in distracted driving crashes. Accident investigators may suspect distraction was a factor when motorists who were involved in collisions failed to apply their brakes, but there may be other reasons no evasive action was taken. Modern automobile braking systems are highly sophisticated, and minor defects or mistakes made by mechanics can sometimes cause them to fail.

How autonomous cars may influence claims and lawsuits

Florida residents may have heard that several companies have been developing self-driving vehicles that do not need a driver to operate. Numerous prototypes have already taken to the roadways and technology only continues to improve towards the goal of a fully autonomous vehicle. However, it is expected that these vehicles will have an impact on the types of claims and lawsuits that are filed.

Traffic deaths rise 6 percent from 2015

According to the National Safety Council, there were 40,200 roadside fatalities in 2016. This was a 6 percent increase from 2015 and a 14 percent increase from 2014. One reason for the increase is the fact that there are more drivers on roads throughout the country. Overall, there was a 3 percent increase in miles driven from 2015 to 2016. Lower gas prices in Florida and nationwide and a better economy help to explain this increase.

Behavior of millennial drivers is dangerous

Millennials in Florida and throughout the country tend to engage in risky driving behavior according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The organization released a report on Feb. 15 that found almost 90 percent of millennials surveyed reported behavior in the previous 30 days that included texting while driving, running red lights and speeding.

VanNess & VanNess, P.A.