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Insurance policies could impose time limit for reporting accident

Florida law and most insurance policies set time limits for filing claims after car accidents. A civil statute of limitations will establish the time period in which someone can file a lawsuit to pursue damages. As for insurance benefits, the terms of the policy likely specify the time period for filing claims.

Car accident lawsuits that involve ride-sharing companies

Florida residents are likely aware that ride-sharing services provided by companies like Lyft and Uber have become extremely popular in recent years. Many people, however, may not realize that the way these businesses are structured shields them from litigation when their drivers act negligently and cause other road users injury, loss or damage. This is the case because Lyft and Uber drivers are considered to be independent contractors rather than employees, which places a legal barrier before accident victims that can be difficult to overcome.

Many different causes lead to motor vehicle accidents

Every year, there are approximately 6 million car accidents on roadways in Florida and across the United States. In 2015, the number of fatalities due to car crashes increased by 8 percent, the largest increase in 50 years. In 2016, the number of fatalities increased again; more than 40,000 people died in crashes on American roadways that year. Thanks to an increased focus on the factors that lead to motor vehicle accidents, it is possible to discuss the most common types.

Study finds that roundabouts reduce fatal crashes by 86 percent

Replacing traditional intersections with roundabouts could dramatically reduce the number of deadly accidents in Florida and around the country, according to a recent study from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. MnDot researchers looked at accident data from 144 roundabouts in the North Star State, and they discovered that fatal crashes fell by 86 percent after the roundabouts were built. However, the report also reveals that minor accidents increase sharply when motorists are faced with a roundabout rather than an intersection.

President Trump calls for action to combat drunk driving

Florida residents are likely aware that intoxicated drivers are a major concern for law enforcement agencies during the holiday season, and President Trump has brought additional attention to the issue by designating December 2017 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. In a Nov. 30 proclamation, he lamented the number of road users killed each year in accidents involving drunk drivers, and he pledged to provide additional resources to the nation's police departments to help them combat the problem.

End of daylight savings may mean more wildlife collisions

Drivers in Florida and across the U.S. should be aware that the end of daylight savings time brings with it a greater chance of wildlife-related accidents. Shorter daylight hours mean more encounters with wildlife, for whom the period between dusk and dawn is the most active. This change also coincides with the autumn, the peak mating season for deer and a time when bears are out looking for food before hibernation.

Self-driving vehicles pose obstacles for NHTSA

Drivers in Florida will have to wait a bit longer before they can see self-driving vehicles on the road as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that it has run into roadblocks in developing safety guidelines for them. In a notice that the agency intends to make public by the end of November, it requests input on the type of research it should conduct before moving forward. Such research may take years to complete.

Drowsy driving prevalent among night shift workers

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital have found that working the night shift leads to an increased risk of drowsy driving, particularly during the commute home. Drowsy driving is considered a public health hazard, affecting people in Florida and across the United States.

Car crash fatalities reach a nine-year high

In Florida and the rest of the U.S., car crash fatalities are on the rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 37,461 people died in car, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents in 2016. According to NHTSA data, the last time the number was this high was in 2007, when 41,259 people were killed.

Bigger cars offer passengers more protection

Florida motorists know that car crashes can happen at any time. But the chances of serious injury differ depending on a variety of circumstances, one of which is the size of the car. A vehicle's crashworthiness is determined by its size and weight in addition to its materials and structural integrity. Technological advances can aid drivers and have the potential to reduce the risk of, but bigger, heavier vehicles often simply hold up better and give more protection to occupants.

VanNess & VanNess, P.A.