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The NHTSA Sponsors National Teen Driver Safety Week October 19th-25th

Florida Traffic Ticket LawyerNational Teen Driver Safety Week is in full swing and parents of teen drivers are urged to educate their loved ones to the dangers of distracted driving. This is particularly true for Florida residents as Florida currently ranks second in the nation for fatal crashes, with teen drivers accounting for a significantly higher number of those crashes in comparison to other age groups. It isn’t just teens who need to be privy to this information. Any novice driver could make pivotal mistakes — the kind of mistakes that take lives, ruin futures and alter physical and mental states for years to come. In order to better understand what National Teen Driver Safety Week is all about, here is a recap of the points being raised, along with the statistical data that supports the information.

Facts and Figures Related to Teen Driving

  • The National Center for Health Statistics and several other government organizations found fatal car crashes to be the leading cause of death in teenagers and young 20 year olds.
  • In 2012, 2,823 teenagers lost their lives on the road in a fatal car crash.
  • Programs, conversations and overall awareness is working — teen driving fatalities are in decline.
  • Even with a more than 7% decrease, teen drivers still account for the most fatalities on the road.
  • Leading causes of teen accidents include driving while distracted and driving under the influence.
  • Driving under the influence was found to be more prevalent in male teens, who incidentally, have experienced more fatalities than their female teenage driving counterparts.

What it Means to be a Novice Driver

Novice drivers are more at risk for collisions due to their lack of experience and education. For this reason, when picturing a teen driver, you should bear in mind the fact that the twenty something year olds who have just retained licenses fall into this at risk category as well. In order to shed a well needed light on this topic, the NHTSA is directing some attention in the direction of older novice drivers during this year’s safety week. National statistics show that delayed licensing is a trend, particularly in lower income areas where the price of classes, licensing and motor vehicles could put a burden on the family. In instances where drivers delay obtaining licenses, they too, should be made aware of novice driver risks.

What Needs to be Discussed with Novice Drivers — Teen or Older

The NHTSA is putting a strong emphasis on distracted driving since statistics allude to the fact that the majority of national collisions are caused by distracted driving. The NHTSA has put together a comprehensive list entitled 5 to drive which covers the top five dangers most likely to cause a life altering crash.

  1. No Cell Phones

The NHTSA is urging novice drivers to avoid using the cell phone in the car. This means no texting, no talking, no web surfing etc… All of these could cause a distraction that could lead to a fatal or hurtful collision.

  1. No Extra Passengers

Collision statistics indicate as much as a 44% increased risk for each additional passenger on board with a teen or novice driver. In many teen driving collisions, the additional passengers are the ones who are at higher risk for fatality.

  1. No Speeding

Approximately 48% of fatal teen crashes involve excessive speeds. Novice drivers might not be fully aware of the impact a slight increase in mph can cause, especially when combined with number 4.

  1. No Alcohol/ Intoxicants

28% of fatal teen collisions involve alcohol and DUI manslaughter isn’t the charge any parent would want their teenager facing.

  1. Buckle Up

Of the 15-20 year olds involved in recent fatal crashes, an approximated 55% of them weren’t wearing a safety belt.

The urge to stay alive usually outweighs the urge to keep up appearances for young drivers. Often, their irresponsible behavior on the road is a reflection of their lack of knowledge and experience. Talk to a novice driver you know this week, or next month or any time the mood strikes you. One conversation could save countless lives.

The John Goodman DUI Manslaughter Saga Continues in Palm Beach County, Florida this October

Anyone who isn’t a fan of jury duty would definitely not want any part of the panel in the now attorney for dui manslaughter in flnotorious John Goodman DUI manslaughter case. Florida defense attorneys are prepping to sound off on behalf of the Houston millionaire who stands accused of vehicular homicide. It is rumored that his possible Palm Beach County retrial could last for three to four weeks on end. The jurists will most likely be sequestered and possibly pressured to agree upon a verdict.

As it stands, the Florida tycoon who was originally found guilty and sentenced to 16 years behind bars has been granted a retrial. Many of the details concerning the retrial have intentionally been obscured from the public eye.

What We Know Thus Far

John Goodman’s DUI defense attorney accused 69 year old juror Dennis DeMartin of withholding information in order to participate in the original trial. The fact that Mr. DeMartin’s ex-wife had been convicted of a DUI was never disclosed by DeMartin at the time of his selection and was only revealed in an all telling novel the juror scribed after the guilty verdict was made. John Goodman’s defense attorney has also implied that the juror had an ulterior motive when he joined the panel and sees the novel as further proof that a bitter ex-husband of a DUI offender simply wanted publicity and a guilty verdict. The Florida court claims that the lie the jurist told transformed a fair trial into a “constitutionally impermissible proceeding”.

More Secrecy the Second Time Around

Due to intense publicity from Florida’s numerous multimedia sources, Palm Beach County Judge Jeffrey Colbath is making every possible attempt to shut the rumor mill down until next week. He has reportedly mused over bringing in jurists from out of town with Jacksonville and Tampa being cited as possible alternate locations for uncovering impartial jurists. While Colbath admits that finding local, impartial jurists poses a bit of a challenge, he has openly refused to make any efforts to relocate the entire trial to Tampa. Based on his new approach towards secrecy, he might have refused these requests in order to keep the public in the dark.

The blanket of mystery doesn’t end at the jury selection this time around. The defense also mentioned that the car allegedly involved in the incident was released, resold and altered without court permission. Mr. Goodman’s defense attorneys claim the vehicle was to blame for the fatal event that claimed the life of 23 year old Scott Patrick Wilson and that their client, Mr. Goodman experienced an unforeseeable vehicle malfunction just before the collision occurred. They claim that alterations and the removal of the vehicle in question hindered their ability to expand upon this defense. In short, most of the evidence presented in the original case is now being called into question. This means more secrecy, more scrutiny and the possibility of a lengthier trial.

Can a Lengthier Trial Raise the Chances of a Guilty Verdict?

Goodman’s DUI defense attorneys claim that using a sequestered jury could put the jurists in favor of the prosecution. Colbath, on the other hand, claims that both Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman were tried under sequestered juries who sided with the defense. High profile cases appear to be a dream come true for jurists like Dennis DeMartin who wish to profit post trial and an absolute nightmare for unbiased participants who would prefer to spend their month at home in their own beds.

The Initial Accusation

In the madness and secrecy surrounding the Goodman trial, it’s easy to forget what he was originally accused of to begin with. As a refresher for those who have been following the case and a summary for those who are unfamiliar with the details, multimillionaire John Goodman was accused of crashing his 2007 Bentley convertible and taking the life of a 23 year old in the process. Afterwards, he allegedly fled the scene of the crime. Those are serious accusations and the fact that Goodman is a high profile citizen shouldn’t hinder his right to a fair trial.

4 Tips for Partying Safely this July 4th Weekend

Fourth of July, especially when it falls on a weekend, is one of the summer holidays that is tips for partying safely july 4th weekend 2014synonymous with barbecuing with friends and family and having a couple of cold beers while watching the fireworks.

However, Forth of July weekend can also be one of the most dangerous on Florida roads when it comes to drinking and driving accidents and deaths, leading police to crack down on all drivers.   Dozens of people die in traffic accidents during a Fourth of July weekend while hundreds more get arrested for driving under the influence and thousands get tickets for other driving infractions such as speeding.  Here are some ways that you can keep yourself safe on the road this holiday weekend.

1.  Plan Ahead – Make sure that you designated a responsible person to stay sober when you are out partying and have them drive home.  Always have a contingency plan in case your designated driver does not work out.  Have the numbers for a few taxi companies handy.  Many groups, such as the AAA for example, will offer free rides home to those who cannot drive because they have been drinking.  Research these options before you go out.

2.  Wear Your Seat belt – Wearing your seat belt is the law in Florida and can save your life if you are involved in an accident with someone.  Additionally, law enforcement usually steps up enforcement of seat belt laws during holiday weekends. And if you have had a few drinks and decide to drive…not wearing your seat belt gives police a reason to pull you over leaving you more susceptible to a DUI charge.

3.  Follow Traffic Laws – Don’t speed, run stop signs and red lights, or otherwise drive recklessly.  This is good advice for every time you are driving, but especially during holidays like the 4th of July when there are a lot more police officers patrolling the roads. You are way more likely to be pulled over and ticketed leaving you with a hefty fine and points on your drivers license. And those points on your license could lead to a license suspension and higher insurance premiums.

4.  Drive for the Conditions Around You – if it is raining or difficult to see, slow down.  It may take longer to get to your destination, but will keep you safer in the long run. Getting to your 4th of July party quicker isn’t worth getting into a car accident and potentially being seriously injured or injuring someone else.

If, by some chance, you are involved in an accident over this holiday weekend, are arrested for driving under the influence, or pulled over and issued a citation for a traffic violation, our attorneys are here for you.  With our experienced lawyers on your side, we will do everything in our power to try and get you the best possible result for your case no matter how big(DUI) or small(traffic ticket).