Mixing bicycling and beer?

This past March an event was organized by The Beer Snob Bicycle Pub Crawl where participants bike from one bar to another and try different beer at each stop. A review of thewebsite for the event reveals a map with a bike ride of approximately 10 miles with 5 stops at local bars extending from Miami Beach to Downtown. Each bar was renowned for its wide selection of beers. The event was scheduled for evening hours. Participants were reminded to drink “responsibly.”

According to one participant, this event has been hosted several times and does not encourage too much drinking — “The point of the ride isn’t to get drunk but to be social and be athletic. . . You don’t drink three beers at the first stop. You have a beer, ride, have a beer, ride. So it’s more about having a good beer, having good conversation and riding your bike.”

Certainly riding your bike and having a few beers with some friends can make for an enjoyable evening. The obvious question arises — do these two activities mix? Four stops along the cycle route with just one beer at each location can be enough to get some people intoxicated beyond the legal limit for driving a car. While Cycling Under the Influence (“CUI”) is not a crime in the State of Florida, the questionable safety rationale for this event appears to be that a cyclist under the influence is less dangerous to others than a driver of a car under the influence. Well maybe . . . . but the level of coordination to ride a bike is greater than operating a car and riders could well be a danger to themselves, bicycle helmet notwithstanding.

Who knows what accidents, if any, have occurred at prior events. An accident involving a single bicyclist generally is not reported to authorities. Nevertheless, the organizers of this event need to think about the effects of CUI and consider drinking the beer after the bike ride with designated drivers available.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Seniors are Better Drivers

Safety researchers expressed concern a decade ago that traffic accidents would increase as the nation’s aging population swelled the number of older drivers on the road. Now, they say they’ve been proved wrong.

Today’s drivers aged 70 and older are less likely to be involved in crashes than previous generations and are less likely to be killed or seriously injured if they do crash, according to a study released last week by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

That’s because vehicles are getting safer and seniors are generally getting healthier, the institute said.

The marked shift began taking hold in the mid-1990s and indicates that growing ranks of aging drivers as baby boomers head into their retirement years aren’t making U.S. roads deadlier.

Traffic fatalities overall in the U.S. have declined to levels not seen since the late 1940s, and accident rates have come down for other drivers as well. But since 1997, older drivers have enjoyed bigger declines as measured by both fatal crash rates per driver and per vehicle miles driven than middle-age drivers, defined in the study as ages 35 to 54.

From 1997 to 2012, fatal crash rates per licensed driver fell 42 percent for older drivers and 30 percent for middle-age ones, the study found. Looking at vehicle miles traveled, fatal crash rates fell 39 percent for older drivers and 26 percent for middle-age ones from 1995 to 2008.

The greatest rate of decline was among drivers age 80 and over, nearly twice that of middle-age drivers and drivers ages 70 to 74.

“This should help ease fears that aging baby boomers are a safety threat,” said Anne McCartt, the institute’s senior vice president for research and co-author of the study.

“No matter how we looked at the fatal crash data for this age group – by licensed drivers or miles driven – the fatal crash involvement rates for drivers 70 and older declined, and did so at a faster pace than the rates for drivers ages 35 to 54,” she said in a report on the study’s results.

At the same time, older drivers are putting more miles on the odometer than they used to, although they’re still driving fewer miles a year than middle-aged drivers. This is especially true for drivers 75 and older, who lifted their average annual mileage by more than 50 percent from 1995 to 2008.

“The fact that older drivers increased their average mileage … may indicate that they are remaining physically and mentally comfortable with driving tasks,” the institute said. When older drivers reduce the number of trips they take, it’s often because they sense their driving skills are eroding. They compensate by driving less at night, during rush hour, in bad weather or over long distances.

By 2050, the number of people in the U.S. age 70 and older is expected to reach 64 million, or about 16 percent of the population. In 2012, there were 29 million people in the U.S. age 70 and over, or 9 percent of the population.

“The main point is that these 70-80 year olds are really different than their predecessors,” said Alan Pisarski, author of the authoritative “Commuting in America” series of reports on driving trends. “They learned to drive in a very different era. They are far more comfortable driving in freeway situations. This matters immensely for the future because we are seeing dramatic increases in older workers staying in the labor force and continuing to work and commute well past 65.”

AARP, the association that represents older Americans, said the report “dispels common misconceptions and reveals positive trends related to older drivers.”

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Wrongful Death Trucking Accident Case

A California jury awarded over $150 million in damages to a 13-year-old girl who watched as her family burned to death in a fiery crash on a highway in Southern California. This tragic accident occured when the family’s SUV got caught under a tractor trailer which was negligently parked on the shoulder of the highway.The jury found a California trucking company and one of its drivers liable for parking the company truck on the side of the freeway in the early morning darkness without leaving on any light or emergency reflector.

The award to the young girl included damages her brother suffered as a result of his parents death and who later committed suicide on his mother’s birthday, before the trial began. The proceeds will be placed in a trust until she is 18.

The wrongful death lawsuit alleged that the truck driver pulled over to sleep, ignoring written warnings that stopping in the “emergency lane” was only for “emergencies.” The family SUV had to pull into the emergency lane after striking debris in the roadway.

During the trial, defense attorneys countered that driver merely stopped to take medication for a headache, which constituted an “emergency.”

This lawsuit illustrates several types road hazzards which can cause catastrophic events. These include vehicles stopped on the side of the road and debris from other vehicles on the roadway. On high speed freeways, vehicles stop for all sorts of reasons, which create the strong probability for rear-end accidents, even if the disabled vehicle can make it to the side of the road. Virtually everyone who drives has had to dodge the remnants of re-tread tires and other materials lying in the lanes of travel.

Obviously, the jury experienced tremendous sympathy towards this young girl who to endure this horredous experience.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Remote texter may be held liable for distracted driver’s crash

A New Jersey appellate court has ruled that a non-driving texter may be liable for injuries to an automobile accident victim.

In order to be responsible for damages, the New Jersey court ruled the person sending the texts from another location must have known they were being viewed by the diver while this person was actually driving. Although in this particular case, there was insufficient knowledge on the part of the remote texter. The accident, resulting in serious injuries to two motorcyclists, occurred within seconds of the time phone records show the driver, 18-years old, received the text in question.

The New Jersey Appellate Court stated: “We conclude that a person sending text messages has a duty not to text someone who is driving if the texter knows, or has special reason to know, the recipient will view the text while driving.”

In Florida the legal liability of a remote texter to a driver is unknown. The Florida legislature just recently enacted legislation making driving while texting (“DWT“) worthy of a traffic ticket. This watered down legislation came after many years of delay as a result of lobbying from the telecommunications industry.

It is currently without dispute that DWT is a major source of accidents on Florida’s roadways. It makes good sense, as the New Jersey Appellate Court ruled, to not only hold the driver who is texting responsible for injuries, but also the person on the other end — assuming the remote texter knew he was texting to someone who was driving.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Drunk driver guilty in killing man on bicycle

Carlos Bertonatti, 32, from Miami, Florida man pled guilty to a drunk driving hit-and-run crash that killed a man on his bicycle in January 2010. He will be sentenced May 2 and is facing between 11 and 35 years.

Bertonatti’s blood-alcohol level was 0.122, well over the legal limit. He pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter, fleeing and eluding and resisting arrest without violence.

Bertonatti struck cyclist from behind on the Bear Cut Bridge after swerving into the eastbound bicycle lane about 8 a.m. He then fled with the victim’s bicycle still wedged under his car, until he reached Key Biscayne, where he was arrested.

This case illustrates the tremendous vulnerability of cyclists in traffic. Even though the cyclist did everything right, the driver who was intoxicated swerved into him. From the cyclists perspective, some times serious accidents are unavoidable.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Posted on February 21, 2013September 23, 2015Author adminCategories Bicycle Accidents, personal watercraft accidents, Roadside AccidentsLeave a comment on Miami drunk driver guilty in killing man on bicycle

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