Tampa Drivers Must Stop or Yield for Pedestrians


pedestrianDo you know where the crosswalks are? The Tampa Bay area consistently appears near the top of the most dangerous places for pedestrians. In Pinellas County alone, the number of pedestrians killed by motor vehicles was 44 in 2016 and 34 in 2017. This is a continuing problem in Tampa and many other cities in the Sunshine State.

Distractions are dangerous whether you are driving or walking. Negligent drivers who text and drive could miss a crosswalk completely. Pedestrians engrossed in their smart phones and unaware of surrounding traffic can also lead to tragedy. Knowing where the crosswalks are and how they work – as well as keeping your eyes on the road — are safety rules that are more important than ever.

Florida law states that drivers must stop or yield for pedestrians. As a driver in the Tampa Bay area, you probably already know that but do you know about the three different types of crosswalks you could encounter downtown?

The first thing you should know is that every pedestrian crossing marked with white lines is a crosswalk, and state laws apply to these just as much as other crossings that are more clearly marked.

At intersections with a stoplight and marked pedestrian crossings, drivers are required to stop and allow the pedestrians to cross — even if the driver is making a right turn. Drivers must stop at these signals before entering the marked crosswalk.

Some crosswalks are clearly marked with flashing lights that can be activated by pedestrians. Drivers are still required to stop for pedestrians at this type of crosswalk — even if the pedestrian did not activate the crossing signal.

Both drivers and pedestrians are responsible for keeping the crossings safe. Drivers should stay focused on the road and watch for pedestrian traffic at crosswalks, including those where no lights are present. Pedestrians should utilize the crosswalks and the signals that alert drivers to their presence.

If you or someone you know has been injured while trying to cross the road, you should contact a Tampa pedestrian accident attorney. Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore can help. As a Tampa personal injury law firm, Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore is experienced in pedestrian injury cases and familiar with all laws regarding pedestrians and motor vehicles. Please contact us for further information.


Fatal Truck Accidents

Dealing With the Risk of Drowsy Truck Drivers

Fatal Truck AccidentsDrowsy truck drivers represent a threat to themselves and to other members of the traveling public. If you have experienced an accident resulting from truck driver fatigue, you may need and be entitled to financial compensation. Do not hesitate to seek out the assistance of a Tampa personal injury attorney to ensure your fair treatment under the laws of Florida. This type of help is available from the law firm of Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore.

Truck Drivers and Fatigue

The drivers of commercial trucks face long hours behind the wheel and may be tempted by demanding schedules to stretch the limits of their endurance. According to one government study, fatigue is a factor in 13 percent of the crashes involving large trucks on American roads and highways. Based on research conducted by the Sleep Help Institute, fatigue may be an even more serious and pervasive issue, however. A separate study in fact showed that about half of the truck drivers who were surveyed reported being behind the wheel at least once while feeling tired.

Combating Driver Fatigue

Government authorities have attempted to deal with the issue of driver fatigue by implementing a number of regulations. Among other restrictions, truck drivers are not allowed to work more than 70 hours per week or 11 hours within any 24-hour period. However, some trucking firms and individual drivers have fought or at least tried to get around these safety regulations. Some drivers even claim that mandatory rest periods are useless to those who work on irregular schedules. Here are some of the other factors that can prove harmful relative to the issue of driver fatigue:

•The use of drugs to stay awake
•Poor nutrition habits
•Sleeping berths in trucks, which can actually contribute to accidents occurring within a short time after the driver awakens from a period of sleep

Help for Drowsy Drivers and Their Victims

In order to help drivers deal with the issue of fatigue, the Sleep Help Institute has listed a number of suggestions at Lifengoal. Motorists who are victimized by drowsy truck drivers will also need help in the form of financial compensation to cover medical expenses and replace lost wages suffered as a result of the driver’s or company’s negligence. It is these victims and their families who need the help of an auto accident lawyer in Tampa.

If you find yourself in such a situation, you should consider turning to the services available from the law firm of Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore. Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore’s attorneys have the judgment and years of experience to help you get the compensation and justice you deserve.







Man fastening his seatbelt

seat beltA seat belt is a vital safety feature that can save your life and protect you from serious injury in the event of a traffic crash. However, motorists who wear seat belts may still experience accidents. It is these individuals who can benefit from the services of a personal injury attorney in Tampa.

A History of Vehicle Safety

The concept of restraining occupants in vehicles for the purpose of protecting them dates to the last century. Seat belts began to appear in American automobiles in the 1950s, becoming a requirement in the late 1960s. They are today supplemented by a number of other safety features, including:

•Head restraints
•Laminated glass
•Collapsible steering columns
•Side beams
•Air bags

The general consensus among safety experts is that seat beats make the other safety features more effective. Official studies have shown that seat belts have reduced the risk of death in car crashes by some 50 percent, saving more than 60,000 lives in the United States during a five-year period starting in 2010. Laws requiring the use of seat belts were first enacted in the 1980s and are today in effect almost everywhere in the country.

How Seat Belts Work

The major risk in traffic accidents involves occupants being thrown against something inside the vehicle or being tossed completely out of the vehicle. Lap belts and related shoulder straps prevent this by restraining the largest and most durable portions of the body and also by “spreading out” the force of a crash. The concern about being trapped in a flaming or submerged vehicle is largely unfounded, especially when considering that a seat belt can keep occupants conscious and thus facilitate their egress from a vehicle that is on fire or is sinking.

Legal Assistance for the Victims of Traffic Crashes

Drivers and all of their passengers should buckle their seat belts at the beginning of every drive. In the event of an accident that may not be your fault, you should consider seeking help from a personal injury attorney in Tampa, who can help you obtain the compensation that you may need and deserve. You can find this type of assistance from the law firm of Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore.






Man shouting while driving

road rageDriving can sometimes bring out the worse in people. Many people get anxious or upset due to things like heavy traffic, slow drivers and aggressive drivers. Personal problems can also trigger road rage. Being a victim of road rage can be scary. Fortunately, there are things that you can do if you are a victim of road rage.

Stay in the Car

You may be tempted to confront the person. However, this will make the situation worse. This can also be dangerous. If the person gets out of the car and confronts you, then you should apologize. Even if you did not do anything wrong, you should still apologize. This may help the person calm down.

It is important to remember that there are several negative consequences that can come along with road rage. You may have to pay legal fees and go to court. You also risk harm to yourself and the other passengers.

Pull Over

It is best for you to avoid confronting the person if possible. You should pull over to the side of the road away from the traffic. Take some deep breaths in order to relax. Try to be calm and avoid taking anything the driver does personally.

Take all of the Details

If you have someone in the car with you, then you will need to ask them to take down all of the person’s details. This includes things such as the make and model of the car, the appearance of the person, and their license plate number. You can provide the details to the police and the insurance company.

Contact Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore

If you have been a victim of road rage, then you will need to contact a Tampa personal injury attorney. Call us at (813) 225-4000. Our attorneys would work hard to make sure that the other driver is held accountable.