Sunday, February 20, 2011

Top 10 Animals that Cause Car Wrecks

Check out the Top 10 animals that cause car wrecks.
Thank you to Satellite Dish for this information.

We have all had it happen to us… It’s late at night and you are driving on a country road or maybe even a highway in the middle of nowhere and then all of sudden something crosses the road in front of you. A near miss and also a notice to be on the lookout as generally animals travel in packs and that probably wasn’t the last animal you are going to encounter. If all goes well we make it out of a tense driving situation without any roadkill (sorry that is a common term whether you like it or not). It’s far from the intentional slaying of animals utilizing your vehicle, these are accidents where animals just happened to get in the way of your car driving down a perfectly good road. It happens a lot more than you might think. Here are the top 10 animals that cause car wrecks:

Deer. For some reason, deer really do find solace in staring at oncoming headlights. Whether they are aware of the threat or not, they seem to prefer standing firm, getting the full force of the vehicle, even taking lives in the mix. There are many lives lost to these types of accidents due to the size and weight of the animals, with many hooves and antlers causing great injury.
Wild turkey. If you are in one of the many areas that carry wild turkeys, you will find that these animals often find their way into the roadway, especially along the highway. This can be extremely dangerous if you are riding at a high rate of speed and attempt to avoid the animal, however, impact isn’t going to be as dangerous as with deer.
Squirrels. There have been commercials mimicking the behaviors of sneaky squirrels that find their way onto the street just as you are passing by. With such small creatures, you often see them only as you advance closer, often leaving you dodging an animal too late and causing many serious car accidents.
Ducks. There are duck crossings everywhere, but unfortunately, not everyone minds them and not all ducks do either. Some ducks can be found astray, while some people may ignore the duck crossing and attempt to go through the cross quickly, often colliding with the animals or flipping the vehicle attempting to avoid collision.
Dogs. There are so many people out there that are great dog lovers, but these friendly creatures can still find themselves led astray by vehicles that lead them elsewhere. As so many people find great pals in dogs, they often try their best to avoid hitting a dog, leading to many accidents.
Cats. There is a similarity between dogs and cats, and that is the love for each by so many. With cats, they are typically quicker, but end up sitting their lazy butts on the street as cars try to go by. In many cases, however, people aren’t given fair warning as cats love to dart out quickly, leading to accidents of all severity.
Birds. While it isn’t as common, there have been many car accidents associated with birds flying upon the windshield or into the windshield, blocking vision and causing a wreck. This is a very dangerous accident, especially if the driver’s vision is impaired by the animal.
Raccoons. There are many areas that are prominent with raccoons that seem to have the same love for the street as many other animals, sometimes finding their way in line with an oncoming animal. For so many people who find these animals to be cute and loving, they often try their best to avoid hitting them, causing an accident instead.
Bunnies. Yes, bunnies, not rabbits, because when they are on the road, everyone is yelling “don’t hit the bunny!” Unfortunately as you are trying not to hit the bunny, there are other vehicles on the road that can crash into you unaware of what you are doing.
Opossum. Opossums are blind naturally, giving them keen hearing but poor ability to navigate around safely when it comes to roadways. With roads often going off into wooded areas and sections, it is easy to find these animals on the road, often causing accidents as people avoid hitting them.
Whether you accidentally hit the animal or crash avoiding the animal, these animals are the most dangerous animals when it comes to car accidents. Hey, let’s be careful on the roads out there!

- Spencer T. Kuvin
Cohen & Kuvin, LLC

Friday, February 11, 2011

Latest News From Cohen & Kuvin

NASA Says Toyota Sudden Acceleration User Error?

After decades of driving vehicles where the gas pedal is located to the right of the brake, drivers still can’t tell the difference. At least that is the general sentiment of NASA scientists, who completed their 10 month investigation of Toyota’s unintended acceleration with the conclusion that there is no evidence that the sudden acceleration was caused by electronic controls. The actual culprits are improperly installed floor mats, sticky pedals and driver error.

According to NHTSA deputy administrator Ron Medford, drivers may have confused the gas and brake pedals, a problem that may account for ‘the vast majority’ of the unintended acceleration incidents the agency investigated. This seems rather suspect considering that the placement of pedals in the vehicle is a standard design. What is not standard is the new electronic throttle control which controls a cars speed using sensors and computer chips to pass commands between the vehicles' gas pedal and the engine. This innovative feature replaces the simple mechanical connection used in older cars. It is clear by the large amount of redactions to the NHTSA report that all of the findings have not been disclosed to the public. It is also very clear that the findings contain blatant shortcomings.

Houston….we have a problem……Are the best and brightest at NASA saying that Americans can’t tell left from right and Toyota’s are safe?

Fourth District Court of Appeal Finds Payday Lending Company’s Contracts Violate Public Policy—Great Victory for Consumer Rights

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal recently held in McKenzie Check Advance v. Betts, 2011 WL 309318 (Fla. 4th DCA Feb. 2, 2011), that the class action bans payday lending companies put in their consumer contracts violate public policy by preventing consumers from vindicating their statutory rights under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and the Florida Civil Remedies for Criminal Practices Act. The payday lending companies, which make their money by charging outrageously (and at one time criminally) high amounts of interest to impoverished people living paycheck to paycheck, have attempted to insulate themselves from class actions because they know that is the only way consumers could realistically challenge the companies’ unfair practices. In a great victory for consumer rights, the Fourth District Court of Appeal removed this protection from payday lenders by holding these class action bans are unenforceable because they violate public policy.

Florida Legislation Proposed to Increase Benefits to Victims of Brain Injury

Chapter 916 of the Florida Statutes provides special care and “forensic services” for mentally ill and mentally deficient criminal defendants. It was the intent of the legislature to provide facilities and programs to treat and train individuals who have been charged with felonies but who are mentally incompetent by reason of mental illness, mental retardation, or autism.

Unfortunately, the statutes do not apply to individuals who are mentally deficient due to traumatic brain injury, a growing “silent epidemic.” Wellington State representative Joseph Abruzzo with the assistance of Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Krista Marx, is attempting to close this loophole by expanding the definition of “mental illness” to include victims with traumatic brain injury.

We applaud Rep. Abruzzo and encourage the legislature to pass his proposed amendments. The traumatically brain injured, whether combat veterans or civilian casualties, often lack the capacity to understand and appreciate the nature of their actions and are certainly entitled to the same benefits as those who are unfortunately born with similar mental deficiencies.

Space Heater Safety Tips

According to the United States Fire Administration, home fires spike during the winter. The risk of home fires increases with the use of supplemental heating, such as space heaters. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued the following tips to ensure your home is safely heated. Never place space heaters on rugs or carpets. They should be placed on a flat and level floor in area free from foot traffic and at least three feet from other flammable materials; such as, bedding, drapes and certain furniture. Additionally, never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep and never place a space heater next to a sleeping person. Finally, if you choose to use a kerosene space heater, never mix in gasoline as even small amounts of gasoline mixed with kerosene can increase the risk of fire. As we all know, beautiful, sunny South Florida is not without its cold days. The staff at Cohen & Kuvin, LLC urge everyone to make sure themselves and their relatives up north stay safe this winter.

Spencer T. Kuvin
Cohen & Kuvin, LLC

Why Don't School Buses Have Seatbelts?

Posted by: Cohen & Kuvin
February 09, 2011
Topic: Seatbelt Safety

Every year vehicles are manufactured boasting innovative features and safeguards designed to protect drivers and passengers. Yet, we have seen very little innovation in school bus safety, starting with the absence of seatbelts.

There are a host of studies that claim school buses are one of the safest modes of transportation, so federal law only requires seatbelts in buses under 10,000 pounds. However, 80% of the nations' school bus fleet exceeds that weight limit, and in those cases, the decision to provide seatbelts is up to the individual states.

Current safety standards in schools buses are characterized by compartmentalization, a system of tightly spaced seats covered with 4-inch-thick foam to form a protective bubble. The high seat backs also serve as a buffer to prevent a child from being launched in the air.

The reality is that installing seatbelts in every school bus is extremely cost prohibitive and may pose another hazard of kids whacking each other with the straps. Further, who is to say that fidgety kids will wear the belt, and who is responsible for enforcing them?

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 7 school-age passengers are killed in school bus crashes each year. These numbers make it difficult to justify a $117 million per state price tag. In fact, NHTSA said its research suggests that the benefits are "insufficient to justify a federal requirement for mandatory installation of such belts" in larger buses.

Florida is one of 6 states that now requires seat belts or another restraint system that meets federal standards on newer buses and requires passengers to use them. For now, the best tip for a safe ride is encouraging children to practice good safety etiquette on the bus including: remaining seated during the entire bus ride or until the driver says otherwise, keeping aisles clear of backpacks and belongings, talking quietly and politely and always following the driver's directions during an emergency.

- Spencer Kuvin
Cohen & Kuvin, P.A.