Is the Texting-While-Driving Ban in Florida Working?

Statistics show that nearly 25 percent of all auto accidents today occur due to some kind of involvement with a cell phone. This equates to more than 1 million car crashes a year, just because of a stupid phone! In Florida, citizens, law enforcement officers, and drivers of all kinds pushed for some type of law to deter motorists from texting while driving. Finally, years after these demands had been requested, the Florida lawmakers created a texting while driving law to punish those who use their cell phones while operating a vehicle. Today, almost 10 months after its official launch, Florida drivers are still in a lot of danger on the roads and highways of the Sunshine State.

The Legislature calls for very specific measures when it comes to citing a driver for texting while driving. While a large majority of the state recognized the dire need for a law to target those texting and driving, the ban only passed as a secondary-offense. What this means is that a law enforcement officer can only pull over a driver who is texting while operating their vehicle is they are also committing another driving infraction. Unless the driver is driving recklessly or speeding or some other type of illegal driving action, the law enforcement officer cannot pull them over.

While the push for some type of texting and driving law was celebrated back in January, many are now reevaluating their opinions on the ban. Today, law enforcement across Florida have stated that it is truly difficult to cite these law breakers. Why? Because a secondary-offense really limits their ability to protect the safety of those on the road driving safely from those recklessly putting lives at risk by texting. In fact, texting tickets pale in comparison to other, far less hazardous acts, both behind the wheel and on the streets.

The bottom line is that Florida Legislature has to buckle down and do more. A law that is difficult to enforce is a law that cannot make much of a difference in the safety of Florida’s roads and highways. Sending a text message while driving increases the likelihood of motor vehicle collision immensely. A driver texting is actually 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash. It’s time for the Legislature to step up to the plate once again and make Florida’s texting while driving ban much, much more stringent. It’s time for texting while driving to become a first-offense.

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Avoid Credit Card Fraud with These Simple Tips

Credit card fraud is far more prevalent today than ever before. With the onset of vast technological advancements, identity theft and fraud is easy and accessible for most any criminal. As more and more banks are becoming aware of this issue security measures have followed suit – making credit card protection policies more robust and widespread. Even so, “phishing” is still a big problem in the United States. Phishing refers to the random and illegal emails, text messages, or phone calls that solicit victims for their credit card or debit card information. Sadly, the elderly community is often the target of these crimes, as they are more easily swayed to offer up their private information.

Phishing is just one of the many problems credit and debit card holders face today. For instance, dumpster grazing is another scary phenomenon. In these cases, the criminals look through the trash of homes and office buildings for things like pay stubs, old bills, or any other item that would offer banking or credit card information. Keep the following tips in mind to avoid credit card fraud:

  • Keep track of all transactions on your credit and debit cards
  • Do not write your account number on the outside of any envelopes
  • Never offer up your payment information over the phone until you placed the call and it is with a reputable, trustworthy company
  • Attempt to take out only one credit card with you when you leave the house
  • Open your bills as soon as your receive them in order to review it and then take appropriate action if any discrepancies are found
  • Save your receipts to cross-check with your credit card statement
  • Never pay bills without fully examining the account statement
  • Look at your credit reports every once in a while from each of the main credit bureaus
  • Watch out for plastic sleeves located inside of the swipe slot when using a credit card payment machine

High tech hacking is changing every day. While we may not know the next “big thing” in the credit card fraud industry, we do know that following the above tips will help to prevent criminals from stealing your most private and sensitive information. If there is anything questionable occurring with any of your accounts be sure to contact your credit card company as soon as it is discovered to report the discrepancy.

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Top 12 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds

Children and adults alike love dogs. It is within human nature to see a cute dog and immediately bend down to pet it. While this is a seemingly innocent thing to do, a dog can quickly shift from friendly to aggressive with absolutely no warning. Dog bite accidents are scary and unpredictable. As parents, it is important to teach your children how to behave around strangers’ dogs. All kids have a natural inclination to reach out to pet a dog, especially those who have a dog of their own living in their household.

Pet owners are certainly responsible for their dog’s behavior. Unfortunately, dog bite accidents often occur in a quick flash, not allowing for anyone to react in time. Below we outline the 12 most dangerous dog breeds today. Keep in mind that this is from a historical behavior perspective and also the typical manner of the breed. There are certainly many exceptions to this list of dangerous dog breeds:

  1. Pit Bull
  2. Rottweiler
  3. Huskies
  4. Alaskan Malamutes
  5. Boerboel
  6. Akita Inu
  7. Dobermann
  8. Presa Canario
  9. Chow Chow
  10. Japanese Tosa
  11. Kuchi Dog
  12. Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Dog bite attacks can ruin a life forever. It is important to teach your children the proper way to handle themselves when they are around a stranger’s dog. If you or a loved one has suffered injury during a dog bite attack, Larmoyeux & Bone is here to help.

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8 Most Commonly Broken Traffic Rules

The rules and regulations on the roadways today are complex and sometimes confusing. When it comes to Florida drivers, understanding what is and is not within traffic law is imperative to keeping the roads safe and free from collisions. Unfortunately, many traffic rules that people think they understand are actually loose versions of the law. For instance, which vehicle gets the right-of-way in a roundabout? Many motorists think that they know the answer, but these are usually assumptions. When it comes to operating a vehicle, making an assumption can be one of the most dangerous things a driver can do.

In an attempt to avoid some of the commonly broken traffic rules, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently seen mistakes:

  1. Four-way Stops: drivers are to yield to the car that reaches the intersection first. When two vehicles reach the intersection at the same time, yield to the driver on the right.
  2. Left Turns: if light is green and no traffic is approaching, you can make the turn (whether or not the green turning light is lit).
  3. Following Distance: two full seconds should separate you from the vehicle in front of you. Determine this by counting how long it takes for you to pass a landmark on the side of the road.
  4. Speed Limit: driving 10 miles over the speed limit is against the law, always stay at the posted limit.
  5. Right on Red: while this is legal in Florida, drivers must come to a complete stop before turning.
  6. Roundabouts: vehicles entering the roundabout are to yield to any drivers already in the roundabout
  7. Highway Merging: entering vehicles must adjust speed to drive within the flow of traffic, vehicles already on the highway are to maintain the legal posted speed limit.
  8. Turning Signals: all turns and all lane changes require a turning signal, no matter what.

Far too many Florida drivers are unable to distinguish things that they think they “should” do on the roadways from things that are actually the law. For instance, how many drivers do you know who continually switch lanes without using a signal? This is against the law and causes hundreds of accidents each year. Always be aware of the law while behind the wheel, it could be the difference between life and death.

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The Safest Ways to Drive Close to 18 Wheelers

Any type of auto accident is scary. Add an 18 wheeler into the questions and the potential collision becomes deadly. Truck accidents occur all too regularly on the roads and highways of South Florida. With heavy traffic and frequent road construction, Florida drivers are faced with challenges on the roadways each and every day. In fact, Palm Beach County faces more than 57,500 large truck collisions each year, according to statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Knowing how to safely navigate the roads when driving near a large truck is critical, particularly when traveling on a busy highway.

Historically, over 70 percent of auto accidents involving 18 wheelers are the fault of the other vehicle, not the truck driver. Therefore, it is vital for all Florida motorists to follow these safety tips when near a large truck:

  • Never cut off an 18 wheeler
  • Always allow for a greater distance between you and large truck compared to you and a standard sized vehicle
  • Exercise patience when you see two trucks driving side by side, as they are unable to exceed a certain speed limit to due “speed limiters”
  • Be aware of 18 wheelers while they turn, as their radius often causes the edge of the truck to swing into the opposite lane
  • Pass large trucks on the left-hand side whenever possible
  • Be extra cautious when changing lanes in front of a large truck, if you cannot see both of the truck’s headlights than the truck driver cannot see you

Semi-trucks present a number of dangers due to their sheer size and weight. A collision with one of these vehicles has proven to one of the most dangerous types of crashes today. Understanding important aspects of driving near a large truck such as stoppage times, maneuvering limitations, and blind spots is essential to safe driving. When in doubt, always exercise great caution while traveling closely to an 18 wheeler.

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Biggest Mistakes People Make After Car Accidents

Motor vehicle collisions are some of the scariest situations that a person encounters in their lifetime. When one vehicle crashes into another the impact is unexpected. The shock of the impact often sends the accident victims into a frenzied swirl of emotions. From stress to fear to uncertainty, auto accidents are often mishandled simply because the person is not in their normal state of mind. As the at-fault driver, one wrong statement can cause a seriously costly headache in the future of a potential car accident legal proceeding.

Taking the time to understand some of the most common mistakes made immediately following a crash is one of the easiest ways to prevent these blunders from occurring. These are of the most typical mistakes made after a car accident:

  1. Do not talk to the other motorist’s lawyer.
  2. Do not apologize to the driver, any type of apology can be considered an admission of liability.
  3. Call 911 immediately.
  4. Do not talk to the other motorist’s insurance company.
  5. Avoid arguing with the other motorist.
  6. Stay at the scene of the accident no matter what.
  7. Wait to bring your car in for repairs until your insurance provider says to do so.
  8. Do not leave the accident without exchanging important information like the motorist’s name, insurance provider and policy number, vehicle make and model, home address, and license plate number).
  9. You do not have to use the tow truck that came to the scene of the crash, discuss towing options with the police officer there.
  10. Do not try to deal with the accident aftermath by yourself, consult a trustworthy attorney as soon as you can.

Car accidents are overwhelming for the at-fault driver and the victim in the crash. The many emotions and stresses that come along with any kind of collision make it difficult to thinking clearly and this often leads to costly mistakes. Keep these common blunders in mind so that you are prepared in the event of an auto collision.

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12 Tips for Driving in the Rain

An afternoon shower is almost a guarantee each and every day during the summertime in Florida. From highway travel to local street traffic, rain can really complicate a typical driving situation. What was once a quick, easy ride can quickly develop into a time-consuming, treacherous route. Florida drivers grow frustrated when traffic jams arise from heavy rains that cause people to hit their brakes and drive slowly. Unfortunately, this frustration leads to poor decisions behind the wheel. This issue, coupled with that many hazards associated to driving in the rain, cause an abundance of auto accidents in the summer season.

There are a number of common bad habits that make Florida’s roadways more dangerous than they have to be during a summer storm. Understanding these bad habits and making an effort to correct them can be the difference between a safe travel and a crash. The following are 12 tips for driving in the rain:

  1. Attempt to drive in the middle, as the sides of the roads have water run off present
  2. Turn your headlights on
  3. Turn on your windshield wipers right away
  4. Do not attempt to drive through an enormous puddle, have patience and drive around it when safe to do so
  5. Slow down speed to match the driving conditions
  6. Take turns very easy, as skidding is common during the rain
  7. Make sure tires are properly inflated to avoid hydroplaning
  8. When skidding occurs, slowly take your foot off of the gas and steer your car in the direction you wish to go
  9. Do not attempt to suddenly brake while hydroplaning
  10. Allow ample distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
  11. Try to avoid using your brakes
  12. Do not use cruise control while driving in the rain

While many of these tips seem obvious, far too many Florida motorists forget them during scary, heavy rainstorms. Things like lightning and thunder can become dangerous distractions while behind the wheel. When in doubt, find a safe place to pull over your vehicle until the rain stops and lessens.

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NFL’s Boldin and Harlem Globetrotters Support ‘Do the Write Thing’

Bullying and harassment in schools throughout the United States has become a growing problem over the last couple of decades. From cyber bullying on social media websites and chatrooms to school bullying in elementary, middle, and high schools, children today are faced with a number of challenges that never existed before. Palm Beach County has taken a serious stand on the issue of bullying by joining in on the Do the Write Thing Challenge with thousands of other schools across the nation. As a long-time supporter of the organization, Bill Bone feels strongly about the impact that this writing challenge has on children throughout Palm Beach County schools.

The goal of the programs is to shed light on the issue of bullying through a writing competition as well as a personal commitment from the students. These students participate in a classroom discussion as well as a writing contest to express how violence has impacted their life personally. In an effort to reduce violence in neighborhoods, homes, and schools across the country, the Do the Write Thing Challenge has had an overwhelmingly positive impact since it first began. To date, over a million students have taken the challenge and participated in committing to do something about youth violence today.

On May 12th, NFL’s Anquan Boldin as well as the Harlem Globetrotters were the special surprise guests at the recognition luncheon at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Parents, teachers, and students attended the event to shed light on the anti-bullying movement and the importance of stopping youth violence. Boldin made a particularly heartfelt speech during the luncheon to discuss how important doing the right thing and helping each other out can be in the defense against bullying today. The Globetrotters also had the opportunity to show off their basketball skills while discussing anti-bullying.

As the Palm Beach County chairman of the Do the Write Thing Challenge, Bill Bone offered his feelings regarding his long-time support of this amazing cause, “I am often brought to tears by the stories we hear from these students. The response we have received over the past seven years, from teachers, parents and students is overwhelming.”

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Safety Tips for Boating This Holiday Weekend

Florida is home to the number one boating destination in the United States. This week is the celebration of Independence Day and for most Floridians, this means hopping on a boat and enjoying a day on the ocean. Fourth of July festivities wouldn’t be the same without water, sunshine, and a barbeque. But with the massive number of boats out on the water this weekend, it is absolutely essential to remain safe. When boaters go out for July 4th they are often in “party mode”. This means that alcohol intake is high and judgment can be clouded. Boating accidents and injuries often follow when you pair a boater with alcohol. In the worst case scenario, this combination leads to a boating death and no one wants that.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important safety tips for you to keep in mind while you’re out on the boat celebrating July 4th this weekend:

  • Be aware of the weather before your departure and plan accordingly
  • Remain at a safe speed and be aware of jet skiers, water skiers, and swimmers at all times
  • Never allow the boat captain to consume alcoholic beverages
  • Be sure to have the correct safety equipment such as life vests (enough for ALL passengers), fire extinguisher, operable boat lights, etc.
  • Exercise extra caution when loading and unloading the boat
  • Make sure that all passengers remain inside of the boat at all times
  • Follow all rules and regulations for the specific area that you are boating within

According to the United States Coast Guard, a person is injured or killed in a boating accident every two and half hours. What’s even scarier is that 63.4 percent of boating accidents occur with a boater who considers themselves “very experienced”. Clearly, boating accidents can happen to anyone and any time. Being aware of the most important boating safety tips is imperative while operating a boat in open waters. Be sure to go through your checklist prior to leaving the dock. Larmoyeux & Bone wishes all of you boaters a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!

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Staying Safe on July 4th This Year

Summer is a time for friends, family, and celebrations. One of the biggest celebrations of the summer is certainly Independence Day. As Americans across the nation gather together to bring in July 4th, it is important to have fun while remaining safe. Unfortunately, there are a lot of potential safety hazards common to 4th of July festivities. From the dangers linked to swimming to the possible fireworks risks to boating accidents to sun damage, the list goes on and on regarding what could cause injury or harm on this day. Statistics show that over $35 million is spent throughout the nation in fire damages each year. Both fireworks and decorations near fireworks are linked to these costs. Not only are injuries a real threat, but children are often those who are most likely to sustain an injury.

This year, let’s make an effort to go to the extra mile to ensure the safety of our friends and family. An avoidable injury will surely ruin your Independence Day celebrations. Keep the following tips in mind on July 4th this Friday:

  • Make sure that kids are away from any and all fireworks at all times
  • Be responsible with alcohol consumption, always plan for a designated driver if you are traveling to a party
  • Make sure there are ample sets of eyes on the water when children are swimming
  • Keep food and beverages covered will outside
  • Apply sunscreen throughout the day
  • Go over the safety guidelines when swimming at a waterway, ocean, or lake
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids
  • Keep children far away from the grill and any campfires
  • Do not leave food outside all day
  • Be aware of all boating laws and restrictions, ensure a sober driver is available
  • Parents and caregivers must be aware and alert all day

July 4th can get chaotic quickly. Celebrations call for a level of hectic fun. Nevertheless, it is absolutely imperative that parents and caregivers take an active role in ensuring that the children are extra safe during firework displays, while swimming, and during sun exposure. Finally, drinking responsible is essential. Intoxicated adults cannot keep a careful eye on children. On behalf of Larmoyeux & Bone, Happy 4th of July!

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