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Hit-and-run crashes still problematic

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Hit-and-run crashes in Florida are holding steady; it is the same challenging problem it always has been. The Florida Highway Patrol reports more than 92,000 hit-and-run crashes in 2015. Those crashes brought 19,000 injuries and 186 fatalities. More than half of those fatalities were pedestrians.

Why do people run away from a crash scene? More often than not, they have had too much to drink and should not have been behind the wheel. Or, they may have a suspended license or let their auto insurance lapse, which is illegal, by the way.

Florida law requires drivers to stop immediately for any car crash in which there is injury to another person. Violating this law is a third degree felony punishable with up to a five-year prison stint (and a mandatory minimum of four years).

Owning up to your mistakes has always been the honorable thing to do. That doesn’t mean it’s always the easy thing to do. But it is – and always will be – the right thing to do.

Towing trouble on Thanksgiving? No thanks!

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National Overeating Day (aka Thanksgiving) is coming up, and a road trip to the annual food fest is part of the plan for many people. Long-distance holiday travel on Thanksgiving Day increases by 54 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The anticipation of getting to the table may be half the fun. But what happens if your car breaks down along the way? Besides being late for dinner, you could wind up with a hefty towing bill if you didn’t plan ahead.

Think you own the road? So do deer and other critters

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Animals can’t read traffic signs, and some humans don’t bother. Caution signs alerting drivers to animal crossings dot highways across the U.S. But deer refuse to be corralled into using designated crosswalks, so the open highway is wide open to them. Deer cross wherever they want, and sometimes they choose to do so just as a hapless driver speeds along.  November is the peak of deer mating season, prime time for deer-car collisions. Be careful out there, especially if you are planning a trip north because our neighboring states have more deer crashes than Florida. 

Don’t test your insurance on a test drive

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Be extra careful whenever you test drive a new or used car. If you’re not working with a reputable car dealer, driving that car could be costly if you have a car crash.

No room for rebels on the road

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He was an icon back in the 1950s, a legend seen as either a very cool tough guy or a troubled teen, depending on your perspective. Yet, there is agreement that James Dean died too soon – in a car crash that reinforced both images. He was only 24 when he died in a high-speed crash in 1955, and the “Giant” lessons the “Rebel Without a Cause” left bear relearning today – 60 years later.

In Florida, driver fatalities are highest in the 20-24 age group.

“Framed” in a minor fender bender

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A picture says a lot, so look at the photo above of my Camry’s bumper after a fender bender last week. Connect the dots. It’s a perfect outline of a spiked license plate frame available at most big-box retailers for about $10. Absent that frame from the front of the SUV that rear-ended me, there would have been zero damage to my car.