Hernando County Personal Injury Lawyers | Whittel & Melton, LLC | Spring Hill, Brooksville

There are few things more devastating than suffering from serious injuries or the death of a loved one as the result of another person’s negligence. Many injury victims are overwhelmed after an accident and feel helpless with nowhere turn. There are many things to do, and often it is impossible to figure out where to start.

We are here to help. The Hernando County Personal Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can guarantee that you receive the personalized attention you and your family need. Our number one priority is to help injured victims throughout Spring Hill and Brooksville receive the representation they deserve. While we cannot take away the pain you feel now, we can do everything in our power to get you full and fair compensation for your losses.

Offering Commitment to Our Clients in Spring Hill and Brooksville

Our Hernando County personal injury practice handles every type of injury case, from serious car or motorcycle accidents to slip and falls. If you are wondering if you have a case, contact us today to discuss the facts of your claim with a free consultation. Our Hernando County Personal Injury Lawyers can share with you your options in seeking financial recovery following a serious accident, catastrophic injury or the wrongful death of a loved one here in Spring Hill or Brooksville.

At Whittel & Melton, you can be confident that we stand behind you and your case. We will never put you or your claim on the back burner. Rather, we will strategically deal with the responsible parties involved and their insurance companies to obtain justice for you and your loved ones. Simply put, we will not be satisfied until you are. Whether through financial settlement or trial, we will prepare your case to achieve maximum compensation.

A free consultation with the Hernando County Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can start you towards gaining the compensation necessary for a complete recovery. You will never be responsible for any attorney’s fees unless and until there is a successful financial recovery for your damages. Our firm’s phone is answered any time, day or night, so contact us today.

We are proud to help accident victims throughout Hernando County - Spring Hill, Brooksville, Ridge Manor, Weeki Wachee, Hernando Beach, Masaryktown.

2020 is one of the most active storm seasons ever in the waters around the State of Florida, the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea.


Florida Property insurance policies typically have two deductibles. A standard deductible for most losses; and a hurricane deductible. The standard “Other Perils” deductible is for pretty much anything covered by the policy, such as fire, pipe bursts and appliance related water damage claims, or windstorms, etc. The hurricane deductible only applies to named Hurricanes. The last major hurricane to hit Florida was Hurricane Michael in the panhandle on October 10, 2018; and more recently in the western portions of the Florida panhandle for Hurricane Sally on September 16, 2020, and Hurricane Zeta on October 28, 2020. Hurricane deductibles are typically 2 or 3 percent of the limit of the insurance for the home which is a lot higher than the standard deductible for all other claims. The Eta storm of November 2020 started off in South Florida counties like Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County as a Tropical Storm (not a hurricane). But as storms in Florida do, things changed, and the weather system chased west back into the Gulf of Mexico where it was reclassified as a Hurricane for a short period of time before heading back to the Nature Coast across Florida again as a Tropical Storm.

key-west-81664_1920-1-300x199DON’T GET FOOLED BY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY!

First, an insurer may rush to slap a hurricane deductible on your claim when it should not apply because a Tropical Storm is not a hurricane. Second (and this is really the most important!), Insurers in Florida have often told their customers after a storm that unless they absolutely know that their damage is more than their hurricane deductible, then they should not even put in a claim. There are many reasons why this is terrible advice and a bad business practice by insurance companies. As the policyholder, it is not your job to know the exact amount of damage you have in the weeks following a severe storm. You also may discover that the storm caused much more damage than you initially thought or could see in the days following the hurricane. Many Floridians have fallen for the insurers gambit only to attempt to make their claims later on and be told its too late to make the claim.

If you believe you have Hurricane or Tropical Storm damage from any of these strong weather systems that brought havoc to Florida, please call us and we can assist you in determining which deductible applies, assist you with determining the actual extent of the damage to your home, and provide needed guidance through the process with your insurance company.

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labor-day-1628502_1280-300x212Labor Day weekend is upon us and since it is one of the busiest holidays across the United States, our Hernando County Car Crash Attorneys at Whittel & Melton wanted to remind motorists of some important safety tips. Since most people have Labor Day off, many will attend a social gathering of some sort like a family backyard barbecue or a pool party with friends. More social gatherings mean more people are out on the roads. Traffic congestion combined with an increase in alcohol consumption can result in Labor Day car wrecks. And while this year Labor Day looks a bit different with the novel coronavirus still lingering over us, it is still best to prepare for the possibility of increased traffic accidents. 

Our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have compiled a few travel tips to keep you and your loved ones safe this Labor Day weekend. 

Drive Defensively 

This is very important for staying accident free this Labor Day weekend. We urge you to be aware of congested roads, especially in the afternoon and evening hours. Since we know traffic will likely be increased, it may be best to travel to your destination earlier in the morning before more motorists get out and about. Make sure you go the posted speed limits – there will be more law enforcement patrolling the roadways during the holiday weekend. 

Since we know there will likely be more people on the roads, plan your travel time and adjust if needed. Your usual 20 minute drive could now be 40 minutes, so give yourself some extra time and leave 10-20 minutes early so you are not feeling rushed to get to your holiday outing. 

Don’t Get Frustrated 

Road rage is a real thing, but you do not want to let your anger take over when you are behind the wheel of a car. Do not let another driver’s actions take your mind off the most important task at hand – getting where you need to go safely. If you need to pull over and scream, do so until your agitation subsides. If you do need to pull over, just remember to keep your car away from the right-hand lane and put it in park. Take some slow, deep breaths in and out and shake off those angry feelings before you head back out on the road. 

Do Not Drink and Drive

While this may seem like a real no-brainer, drunk driving accidents still happen at alarming rates. Do not drive anywhere if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs (this includes prescription pills and over the counter meds that may affect your ability to drive safely.) On this same note, do not drive while hungover or on little sleep as you want to be well rested so that you can focus on the road. 

Check the Children 

With the holiday hustle and bustle it can be easy to forget about your precious cargo. You want all your passengers to stay safe, so ensure that everyone in your car is safely buckled in, this includes making sure children are securely strapped in to car seats that are appropriate for their age, height, and weight.

Contact Our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton

Our Hernando County Car Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are available 24/7 to help you after you or someone you love have been involved in a serious car accident. We will be here to investigate your crash and fight to get you financial compensation for personal injuries, property damages, and other losses that go hand in hand with collisions that are caused by a reckless or negligent driver. 

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The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) issued a report in June 2020 regarding fireworks-related fires. Their findings show that in 2018, 19,500 fires were started by fireworks, resulting in 5 deaths, 46 injuries, and $105 million in property damage.

On that same note, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently released its Fireworks Annual Report that shows 10,000 people were hospitalized last year due to fireworks-related injuries. Their reports show that over a third of the injury victims in 2019 were young children. Twelve deaths were reported from fireworks in that same year. 

And while fireworks were made legal this year on three holidays: Fourth of July, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve, most people fail to think about property damage and injuries over holiday weekends. While fireworks are associated with fun and celebration, most people fail to think about their potential to cause devastating injuries, burns, fires, and even death. Something as simple as lighting off a bottle rocket or Roman candle could easily lead to a house fire, and not just your own home, but a neighbor’s house as well. It is important to remember that these situations can be avoided by erring on the side of caution. 

Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may have you covered if a house fire is accidentally started by legal fireworks. However, if you are using illegal fireworks, you can expect your claim to be denied. Using illegal fireworks could place you on the line personally for any damage that results. One mistake with an illegal cherry bomb, M-80, M-100, or silver salute could mean you are now solely on the hook for rebuilding your home and replacing all of your belongings. 

You may be wondering what would happen if your home caught fire due to someone else’s illegal fireworks or firecrackers. In instances like these, your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance should cover these claims. It is always a good idea to double check your insurance policy and contact your insurance provider to make sure you understand all of your coverages. 

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virus-4931227_1920-300x200Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville has a new visitor policy in effect now. This is a direct result of the increase in the spread of COVID-19 in the communities of Brookville, Spring Hill, and throughout the state of Florida. 

Our Hernando County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have compiled everything you need to know should you need to go to the hospital. 

Currently there are no visitors allowed at Inpatient Units, but exceptions can be made after approval from the hospital Administrator on Call (AOC) for:

child-2742380_1280-300x213It’s a beautiful day out and your kids have been cooped up because of the novel coronavirus. They want to take their bikes out and go for a spin! Before you get their bikes out of the garage and ready to go, our Hernando County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want to make sure you know how to teach them to be safe on two wheels. 

Riding a bike is loads of fun, but every year, thousands of children end up in the emergency room due to bike-related injuries. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, the state of Florida had 125 fatal bicycle accidents – the most in any state. In 2018, 825 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes across the United States. 

Helmets Are A Must 

Children and adults should always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. This offers protection to your face, head, and brain if you fall down. Bike helmets should display a sticker by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which tells us that the helmet meets the safety standards set forth by the U.S. government. If your helmet does not have this safety sticker, you should promptly consider purchasing one that does. 

You should wear a helmet every time you ride your back, regardless of how long or short the distance. You want to make sure that your helmet fits well and that you are wearing it correctly. It should cover your forehead and not tip back. The straps should be fastened every time you wear it. You should not wear a hat underneath your helmet. You want to keep your helmet in great condition, so do not knock it around. If it becomes damaged, it may not protect you from serious injuries should you fall or get knocked off your bicycle. If you fall and hit your helmet while biking, you will want to get a new one. It is a great idea to add some reflective stickers to your helmet so that motorists can see you better. 

Bicycle Safety Checklist 

You need the right size bike to maximize safety. To check the correct size, stand straddling the top bar of your bicycle with both feet flat and firm on the ground. There should be 1 to 3 inches of space between your body and the top bar of the bike. 

Once you know you have the perfect fit, make sure the seat, wheels, and handlebars are all tight. Monitor your chain and oil regularly for maintenance, and check your brakes to make sure they are not sticking. Lastly, make sure your tires are well inflated and have the right amount of pressure. 

Rules to Remember When Bicycling 

  • Ride with your hands firmly on the handlebars at all times.  
  • When you leave your driveway or curb, remember to always look in both traffic directions before riding away. 
  • Always cross at intersections for the best visibility. 
  • Do not ride against traffic. You want to ride on the right-hand side of the road and travel in the same direction as cars do. 
  • If you have bike lanes, use them. 
  • Obey all traffic signals. 
  • If you are riding with your friends, ride in a single-file. 
  • If you are passing another biker or a person on the street, always pass on their left side and let them know you are on their left so that they are aware you are approaching. 

How to Signal

Hand signals help motorists and pedestrians understand what you are doing so that they do not hit you. You want to use your left arm for all signals: 

  • Left turn – Check behind you first and then hold your arm out straight and to the left and pull forward slowly. 
  • Stop – Again, check behind you first. Then, bend your elbow while pointing your arm down making an upside down shape that looks like an “L” and stop. 
  • Right turn – Check behind you, make an “L” shape with your bent elbow, and ride straight ahead of you slowly. 

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kids-1567990_1920-300x225Experts have concluded that drowning deaths among children this year have doubled when compared to previous years. Why is that? The experts believe the pandemic is responsible for this uptick. 

According to doctors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, they have seen 18 drowning deaths between March and May. This is a huge jump as in the past years within that same time frame, there have been only 7 deaths. 

The doctors attribute being “stuck” at home as the problem. Most infant and child drowning deaths happen at home in a child’s own pool, bathtub, hot tub, or other body of water in their home. So, with more children being at home, the opportunities for a drowning mishap go up. 

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office has released an update on a woman in her mid-60s who was attacked by a pack of dogs last week.

Officials say over the weekend the woman was airlifted from Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point to a Manatee County hospital where she will receive specialized treatment for her wounds. 

The woman is listed in critical condition.

On Friday, officials said four large dogs got out of a home at 11079 Mayflower Road and attacked a woman walking her dog. According to the report, the dogs initially went after the woman’s small dog but turned on the woman after she picked up her dog to protect it.

Officials said the victim’s dog was not injured in the attack and is being cared for by a family member.

The four dogs, plus another large dog at the home, were removed by Animal Enforcement Officers. There were six dogs total that resided at the home. The sixth was a Pomeranian.

The 5th dog, a terrier mix, was confirmed by witnesses to not have been involved in the attack and was released back to the owner. However, officials say it is unknown if the owner retrieved the dog yet. 

The dogs involved in the attack were “owner surrendered” to Hernando County Animal Services, with euthanasia forms completed.

The three owners of the dogs involved received Civil Citations for the following: 

  • Animal Bite
  • Unrestrained Animal
  • Unvaccinated Animal
  • Unlicensed Animal

According to the sheriff’s office, had other people not intervened in the attack, the woman would not have survived.

Several neighborhood residents rushed over to try to stop the dog attack, which was still in progress when first responders arrived. Fire rescue personnel helped the residents get the dogs off the woman.

Two of those good Samaritans were also injured and transported to a hospital. A few others incurred minor injuries and refused medical treatment.

One of the residents whose fiance got bitten while trying to stop the attack said it looked like they were eating her alive.

The investigation remains ongoing.

It is a simple fact of life that dogs bite. In fact, dogs bite nearly 5 million people a year in the U.S. About 800,000 Americans each year seek medical attention for wounds from dog bites, and 386,000 require emergency room treatment. About 16 people die every year after being attacked by a dog. Any dog of any breed can bite someone. A dog bite can be anything from a nip to a traumatic attack that results in serious injuries and even death. When a serious injury occurs from a dog bite or dog attack, the victim has every reason to hold the dog’s owner accountable by seeking financial compensation for all medical expenses, pain and suffering and other harm caused by the bite.

According to dog bite statistics from the CDC, approximately 885,000 dog bite victims require medical attention for their injuries.

The most common victims of dog bite attacks are:

  • Children ages 5-9
  • Elderly people
  • Post letter carriers

According to the CDC, dogs most often bite a person’s arm, hand, leg, foot, head or neck. Common injuries in dog attacks include:

  • Cuts, bruises and scratches
  • Puncture wounds
  • Tearing 
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Amputations
  • Head and skull injuries

Anyone who has been seriously injured in a dog bite attack deserves financial compensation. Many victims are reluctant to pursue legal action because they fear the money will come out of a friend or neighbor’s pocket. However, the compensation recovered in a dog bite claim almost always comes from the dog owner’s insurance, through their homeowners’ insurance or business liability insurance. 

Our Hernando County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are experienced in handling dog bite cases. We can investigate your dog bite case to determine whether the dog’s owner is liable and calculate the financial compensation you may be entitled to receive for your suffering. We work with a team of medical experts and investigators who are dedicated to uncovering favorable evidence in your case. We will explain every step of the legal process and help you make informed decisions about your case. Our top priority is making sure you recover and receive the full and fair compensation you deserve.

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The recalls of generic Zantac are continuing to roll in with the start of 2020 thanks to the suspected carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). 

Two more companies have announced recalls of 18 lots of ranitidine heartburn meds in 150 mg and 300 mg doses. 

Indianapolis-based Denton Pharma, which does business as Northwind Pharmaceuticals, voluntarily recalled 10 lots of ranitidine manufactured by Glenmark because they were found to contain unacceptable levels of the impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Piscataway, New Jersey-based Apco Pharma recalled eight lots that it had manufactured. 

This came after Mylan’s voluntary recall of three lots of nizatidine capsules because the API in them also contained unacceptable levels of NDMA. It was the first time nizatidine, a drug used for short-term treatment for duodenal ulcers, had been identified as an NDMA-carrying culprit. 

The nizatidine recall follows months of others along with pharmacy actions to remove popular heartburn medicine Zantac and its generics from the reach of consumers after positive NDMA testing triggered concerns.

The FDA last fall reported trace amounts of the contaminant had been found in both branded and generic versions of the drug, triggering a series of recalls that lasted weeks. That was all preceded by the initial discovery in 2018 of NDMA and other potential carcinogens in certain “sartan”-based blood pressure meds. 

It was determined that NDMA can be created during manufacturing and also is found in solvents often used in the process. But a third-party lab also reported it determined NDMA can materialize during storage or shipment in drugs that initially did not test for unacceptable levels. 

The agency has assured consumers that the risk is small, saying the levels of NDMA found in these drugs is equivalent to that often found in “grilled or smoked meats.” The agency has also warned it’s much riskier for consumers to quit taking these drugs than the possibility of getting cancer from them.

Chemically known as ranitidine hydrochloride, Zantac is a very popular antacid medication that has been on the market since the early 1980s. Zantac was available over the counter (Zantac OTC) and by prescription. Patients commonly use Zantac for acid reflux, heartburn, and a host of other stomach, throat, and gastrointestinal issues. Some people even use Zantac for allergies to supplement their treatment regimen. Zantac dosage varies between 75 and 150 mg tablets, though some patients take a once daily Zantac 300 mg dosage.

On September 13, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is investigating Zantac cancer risks after testing of Zantac 150 tablets found the commonly-used heartburn medication contains a carcinogenic chemical up to 3,000 times greater than the FDA’s daily intake limit. The carcinogenic chemical present in Zantac is known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (“NDMA”).

Since the 1980s, numerous studies have demonstrated a link between the NDMA in Zantac and cancer. Evidence has been stacking up that shows that Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim, the big pharma companies that make Zantac (ranitidine hydrochloride), concealed the Zantac cancer link from millions of people who took the drug for heartburn, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sour stomach, Barrett’s esophagus, acid reflux and other issues. The lies behind the drug came as the companies made unprecedented profits from Zantac, the first drug to generate $1 billion in sales.

The aftermath has left countless people battling cancer. Many people are turning to the courts and filing a Zantac lawsuit to hold Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim accountable for their blatant disregard for keeping users of Zantac informed of the risks associated with the medication. 

Our Zantac Lawsuit Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are representing people throughout Hernando County and the surrounding areas in personal injury and wrongful death Zantac lawsuits. We want to hold the drug makers accountable for placing profits above public health. 

The link between Zantac and cancer dates back decades. The following are some of the cancers associated with Zantac:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Colon and rectal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer (non-smokers)
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Uterine cancer

Other Zantac side effects include headaches, abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting.

Below are some of the most common Zantac brands and generic ranitidine brand names:

  • Zantac 150 Tablets
  • Zantac 150 Maximum Strength
  • Zantac 150 Maximum Strength Cool Mint
  • Zantac 75 Tablets
  • Wal-Zan 150
  • Wal-Zan 75
  • Heartburn Relief (ranitidine)
  • Acid Reducer (ranitidine)
  • Acid Control (ranitidine)

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One person was killed Wednesday morning in a crash involving a school bus

According to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, the crash happened between a school bus and a pick-up truck on Bourassa Boulevard and Commercial Way in the Weeki Wachee area.

The pick-up truck driver, a 69-year-old Crystal River man, was killed when his vehicle struck the back of the school bus.

Ten children on the bus suffered minor injuries. There were 48 students on the bus, which was serving the Winding Waters (K-8) School.

Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins said the bus had slowed to let pedestrians cross and was preparing to turn when the pick-up struck the back of the bus.

Hernando County School District representatives responded to the scene, along with deputies, troopers, and Fire/Rescue responders.

The roadway was closed for several hours.

As a parent, the most important thing is the safety of your children. When they are old enough to attend school, you may put them on a bus to school five days a week, entrusting that the bus driver and school district will keep them free from danger and harm. When a child’s school bus is involved in a crash with another vehicle, this can be a horrifying experience for a parent or caregiver. Receiving a phone call from the school or hospital telling you your child has suffered harm while on the school bus can cause severe anxiety and worry as well as rouse up some angry emotions because your child was hurt because of someone else’s negligence.

It is actually quite common for school-bus related accidents to be caused by other drivers simply failing to follow the rules of the road. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), there were 3,177 total school bus crashes in 2018 throughout the state of Florida. In 2017, there were 3,222 in Florida. In 2018, there were 24 school bus crashes in Hernando County alone. In 2017, there were 14. 

In the state of Florida, drivers are required to stop when a school bus stops to let students on or off. Many children are harmed every year when drivers fail to stop or try to pass a school bus while children are crossing the street to get on the bus or after exiting the bus.

Penalties for passing a stopped school bus in Florida include:

  • Moving violation subject to citation
  • Requirement to complete a basic Driver Improvement Course upon conviction
  • Four points on your driver’s license
  • Minimum fine of $165, if you pass on the side where children enter and exit, you will receive a minimum fine of $265.

 On July 1, 2017, the Cameron Mayhew Act took effect in Florida, which increases the minimum penalty for drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus, resulting in the injury or death of another person. Cameron Mayhew was killed by a motorist that failed to stop as he was walking to his stopped school bus in 2016.

Penalties for passing a stopped school bus that causes or results in serious bodily injury or the death of another person include:

  • Serving 120 community service hours in a trauma center or hospital
  • Participating in a victim’s impact panel session, or if such a panel does not exist, attending a FLHSMV approved driver improvement course
  • Six points on your driver’s license
  • Suspension of license for a minimum of one year
  • $1,500 fine

When a school bus crash involves a car or truck hitting the bus, injuries can be pretty severe since many school buses are not required to have seat belts to protect students in the event of an accident. School bus accidents also can involve injuries to numerous students, making lawsuits seeking financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, etc. somewhat complicated.

If your child was injured in a school bus accident where another motor vehicle hit a school bus, you may be able to recover monetary compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You may be entitled to recover for all medical expenses related to the accident, both present and future, as well as receive compensation for your child’s pain and suffering resulting from the injury. Other types of damages for which you might be compensated include loss of normal life, emotional distress, and disability or disfigurement.

Our Hernando County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you understand what to do after a school bus crash has left your child injured. We will begin by investigating the accident, which can include obtaining photographs of the crash site, accident reports, witness statements, copies of insurance policies and other documents and evidence to support your claim. We will also review your medical bills. From there we can make a demand for compensation to the insurance company and negotiate a fair settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, then we will file a lawsuit and try the case when necessary. 

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Did you know that the state of Florida has more than 815,000 licensed teen drivers? It is very important for teens to practice safe driving, which is why the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has teamed up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to educate teens on the importance of buckling up, observing all speed limits, never driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and to always focus on driving.

This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week and today we highlight Teen Arrive Alive Day. FLHSMV’s We Arrive Alive campaign initiative provides teens with the tools to take ownership of their driving habits, from buckling up to focusing on driving.

Our Hernando County Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton remind you that the Wireless Communications While Driving law went into effect in July 2019, and states that motorists may be stopped and cited for texting and driving. We want to spread the word to everyone, especially Florida’s newest teen drivers, on why it is so important to never text and drive.

Driving is a Privilege, and you can lose it. Teens, you may not know this, but your parents have the authority to rescind a minor’s driver’s license. The parent or guardian who signs the Parental Consent Form can rescind responsibility for their minor’s driving and cancel the minor’s license.

If a teen gets six or more points on their license within 12 months, their license is restricted to “Business Purposes Only” for one year or until age 18, whichever happens first. If any additional points are racked up during this restricted period, the restriction is extended 90 days for each additional point.

If you are under 21, there is zero tolerance for drinking and driving. Drivers under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol level of .02 percent or more will have their license immediately suspended for six months. A second offense will result in a one year suspension. Refusal to submit to testing on a first offense results in an immediate suspension of 12 months, and 18 months on a second offense. On a similar note, if a teen under the age of 18 is convicted of possession of tobacco, they will lose their license for a minimum of 30 days.

A teen driver that receives a moving violation conviction with a Learner’s License, will have one more year until they can get an Operator’s License. If a teen receives a moving traffic conviction with a Learner’s License, the one-year period required to hold the Learner’s License will be extended for one year from the date of the conviction, or until 18 years old, whichever happens first.

Teens must be in good standing with their school attendance, or they will be ineligible to obtain or maintain their license. If not in compliance with school attendance, a teen’s driving privileges can be suspended until proof of attendance in school for 30 consecutive days has been provided.

Our Hernando County Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want everyone to be safe on the roadways. We encourage teen drivers to follow these safety tips:

Before you drive:

  • Buckle up! Everyone in your vehicle should wear a seat belt, no matter how short or far the distance.
  • Keep extra passengers to a minimum. Extra passengers can be distracting for an inexperienced teen driver.
  • If you are going to a destination you are not familiar with, get complete directions and set your GPS before you go. Know your route before you put the car in drive.
  • Keep your vehicle in proper working condition. Check your tires and make sure they are inflated to the right pressure according to your owner’s manual. Bald tires, a poor transmission, bad brakes, a dirty windshield or a bad engine could lead to accidents.
  • Keep your car filled with gas. Do not drive around on empty, as you can end up stranded someplace unsafe.
  • Do not drive or ride with anyone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

While you drive:

  • Keep your eyes on the road, and focus only on driving. Do not talk on your phone, text, fiddle with radio dials, put on make-up, comb your hair or eat while driving.
  • Follow the posted speed limit signs, stops signs, and traffic lights.
  • Use turn signals to indicate your intention to turn or to change lanes so that the drivers behind you have enough time to react before you take action.
  • Keep your music volume low. You don’t want to miss hearing a siren or a horn that could warn you of possible trouble.
  • Keep a watchful eye out for motorcycles, bikes, and pedestrians.
  • Stay alert when driving and be aware of the weather, traffic congestion and road conditions.

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