The U.S. Postal Service has done something rather unusual – they have released a set of helpful tips to help reduce the number of drivers in Florida who have been crashing their cars into post offices.

This year so far, eight drivers have crashed into post offices in Central Florida alone.

Local ABC affiliate WWSB7 reports that the tips include, “Avoid distracted driving; Proceed slowly and carefully when pulling in, and backing out, of parking spaces; Visibly check to see whether your foot is on the gas pedal or the brake pedal,” and “Visibly check to see if the vehicle is in Park, Reverse or Drive.”

The USPS says the two most common causes of such accidents are when drivers step on the gas instead of the brake pedal and when the driver accelerates thinking the vehicle is in reverse.

In June 2011, 89-year-old Phyllis Slaunwhite crashed her vehicle into a Florida post office, causing more than $250,000 in damages.

Slaunwhite later told police she had blacked out and had no memory of the accident.

“It was just a big smash and everyone started shuffling toward the front of the building,” local resident Frank Kubacki told the Tampa Bay Times.

“There you go. Another Florida accident.”

Florida is home to more than 15,000,000 drivers, nearly a third, or about 4 million, of whom are over the age of 60.

You can read a full description of the eight post office car accidents in Central Florida HERE

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A man in England cheated death by seconds when a freak lightning bolt sent a tree branch hurtling through the rear of his car.

Bernard Williams had just removed his gym bag from the boot during a rainstorm when the bolt hit an adjacent willow tree catapulting a 10-foot long piece of wood across the road.

The branch smashed into the car’s back window – directly where Bernard had been standing – and ended up in the alleyway next to the house after taking a tail light with it.

CCTV footage taken on the property’s security camera shows Bernard arriving back home in torrential rain and then grabbing his gym bag before running towards the front door of the house.

But just four seconds after leaving the car there is a massive flash as lighting hits the tree and blows it apart. Jagged pieces of wood flew across the road hitting the car and neighbouring houses.

Bernard, 55, initially thought the explosion on Wednesday afternoon was a sonic boom but his wife Alison, who was in her car waiting to pull on the drive, saw how close he came to being killed.

“If he had been stood at the car four seconds later he would almost certainly have been killed or maimed,” she said.

Bernard, a comprehensive school assistant head teacher was driving back home in a rainstorm to Pudsey, West Yorks, ahead of his wife.

Alison, 43, said: “Just seconds after Bernard had parked up and grabbed his gym bag, the tree across the suddenly lit up.

“There was a terrific explosion and pieces of the tree flew across the road. Bernard was very lucky because a large lump of wood smashed into the car and narrowly missed him.”

Pieces of the 40-feet high willow tree smashed a neighbours window and tore off tiles in another nearby house.

Engineers have removed the damaged tree remains strewn across the road in Hough Top, Pudsey and Bernard is hoping insurers don’t write off his nine-year-old Vauxhall Zafira when they examine it.

Source with additional photos

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An Irish publican has said he is no longer willing to take Irish backpackers at his Queensland hostel due to a spate of drunken and disorderly behaviour in recent years.

Dublin-born Thomas Dunne claims several incidents have caused chaos for longstanding members of the Irish community in the locality. He said he has had to continuously deal with property damage caused specifically by the Irish contingent of guests at his hostel, Main Street Backpackers.

Mr Dunne, his wife Audrey, and their three children, have been running their bar O’Duinns and adjoining backpackers hostel since 2006.

The backpacker accommodation is primarily used from May to November. During this time backpackers’ work locally on farms for up to 20 weeks to gain a second working holiday visa. He said he has had no issues at his bar, O’Duinn’s, but has had to force several Irish guests to leave the adjoining hostel due to their behaviour.

Over the last three years the Irish backpacker has taken over the mantle [in behaviour] so we take less each year,” he said.

“The Irish are the only ones to have caused deliberate damage. Out of the 150-plus backpackers we had last year, only nine were Irish and only four stayed for the season. This year we have had eight Irish backpackers. It’s only the start of the season and already six have been thrown out, one checked out and one girl remains, who may I add, is no trouble. Two of the Irish lads who were kicked out at 2am, we had them arrested and charged for damage done to our accommodation,” he said.

The two two Irishmen will face Proserpine magistrates court on Monday, on property damage charges.

Mr Dunne claims he and other Irish dwellers are now facing a backlash as a result of this unruly behaviour from Irish backpackers.

“It’s the last straw we will not be taking any more. What can I say, we can’t tar everyone with the same brush, but yes we have had enough of the Irish backpackers who stay at our accommodation. It’s sad really because the other nationalities say the same about them at the other hostels. It reflects badly on us as we have to live up here,” he concluded.

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Despite doctor’s advice, a young South-Korean girl chose to wear her make-up mask full-time, for the last two years.

20-year-old Bae Dal-mi first discovered make-up when she was just 14. You could say it was love at first brush, and ever since then, the young Koream developed her make-up talents to the point where she became so dependent on it that she didn’t want to remove it anymore.

As she kept applying ever-thicker layers of make-up on her face, the mirror became the most important item in Bae’s life and she declares “I wanted to look perfect at all time, I even slept with the make-up on.”

Shae wasn’t satisfied with her appearance, and said she also wanted to have plastic surgery in 10 different places.

For the last two years, the young girl never used make-up removers, so her mother, exasperated by Bae’s behaviour, contacted a TV station and told them Bae’s incredible story.

During a variety show, dermatologists managed to convince Bae Dal-mi to finally remove the layers of make-up, and after a specialized check-up they found her skin was two times older than her actual age.

All because of an obsession with beauty…

Source

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A BMW driver is threatening to sue a council if plans to reduce the speed limits on residential roads go ahead.

Lancashire County Council wants to impose a blanket speed restriction on all residential roads by 2013. The £9m plan aims to reduce the number of road deaths and injuries in the county.

But Diane Greenwood, 47, of Wolsey Close, Cleveleys, says the changes will damage her car – and the environment. She said: “My car is a two litre diesel BMW and is not designed to drive at 20mph in fourth gear which means I will have to drive in third gear.

“This will not only damage my car but will also affect the environment and cost me fortunes in extra fuel costs. If this happens I will have no alternative but to lodge a claim against Lancashire County Council for the damage to my vehicle and any extra costs incurred due to the new restrictions.”

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A flood of gooey black muck dropped from a tanker truck has disabled about 150 cars and damaged an unknown number of other vehicles along a nearly 40-mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

A leaking valve on a tanker spread driveway sealant over the eastbound lanes of a long stretch of the Turnpike, spokesman Bill Capone said.

Turnpike operations officials on said that 150 or more cars were disabled when the sticky goo covered their tires and wheels.

Some state police and turnpike maintenance vehicles had to be towed away after getting stuck in the tar-like substance, according to the turnpike operations center.

Traffic was moving normally by Wednesday morning, but the sticky mess had already hindered the travel plans of some motorists traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Laura Frick told WTAE-TV she was traveling from Cleveland to New Jersey for the holiday.

“Now we have to turn around and go back home,” Frick said. “It’s horrible.”

Retired firefighter Bob King told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review the experience was the most harrowing of his life.

“It caught us off guard,” said King, who now lives near Chicago. “It didn’t seem like anyone knew what it was or what to do. It had to be an incredible amount of tar. It’s still piled on my tires.”

Cpl. Mike Corna, with the state police barracks which patrols the pike near Pittsburgh, said Wednesday the driver will be cited for not properly securing his load, though the specific tickets to be issued were still being determined. Police have yet to trace the origin of the load. The tank was filled somewhere in Ohio.

Maintenance crews got out quickly, dumping sand on the pooled goop and using snow plows to push it on to the shoulder, turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said. The mess was mostly confined to the right lane and the roadway didn’t have to be shut down while workers tried to clean it up because the substance hardens in about 15 minutes, DeFebo said.

“It’s been cleaned up since about 11 o’clock last night,” DeFebo said Wednesday.

Turnpike officials urged motorists whose cars were damaged to stop calling its operations center and instead call Traveler’s Insurance at 800-238-6225 and follow the prompts to file “business claims.”

The insurance company is handling claims on behalf of Marino Transport Services of Stevensville, Md., which operates the truck.

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