Florida is one of the most dangerous states for road users. Whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist, bicyclist, or driver, getting involved in a crash is not unlikely as thousands of accidents happen every year. According to the Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Florida reported 400,863 crashes that resulted in over 3,225 fatalities and more than 250,370 injuries in 2019 alone. While most of these accidents are caused by driver’s errors such as distracted or speeding drivers, some occur due to bad weather or poor road conditions. Understanding the common causes of car accidents in Florida can help you prevent crash whenever possible and seek compensation for damages caused by someone else’s negligence.
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is among the leading causes of car crashes in Florida. It usually happens when a driver takes his hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off the act of driving to attend to other things while on the road. Some of the most notorious acts that count as distracted driving include eating, texting, using a phone, driving while fatigued, adjusting in-car technologies, and daydreaming. Because of the large number of vehicles on the road, it only takes a fraction of a second for a distracted driver to cause a car crash. Thankfully, any injured pedestrian or motorist who can prove that the at-fault driver engaged in distracted driving often has better chances of seeking compensation for damages caused.
Although Florida has set speed limits to help travelers arrive safely to their destinations, it’s not uncommon to see drivers, particularly young people, driving too fast and exceeding Florida’s speed limits. Over speeding is one of the major causes of car crashes in Florida. Not only does speeding make it hard for drivers to negotiate corners and turns safely, but it lowers the chances of a car coming to a complete stop before hitting an obstruction ahead. Even worse, injuries sustained in a crash often tend to be more severe if the car was speeding.
3. Disregarding Traffic Laws
Failure to obey traffic laws is another major cause of car crashes. For example, running a traffic light, failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, or ignoring the speed limits may lead to an accident. Also, making right and left-hand turns in a location where you are not permitted to do so may cause a side-impact crash, which can be particularly severe or fatal for occupants of passenger cars.
4. Reckless Driving
Much like failing to obey traffic laws, reckless driving involves a total disregard of other road users’ safety and traffic laws. It may typically include acts such as showing off on the road, ignoring road signs, tailgating other motorists, improperly changing lanes, and other dangerous acts while driving.
5. Drunk Driving
Drunk driving is another major cause of car crashes in Florida that accounts for nearly 30% of all traffic fatalities. Typically, driving under the influence of alcohol impairs your judgment and lowers your ability to react to changing conditions. As a result, the likelihood of causing a car accident while drunk is often high. Drunk driving is more prevalent among adolescents, teenagers, and young people and is more common on weekends and holidays like July 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
6. Poor Road Conditions
All car crashes in Florida are not always caused by driver’s fault or negligent actions. Some accidents can happen due to poor road conditions. In such instances, those injured may hold the relevant road crew or government agency responsible for failure to:
- Plow or salt icy or wet roads;
- Install guardrails;
- Replace missing signage;
- Properly design roads; and
- Repair potholes.
Because holding these entities accountable for their negligence is not always easy, it is vital to hire a competent personal injury attorney to help you prove fault.
7. Bad Weather
Another common cause of car accidents in Florida that is not related to motorist’s negligence is terrible weather. Changes in weather may cause a vehicle to react in a way that a driver wouldn’t have expected. For instance, extremely high wind gusts can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle and crash. Wet roads, heavy rain, and hurricanes are other weather-related causes of accidents on Florida roads.
Animals and falling asleep while driving are also known to cause car accidents in Florida.
Need Help? Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at Zimmet & Zimmet
If you or someone you loved has sustained serious injuries in a car accident, the personal injury lawyers at Zimmet & Zimmet are ready to help. Regardless of what caused the accident, we will evaluate your case to establish if someone else is to blame for your injuries and damages and bring a claim against the at-fault party. Give us a call today at 386-255-6400 to learn how we can help you get fair compensation.