Causes of Car Accidents in Florida
Florida car accidents are generally caused by the same problems that are seen in other areas, such as distracted drivers, poor weather or unsafe road conditions. However, drivers in Florida also face a unique challenge when compared to other locations in the US – our beautiful state is a year-round tourist destination.
We’re not only contending with other Floridian drivers but also dealing with a large number of visiting drivers from across the US and Canada. Many of these drivers are not familiar with our roadways, and this unfamiliarity leads to many car accidents. When these drivers are distracted looking at a map or driving directions on their phone, their ability to pay attention to the road is severely diminished.
Breaking Down The Major Causes of Car Accidents
The NHTSA reports that the vast majority of car crashes, amounting to some 94% of all crashes in the US, are caused by driver error. Driver error includes not paying attention to surroundings, being distracted, making poor decisions, driving impaired and driving aggressively. Overall, the main culprit for vehicle accidents remains drivers operating at an unsafe speed or operating recklessly.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common causes of car accidents:
The speed limits in Florida were established in order to help ensure the safety of everyone on the road. When drivers exceed those limits, it’s more difficult for them to react to unexpected situations in a timely manner or operate their cars safely during inclement weather. And at higher speeds, accidents are more likely to involve serious injuries or even fatalities.
Technology has become a major part of our lives. It is easier than ever to stay connected to our friends and family, but sometimes that connectivity is detrimental. How many times have you seen a driver around you looking at their phones while they were moving down the roadway? Distracted driving is dangerous driving, and it poses a particular threat to tourist-heavy Florida roadways.
Failure to Obey Traffic Signals and Rules
Our traffic system relies on everyone following the rules in order to facilitate safe travel. When drivers don’t adhere to these rules, either unintentionally or purposefully, they are putting others at risk with their unexpected behavior. This can lead to serious consequences. For example, someone running a stop sign or red light could subject another driver to a side-impact crash, which can be much more severe and potentially fatal when compared to a rear-end accident.
There were more than 400,000 total vehicle crashes during the latest reporting year in Florida, causing more than 254,000 injuries and 3,116 fatalities. When we look at the total vehicle accidents in Florida, impaired driving may seem like a minor overall cause. For the latest reporting year, alcohol-impaired or drug-impaired drivers caused 5,793 crashes. But these incidents led to 3,624 injuries and 712 fatalities. Impaired drivers were responsible for over 22% of the total vehicle crash deaths in the latest reporting year.
Despite massive and long-running educational programs about the dangers of drunk driving, accidents related to drunk driving continue to be a serious issue, especially in Florida. Our rates of drunk driving are higher than the national average. Many of us understand that drinking seriously impairs reaction time and spatial awareness, so we opt to take cabs, use ridesharing options, or lean on a designated driver when appropriate. But there’s still a lot of work to be done in this regard.
Driving While High
Similar to DUIs, driving under the influence of drugs is also a serious crime in Florida. This applies to both illegal drugs, such as marijuana or methamphetamine, as well as legal prescription drugs that can have adverse effects on your driving capacity. If you have to travel on Florida roadways while taking a prescription that affects your driving ability, it’s advisable to seek alternative means of transportation like ridesharing or a designated driver.
Florida is well-known for its temperamental weather conditions, especially during hurricane season. A clear, sunny day can quickly turn into a torrential downpour with limited visibility, slick surfaces, and potential obstructions on roads due to high winds. It’s important to exercise caution during inclement weather by slowing down and increasing your following distance.
Get a Free Case Review and See How Farah & Farah Can Help With Your Car Accident Claim
If you’re involved in a car accident in Florida, understanding what caused the crash is a vital aspect of assessing liability. Many variables can affect the severity of an auto crash in Florida, including:
- Was either vehicle speeding?
- Were drugs and/or alcohol a contributing factor?
- Were either of the drivers texting, talking, or otherwise distracted by a device?
An experienced car accident attorney can help assess the many complex factors surrounding your accident and put together a solid case. Contact our team at Farah & Farah today – we’re ready to help you fight for justice.