Florida is a fantastic place to live but it also has the dubious distinction of being one of the deadliest states for pedestrians, cyclists, and motor vehicle drivers. In 2018, there were nearly 420,000 motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) which resulted in over 3,100 fatalities. In addition, the MVAs resulted in over 250,000 injuries, many of which were serious and life-threatening. The damage to property following MVAs was in the billions.
Despite stricter rules and aggressive enforcement of traffic rules, MVAs continue to occur at alarming levels. Each year the population of Florida is increasing and at the same time so is the number of vehicles; a trend many see as worrisome because already the roads and highways in the state are congested. Some of the key reasons for car accidents in Florida include the following:
1. Poorly maintained vehicles:
Inspection of cars involved in accidents has revealed that vehicle malfunction or lack of roadworthiness is common in many cases. Often, cars have been found to have bald tires, steering problems, brakes not working, and transmission problems. The onus is on the driver to ensure that the car is well maintained but with the high price of car repairs, some avoid the regular maintenance.
2. Weather and Environment:
A fair number of MVAs in Florida are caused by poor weather conditions and the environment. Slick roads, gravel, and excessive glare are among the common environmental conditions attributed to MVAs. In other cases, torrential rain, wind gusts, and even hurricanes have been known to cause accidents on Florida roads.
A very common cause of MVAs in Florida is distracted driving. The distraction may be due to eating, drinking, talking, setting the GPS, adjusting the radio, or talking to other passengers. However, today, the most common distraction is the use of the smartphone. Every single day, law enforcement officers encounter dozens of drivers who continue to use the smartphone to text. When texting, the driver is simply not able to pay attention to the road and other traffic, and the resulting accidents are often very serious.
Despite massive education about the harms of alcohol, people still continue to drink and drive. Between 2003-2012, over 8,400 people were killed by drunk drivers in Florida alone. The number of deaths caused by drunk drivers is some of the highest in the nation. When the blood alcohol level is 0,08% or greater, the driver is considered impaired. Despite severe penalties and license suspensions, drunk driving still contributes to a significant number of MVAs in Florida.
The speed limits in Florida have been calculated to assist drivers reach their destination safely. Unfortunately, a significant number of drivers speed even on city roads and around school zones. As the speed increases, the risk of an accident also rises. When speeding, the times to react are shortened and maneuvering the car can also be difficult especially around corners and curves. Speeding has been cited as a common cause of accidents among younger drivers.
6. Failing to obey traffic signs:
Some drivers love to disregard traffic signs, as if the law does not apply to them. Failing to stop at a red light is one of the most common reasons for an MVA. A great many drivers who ignore traffic signs also speed and thus, the risk of an accident is magnified. The resulting injuries are often devastating. Unfortunately, pedestrians and cyclists are often struck by cars that ignore stop signs.
Besides alcohol, there are many other illicit and legal drugs that can cause impairment in judgment. Illicit agents like marijuana, LSD, heroin, cocaine, and the use of prescription medications like sleeping pills, seizure medications, etc., can all impair the driving ability in much the same way as alcohol. Under the influence of these drugs, the driver usually is not able to use good judgment on the road.
Life these days is stressful and many people work long hours; often this results in people being too tired to drive. People get behind the wheel of a vehicle when they are exhausted and can barely keep their eyes open. A driver who is tired and feeling sleepy is simply not able to make quick decisions on the road. The lack of concentration and slow reaction times often lead to serious accidents.
Accidents with animals are also becoming a common cause of car accidents. As the traffic on the road increases and people travel more in rural areas, encounters with animals also become more frequent. Car accidents are known to be caused by raccoons, deer, bears, and many other animals. In most cases, the animal suddenly appears on the road, causing the driver to swerve to avoid hitting the animal. Deer accidents have been known to break the windscreen and cause severe injuries from the flying glass debris.
10. Aggressive driving:
Finally, a common cause of car accidents is aggressive driving. Some drivers are simply not patient and others have no courtesy on the road. With our lives already stressed, getting behind the wheel and driving aggressively often leads to serious car accidents. People who drive aggressively are also known to speed and flaunt traffic rules- a dangerous combination that can have devastating consequences.
No matter how carefully you drive, you have no control over the weather, animals, or other drivers. Car accidents are often serious and can result in a variety of injuries, many of which take months or years to recover from. The medical bills following a serious car accident can be astronomical plus one may have to live with lifelong pain.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Fort Lauderdale due to no fault of yours, contact Clayton Trial Lawyers ASAP. Our experienced attorneys can get you the compensation you fully deserve. Because there is a statute of limitations on filing claims, it is important to speak to an attorney immediately. Schedule your consultation today.