According to the Department of Transportation, there were 391,784 automobile crashes in Florida in 2017. These crashes led to 2,939 fatalities and 248,338 injuries. The South Florida areas of the Miami metropolitan area, the Florida Keys, and the Everglades are particularly hard hit. To avoid being part of these gloomy statistics, it is important you understand the common causes of car accidents in South Florida.
Although it is not illegal to text and drive in Florida and law enforcement officers can only pull drivers over if they are committing another offence while texting and driving, this remains one of the biggest causes of car crashes on Florida roads.
Other causes of distracted driving are talking on the phone, eating, talking to passengers, fiddling with the radio or navigation system, and anything else that draws your attention from the road for even a few seconds.
Speeding increases the risk of a car crash because it makes it harder for you to safely negotiate turns and corners and to stop or react to unexpected events and changes on the road.
The Florida Department of Transportation has established speed limits on state highways with maximums of 70 mph on Interstates, 65 mph on 4-lane divided highways outside urban areas and 60 mph on other state highways. There are also laws on speed limits for other types of roads.
The risk of speeding causing car crashes increases when drivers fail to consider other factors like weather conditions, ambient light, road geometrics, the presence of other vehicles, familiarity with the road, vehicle condition, urgency and length of the trip, emotional condition, skills, and personality of the driver, lane width, use and development of adjacent land, and the type of vehicle, among other factors. In other words, there greater risk of a car crash when you are driving at 49 in a 50mph zone when there is low visibility due to fog than when you are driving at 75mph on a 70mph Interstate on a good-weather, low-traffic day.
Failure to obey traffic control lights and road signs
Failure to observe stop, give way, and other road signs and disregarding traffic control lights increases the risk of a crash. Other road users expect that you will obey all traffic rules and, as an example, will not slow down if the light is green.
Failure to pay attention to the surroundings
What is happening outside the road is just as important as what is happening on the road and you should always be vigilant. Failure to pay attention to the surroundings is the major cause of front-, rear- and side-collisions.in Southern Florida. As an example, a cyclist falling off his bike could cause the driver in front of you to use emergency brakes and for you to hit his rear.
Driving while intoxicated
This is a no brainer. It involves driving while drunk or while the influence of other drugs impairs your judgment and diminishes your ability to pay attention to more than one thing on the road (such as keeping your lane and monitoring your speed at the same time).
Other common causes of road accidents in South Florida are:
• Bad weather (heavy rain and even hurricanes are common in Florida)
• Animals (especially in rural back roads)
• Fatigue/falling asleep while driving
If you have been involved in a car accident through no fault of your own, Ken M. Frankel of the Law offices of Ken M. Frankel Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice will ensure you get the highest compensation possible. Call us today at 954 – 784 – 0800 or fill our online form and we will give you a FREE consultation to determine the merits of your case.