Car accidents and auto fatalities are unfortunately a common occurrence in the United States and Florida. The Sunshine State saw almost 2,500 traffic fatalities in 2014, which is nearly 100 more deaths than the previous year.
Even one accident or deaths on our roads is too many, though. Crashes are caused by a variety of reasons, and if we want to reduce that number and increase the safety for everyone on Florida roads, we need to be more aware of what causes crashes and take steps towards preventing them.
Let’s look at the most common causes of car accidents and what you can do to avoid these dangerous situations.
Distracted driving. Distracted driving has become an increasingly common cause of car accidents, especially among younger drivers. With so many distractions available to drivers, it’s easy to see how driving can become a secondary task when you’re in the car. Multitasking when you’re behind the wheel, though, is an incredibly dangerous idea.
A distraction is anything that can take your attention away from driving. So texting, talking, using your phone, eating, drinking, putting on makeup, changing the radio, gawking at an accident, and even daydreaming all have the potential to cause accidents. When you’re driving, keep distractions to a minimum and keep your phone out of reach unless it’s an emergency.
Drunk driving. Despite all of the warnings and strict drunk driving laws in Florida, people still drink alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car all too often. Every two minutes, someone is injured in a drunk driving crash. Even more alarming is that, on average, someone drives drunk 80 times before they are arrested for the first time. That means when you’re on the road at any given moment, you could be sharing that road with a drunk driver.
Bottom line? Don’t drink and drive. Always have a designated driver or take a taxi or ride-sharing service when you’ve had even a little to drink. If you’re on the road and suspect another driver of being intoxicated, get as much information about the car as you can and then pull over to safety and alert local law enforcement.
Careless or reckless driving. There are a bunch of driving behaviors that can be classified as careless or reckless driving. Tailgating, speeding, failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, not using signals, and swerving are all examples of careless or reckless driving. If you’re following proper safety protocols as a driver, you won’t have to worry about driving carelessly or recklessly. However, if you see someone driving on the road in this manner or in a similar manner, make sure you keep your distance to avoid a crash. Then, get to a safe location and contact law enforcement.
Inclement weather. Bad weather, which in Florida typically translates to rain and flooded roads, is a common cause of car crashes. Rain not only makes roads slippery, which makes it difficult to brake, stay in your own lane, and avoid a crash, it also reduces visibility, which makes it difficult to see what’s happening around you. If you’re on the road when bad weather hits, pay attention, drive slowly, and don’t slam on your brakes. And if you want to be extra-cautious, you can always pull over and wait the storm out.
Car accidents are serious for everyone involved. That’s why we always need to be on full alert whenever we’re on the road. But not matter how safe you are, it’s not always possible to keep out of the way of others who are driving negligently. If you or a loved one is hurt in a car crash due to someone else’s actions, Contact an experienced Florida auto accident attorney to learn your rights and see if you’re eligible for damages.