Every year, Florida drivers see hundreds of thousands of car accidents, many of them serious or even deadly. In 2018 alone, there were about 403,000 accidents, causing just over 3,100 deaths and injuring about 255,000 people. If you're curious about what leads to Florida car accidents, take a look at the five most common causes and then contact a Florida personal injury attorney.
Common Causes of Accidents in Florida
Below are some of the top reasons car accidents happen in Florida. Identify the cause is always important so that the responsible party can be properly identified.
It's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more in Florida, but that doesn't stop some drivers who still drive after drinking. In fact, in 2017, drunk driving led to 841 of the 3,116 car accident fatalities that year in Florida. This means one of the top causes of car accidents in this state is very preventable, and yet sadly we'll likely continue to see DUI accidents take place in Florida like they have for decades.
Another extremely common reason for car accidents in Florida is distracted driving. In 2018, over 2,800 people in the US were killed due to distracted driving. This is why Florida—as well as many other states—has made texting and driving illegal. In fact, in 2019, the law against texting and driving became even stricter, as it's now a primary offense instead of a secondary offense. This means if a police officer sees you texting, email, or just being distracted by your phone in general while driving, he or she can pull you over and issue a ticket.
Of course, there are other forms of distractions in cars that lead to car accidents in Florida. They include:
- Eating and drinking
- Watching videos
- Using a navigation system
- Changing the radio station
- Reaching for something
Basically, anything that takes your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel—or makes you think about anything other than driving—is a distraction and could cause a car accident.
Every year, Florida drivers cause thousands of car accidents due to speeding. After all, when you drive above the speed limit, it's hard to stop your car before it plows into another car. It's also easier to lose control of your vehicle, so it's more likely to swerve into another lane or off the road completely—injuring or killing you or other drivers and passengers. So one way to reduce car accidents in Florida is to start obeying the posted speed limit.
Not Using a Turn Signal
Some drivers are not in the habit of using their turn signal before turning or switching lanes. This is dangerous, as other drivers don't know what they're doing and can't react accordingly. Additionally, failure to use a turn signal can be deadly for pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. This is why it's always best to use your turn signal if you want to avoid car accidents in Florida.
Not Yielding the Right of Way
Another all too common issue on Florida roads is the failure to yield to cars that have the right of way. If you're turning left on a green light, you need to yield to oncoming traffic going straight—or you might end up getting T-boned. You also need to watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk before you turn. Following the rules of the road can help prevent serious car accidents in Florida.
Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney in Florida
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a Florida car accident caused by these or any other causes, it's time to talk to a lawyer about your options. Contact Riley Legal, P.A., today for an initial consultation.