Car accidents happen every day throughout the United States for many reasons. Whenever negligence, intentional misconduct, or unpredictable environmental factors cause accidents, the drivers and passengers involved may sustain a host of damages and have many legal questions concerning how they might recover.
Every state in the country collects accident data, and it’s vital for all drivers to know the biggest risks they face on the road so they can hopefully prevent accidents with other drivers. While it’s impossible to anticipate how other drivers might behave in certain situations, you can know the most common types of car accidents, so you have a better chance of avoiding them.
Throughout the country, distracted driving is the leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents each year. Whenever a driver is not paying full attention to what they are doing, they put themselves and others at grave risk. Driving without paying attention is essentially driving blind, and even a few seconds of distraction behind the wheel can create a serious hazard for the inattentive driver and everyone else around them.
It is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Intoxication impairs judgment and spatial awareness, slows reaction time, and makes drivers more inclined to engage in risky behaviors behind the wheel. Penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) generally include driver’s license suspension, fines, court fees, jail time, and mandatory substance abuse treatment. These penalties automatically increase when a driver causes bodily injury or death to another person or when they commit multiple DUI violations.
One of the commonly cited causes of fatal accidents across the United States is speeding. Whenever drivers exceed the posted speed limits, they place themselves at severe risk. Speeding will reduce the time and space a driver has to slow down, swerve, or stop in time to avoid a crash. Speeding also increases the severity of any resulting damages. Accidents that happen at high speeds are likely to result in catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Every state has unique road hazards when it comes to the inclement weather the state experiences. Drivers do not need to worry about snow or ice on the roads in the state, but they do need to be concerned about heavy rain from tropical storms. Rain-slicked roads can cause hydroplaning, easily resulting in serious accidents. Inclement weather also reduces visibility, and driving in low-light conditions is inherently dangerous even when drivers engage their vehicle lights. Therefore, drivers should always use extra caution whenever environmental hazards make driving more dangerous.
Unfortunately, some drivers engage in reckless misconduct behind the wheel, from tailgating and lane splitting to swerving aggressively to intimidate other drivers. Excessive speeding also qualifies as reckless driving under Florida law. When this behavior causes an accident, the at-fault driver is likely to face criminal charges along with liability for any civil damages they cause to others.
No driver is ever able to predict with 100% accuracy how any other driver might behave on the road, but they can take steps to reduce their risk of causing an accident. Defensive driving means abiding by posted speed limits and traffic signs, disengaging from potentially dangerous drivers, and refraining from speeding and other risky maneuvers behind the wheel. Drivers should also never operate vehicles while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol and should always refrain from cell phone use and other distractions behind the wheel.
Of all the commonly cited causes of car accidents, distracted driving is still the leading cause of vehicle crashes throughout the state each year. Whenever a driver isn’t paying attention to the road, they inherently increase the risk of an accident happening. Cell phone use, eating while driving, and conversations with passengers are just a few possible distractions that may cause accidents.
According to the most recent available accident data from across the country, the top five causes of all vehicle accidents each year include distracted driving, intoxicated driving, aggressive driving, speeding, and poor weather. Therefore, it is crucial for every driver to operate their vehicle responsibly and attentively to reduce their risk of causing accidents.
Based on the accident data available for 2021, there are roughly 1,100 car accidents reported per day throughout the state. This number includes minor accidents resulting in cosmetic vehicle damage as well as major accidents resulting in severe injuries. On average, the state records about 450 accidents per day that result in injuries.
Nothing requires that you hire legal counsel after a car accident, but hiring legal counsel you can trust will make recovering from your accident easier and more likely to generate the results you hope to see. Your car accident attorney can streamline the insurance claim process, and if you have grounds to take further legal action against the driver who hit you, they will help with this civil claim as well.
Florida is a no-fault state, so if you cause a car accident, you will file a claim against your own insurance policy to recover your damages, and the other driver would file a claim against their policy to recover their damages. You could see your insurance premium increase in response to your accident, and if you caused severe injuries to the other driver, they might have grounds to file a personal injury claim against you.
Spohrer Dodd can provide you with comprehensive legal counsel when you’re navigating the aftermath of a car accident. Whether you anticipate filing a claim against your own insurance policy or another driver is to blame for catastrophic injuries, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free conference with a trustworthy car accident attorney.