Car Accidents Caused by Negligent Drivers

By Osborne & Francis
December 17, 2023

In 2020, there were 35,766 fatal car accidents in the United States. Another 1.5 million crashes resulted in non-fatal injuries. In total, in the same year, there were 5.2 million collisions. That’s a lot of car accidents. Many of them were likely caused by negligent drivers. 

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and are ready to take action and receive compensation for your damages, contact us online or at (561) 293-2600

What is Negligence?

The term “negligent driver” refers to a driver who fails to take proper care in their actions while operating a motor vehicle. Negligence is a broad term that covers a lot of ground in personal injury law. While we often use the term “error” to talk about negligence, it’s not always an error or a simple mistake. 

Negligent drivers never set out to cause a car accident. Often, they don’t connect their behavior with something that could cause an accident until it happens. 

For example, when drivers text while behind the wheel, it’s an active choice. The same is true for drinking and driving and even fatigued driving. However, sometimes negligence could be something truly accidental, like failing to signal. 

In both examples, however, the driver has failed to take proper care in their actions. They failed to make a safe decision for themselves and others on the road, or they failed to pay close attention at all times and use their blinkers. Both are negligent behaviors

Examples of Driver Negligence 

In 2020, the leading causes of car accidents were drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving. Drunk driving caused 11,654 fatal accidents, while speeding caused 11,259, and distracted driving caused 2,974.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has been an epidemic since the invention of the cellphone. Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous driving behaviors, as it engages the hands, eyes, and brain. However, distracted driving encompasses more than just texting. 

Distracted driving refers to anything that takes your attention away from the road. That could mean using your hands, eyes, or mind to do anything unrelated to operating a vehicle. Other common distractions include:

  • Eating
  • Reading (books, emails, texts) 
  • Talking with someone in the passenger seat or back seat
  • Putting on makeup or looking in the fold-down mirror
  • Changing songs or messing with the radio
  • Looking for something on the ground or in another seat
  • Daydreaming or absentmindedness 

Driving Under the Influence

Unfortunately, drunk driving is a prevalent problem in the United States, with 35% of fatal accidents occurring because of impaired driving. When driving, it’s important to be able to adapt to changes in traffic and make quick decisions as needed. If you’ve been drinking, decision-making and critical thinking fall by the wayside. 

Drunk drivers are also easily distracted by lights and movement. They have a hard time keeping their eyes on the road. It’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or greater. As one’s blood alcohol content level increases, their ability to drive safely drastically decreases. 

Driving While Exhausted

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 25 adult drivers have fallen asleep while driving. It may seem harmless to drive while fatigued, but unfortunately, it’s almost as dangerous as drunk driving. 

Being exhausted is similar to being drunk in that it reduces your reaction time and ability to think critically. Even if you aren’t fully asleep, exhausted driving can result in an accident. And, of course, the risk of falling fully asleep while behind the wheel shouldn’t be ignored. 

Running a Red Light or Stop Sign

Whether someone runs a red light because they’re running late or they overshoot and think they can make it while it’s still yellow—it’s dangerous and can cause an accident. Even though people who run red lights don’t do it to cause accidents and damage to others, it’s still negligent behavior. 

Failing to take proper care while driving can and does result in an accident. Unfortunately, many people think that they’re immune to this sort of thing, and they feel okay with the odds. 

Failing to Signal 

An accident can occur if someone fails to use their turn signals properly. Not using a turn signal is illegal in Florida. Sideswipe and T-bone accidents can occur when someone fails to signal. These types of accidents can result in severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries. 

Not Looking Before Turning or Merging

If a driver isn’t paying attention and doesn’t check the road or adjacent lanes before turning or merging, they could very easily cause an accident. Drivers should always check multiple times before pulling out into traffic or merging into another lane. 

How to Prove a Driver Was Negligent 

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a negligent driver, you’re probably wondering what you should do next. At the beginning of the lawsuit process, your attorney will begin their investigation. This investigation will determine who the at-fault party is and how they acted with negligence. 

They will use different types of evidence to prove negligence, such as:

  • Photos and videos
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Accident reconstruction 

Images and videos are the most important, as they can often showcase exactly what happened. Security camera footage is amongst the most important. It can show clearly, without a doubt, how an accident occurred. For example, a video might show if someone had a phone in their hand or if they didn’t look before pulling into a busy intersection. 

Contact Osborne & Francis to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation 

If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident, Osborne & Francis are here to help you. To speak with our team of experienced car accident attorneys, please contact us online or at (561) 293-2600. We’re eager to answer any questions you may have. 

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