Common Causes of Florida Car Accidents

By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

Every day, millions of Floridians depend on their cars to transport them to work, school, the doctor’s office, and the grocery store, and then return them safely home. Unfortunately, Florida has one of the highest rates of car accidents in the country. Most of these accidents can be attributed to driver error. In the blink of an eye, a negligent driver’s actions can turn your morning commute or after-school pick-up into a nightmare.

The car accident lawyers of Osborne & Francis have fought for the rights of injured Floridians for over a decade. Our team will fiercely protect your right to seek damages after a reckless or impaired driver’s actions leave you with medical bills, lost wages, and pain. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our team by calling us at (561) 293-2600. You can also contact our Orlando or Boca Raton offices online.

Florida Car Accident Statistics

In 2020, there were 341,399 car accidents across the state of Florida. This is the equivalent of over 935 car accidents a day. In total, over 3,300 people were killed and 15,614 incapacitating injuries were sustained, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of more minor injuries. Generally speaking, this number is significantly higher; traffic decreased during the beginning of the year due to the pandemic, but 2021 and 2022 data will likely show an increase in traffic accidents. 

To provide more context to the 3,300 car accident fatalities, vulnerable road users account for 44% of these deaths. This has earned Florida the moniker of the worst state for pedestrians. Some of these fatalities and injuries are almost certainly avoidable. For example, about half of all fatally injured car occupants were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Other preventative behaviors, such as driving sober, would also reduce the number of serious Florida car accidents.

Speeding is a Form of Distracted Driving

Most Floridians have engaged in speeding at one time or another. We justify it by saying we don’t want to be late to work or just want to make that yellow light. The excuses are endless, and many of us make them on a daily basis. However, the prevalence of speeding should not suggest that it is harmless. Driving over the posted speed limit gives you less time to respond to critical changes and unforeseen obstacles. This may be a child stepping into the crosswalk, a piece of road debris being blown into your path, a bicyclist turning out in front of you, or a truck slamming on its brakes. According to a study by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a factor in more than 29% of fatal car accidents.

Running a Red Light Endangers Florida Road Users

Intersections are a common location for accidents. Additionally, vulnerable road users are concentrated in a smaller area, putting pedestrians and bicyclists at a higher risk of injury. There are often multiple signs and signals demanding drivers’ attention. However, when a Florida driver decides to forgo the rules of the road and blow through a red light, they are jeopardizing the safety of everyone in their path. Other drivers aren’t anticipating any obstacles in their path, the likelihood of a potential auto accident is high. In these scenarios, T-bone car accidents, where the front of one vehicle slams into the side of another, are most common.

Texting While Driving is a Leading Cause of Florida Car Accidents

Texting while driving engages the deadly trifecta of distracted driving. Responding to a text involves cognitive, visual, and manual distractions. First, you have to pick up the phone, which takes your hand off the wheel. If you needed to make a sudden turn or swerve out of the way, you would have a much more difficult time doing so. Next, you have to read the text, which pulls your eyes away from the road. Then, you have to consider the content of the text and formulate a reply. This diverts your mental attention away from the traffic in front of you. Texting while driving can be a fatal combination.

Drunk Driving Kills Hundreds of Florida Drivers Each Year

Drunk drivers can face stiff penalties in the form of fines, driving restrictions, and even incarceration. Evidently, this is an insufficient deterrent for some Florida drivers. According to FLHSMV data, alcohol was a factor in over 4,500 Florida car accidents in 2020. The legal limit is a Blood Alcohol level of 0.08 BAC, but a dangerous level of impairment can start long before that. Once alcohol enters the bloodstream, it begins compromising critical functions like judgment, vision, and physical coordination. A drunk driver may be unable to accurately judge how fast they are going, when they should stop, or even where the lane lines are. This makes them a danger to other road users, especially pedestrians and bicyclists who do not have the protection of a car.

High Driving Under the Influence of Drugs is a Safety Threat

Driving under the influence of drugs can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drugged drivers may struggle to physically operate the car or make sound choices about distance and speed. Depending on the type of drug, the driver may display aggressive behavior or even road rage. The NIH reports that in 2018, about 12.6 million people drove under the influence of drugs. That is roughly the equivalent of the population of Illinois. Drugged driving often leads to other dangerous driving behaviors, such as lane swerving, speeding, and running stop signs. 

Bad Weather Can Be a Factor in Florida Car Accidents

Unlike most of the other car accident causes discussed here, poor weather is out of a driver’s control. In Florida especially, torrential downpours and flooding are a concern. A driver may hydroplane on a slick road, stall their vehicle in deep water, or rear-end the car in front of them in low visibility conditions. Bad weather may be a mitigating factor when discussing liability in a car accident lawsuit. However, in most cases, bad weather is simply an exacerbating condition to negligent behavior. In other words, many car accidents that occur in adverse weather conditions are still caused by the reckless actions of a negligent driver, and then made worse by the weather. 

Fatigued Driving Linked to Serious Florida Car Accidents 

Driving on little to no sleep can lead to car accidents when drivers struggle to stay awake at the wheel. In fact, researchers have discovered that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. A drowsy driver is prone to swerving, slow reaction times, and compromised judgment. All of these behaviors can cause a driver to instigate a serious collision. Fatigued driving is especially an issue for truck drivers. This is because truck drivers tend to work long, solitary hours, and may be incentivized to forgo sleep to make deadlines or receive bonuses. Florida drivers should make sure that they are alert and well-rested before getting on the road so they can react appropriately to traffic conditions, even if other drivers are behaving negligently.

Inexperienced Drivers Are Involved in Car Accidents at Higher Rates

While it seems intuitive, it’s worth noting that younger drivers are typically involved in car accidents at a higher rate than older populations. This can largely be chalked up to their lack of experience navigating situations on the road and making snap judgment calls. Additionally, teens may not yet have the maturity to recognize when they are too tired or drunk to drive home. They are also prone to driving recklessly to show off for their friends and becoming distracted more easily.

Why Should I Choose Osborne & Francis to Represent Me?

If you are in search of diligent, skilled car accident attorneys, look no further. The car accident lawyers of Osborne & Francis are not intimidated by for-profit insurance companies that don’t have your best interests in mind. We have a long history of standing up to insurance carriers that want to diminish our client’s injuries, refuse to pay for necessary treatment, or acknowledge their non-economic losses.

At Osborne & Francis, we find that unacceptable. That’s why our team of car accident attorneys will relentlessly negotiate for a settlement that is reflective of the real value of your losses. We have been quite successful at this based on our results-driven approach and tenacious attitude.

Our track record has garnered us a reputation as some of the toughest car accident lawyers in the personal injury business. Insurance companies don’t want to face us because they know that we won’t push our clients to settle just to close a case. Instead, we’ll harness our expertise to fight tooth and nail for the best settlement possible.

Contact Osborne & Francis if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident

When a Florida car accident leaves a family in crisis, they turn to the seasoned auto accident lawyers of Osborne & Francis to recover maximum compensation for their needs. Our team of personal injury lawyers has proven time and again that we are capable of handling difficult cases with deftness.

You don’t have to worry about finding another auto accident lawyer to represent you at trial if your claim becomes a car accident lawsuit. Unlike some other personal injury law firms, we have experience seeing our cases all the way through from negotiations to court.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Florida car accident that was someone else’s fault, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our team by calling us at (561) 293-2600. You can also contact our Orlando or Boca Raton offices online.

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