Driving is an incredibly risky endeavor in Florida and that's no exaggeration. In this year alone, our state has seen 194,836 crashes, according to the most recent data available from Florida's Integrated Report Exchange System. Of those crashes, 81,641 resulted in injuries and 1,467 were fatal collisions. And as of July 17, the total number of crashes in July alone was nearly 7,600.
The solution to mitigating the number of crashes each year might be an easy one if all of these crashes were the result of a single factor. Unfortunately, there are numerous causes of serious and fatal car accidents in our state. Here are just five common causes:
1. Drunk driving
Because alcohol can cause drowsiness, blurred vision, a delay in judgment and a delay in reaction time, drunk driving is a leading cause of serious and fatal crashes in Florida.
2. Texting and driving/distracted driving
When your eyes leave the road, you can miss things like the changing flow of traffic or fail to see a pedestrian stepping into a crosswalk. A distracted driver is a negligent driver who can be held liable for injuries and/or fatalities.
3. Running a red light or stop sign
According to the 2015 statistics, more than 73,000 citations were given to drivers for running stop signs in Florida. An additional 53,856 citations were given to drivers for running red lights. Running red lights and stop signs is incredibly dangerous and is a leading cause of t-bone accidents.
4. Not being aware of surroundings
When drivers don't pay attention to their surroundings - such as using their mirrors or checking blind spots before changing lanes - they can miss important things like the presence of another vehicle. Many side swipes, rear-end collisions, front-end collisions, and hit-and-run accidents are the direct result of a driver not paying attention to their surroundings.
5. Driving too fast for conditions
Whether it's raining or there's construction, drivers need to be mindful of how fast they drive in relation the condition of the road.
Driving too quickly in the rain can lead to hydroplaning and the possibility of a collision or rollover crash. Speeding in a construction zone can result in equally serious or fatal collisions with barriers, other vehicles and even construction workers.
What happens after a crash depends on your actions
Even though we only listed five causes of motor vehicle accidents, the ones we did list represent five of the most common forms of negligence. As you may know, negligence can be grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death claim and eventually compensation. Whether this happens, however, depends on the steps you choose to take after a crash.