Most Common Causes of Auto Accidents in South Florida
In no particular order, ten of the most common causes of auto accidents in South Florida include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Improper turns
- Reckless driving
- Poor road conditions
- Bad weather
- Failing to follow traffic signals
- Aggressive driving
Each of these actions constitutes negligence. If you suffered harm due to negligence, you can seek financial recovery from the liable party with the help of a car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
Common Causes of Auto Accidents in South Florida
Here is some more information on the leading causes of traffic accidents:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes distracted driving as a common cause of car accidents. Distracted driving occurs when the driver performs another activity that takes their attention off of driving. It can significantly increase the risk of a motor vehicle crash. Examples of distracted driving include:
- Sending a text message
- Talking on a cell phone
- Eating while driving
- Changing the radio
- Using a navigation system
Any of these distractions can cause an accident which can put you, your passengers, and others on the road in danger.
Driving While Intoxicated
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a common cause of many South Florida accidents. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles notes that in 2021, driver intoxication caused 34 fatalities in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties.
It is illegal and dangerous to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, per Florida Statutes § 316.193. In many cases, drivers believe their blood alcohol levels are at a safe level to drive when, in reality, they’re not.
Driving while under the influence can cause slow reaction times, a lack of coordination, impaired vision, drowsiness, and reduced concentration. Any of these impairments can cause catastrophic accidents.
These accidents typically occur at intersections. Improper turn accidents usually occur when someone makes a left-turn or a U-turn. These collisions can result in T-bone accidents, causing head, back, and thoracic injuries.
Improper turn accidents are also more likely if a turn signal is not utilized.
Speed limits increase road safety and reduce the risk of traffic collisions. When a driver speeds, the likelihood of a car accident increases. Dangers of speeding include:
- An increased stopping distance
- Increased possibility of rollover accidents
- A greater possibility of losing control
Speeding also increases the likelihood of serious (and even fatal) collisions.
According to Florida Statutes § 316.192, reckless driving happens when a motorist disregards the safety of persons or property. Examples of reckless driving include:
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Fleeing law enforcement
- Drag racing
- Performing stunts
This is not an exhaustive list of aggressive driving behaviors.
Poor Road Conditions
Poorly maintained roads can be hazardous to drivers and cause car accidents. Road conditions that commonly cause car accidents include potholes, shoulder drop-offs, and construction work zones.
Bad weather can easily create hazardous conditions for drivers. Rain can cause roads to become slick, preventing vehicles from coming to a complete stop. Heavy rain can also lower visibility, leading to driver error.
Failing To Obey Traffic Laws
Drivers must obey traffic laws to decrease the likelihood of collisions. Traffic laws minimize the inherent danger of driving. Common traffic laws that drivers break include:
- Not using turn signals
- Running traffic lights or stop signs
- Not turning lights on when it is dark or raining heavily
Violating these laws can increase the likelihood of a collision.
Driving while fatigued can cause car accidents at any time of the day or night. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, here are three things to know about driving while fatigued:
- Fatigue-related collisions commonly occur between midnight and 6:00 AM. These accidents also commonly occur in the early afternoon.
- Accidents caused by fatigue usually involve motorists without passengers.
- Fatigue-related accidents generally occur on rural roads and highways.
Driving while fatigued can cause the driver to have slower reaction times, among other complications.
Aggressive driving occurs when someone commits several moving traffic offenses and endangers others. Examples of aggressive driving include:
- Passing in zones where passing is prohibited
- Driving on the shoulder or sidewalk
- Ignoring traffic signals, such as stop signs or stop lights
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Ignoring other drivers on the roadways
- Engaging in road rage
This is not an exhaustive list of aggressive driving practices.
Contact Our Firm Today To Learn More About Car Accidents in South Florida
If you or a loved one was in a car accident, contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today at (954) 633-8270. A Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney on our team can review your case at no cost during a free initial consultation. We can also discuss the ten most common causes of collisions in South Florida.