Deaths due to motor vehicle accidents are particularly on the rise in Florida. Florida’s burgeoning population, tourist economy, low gas prices and decreasing unemployment rate means more people are getting in their cars and taking to the road.
In the first six months of 2016, nearly 1,600 people were killed in traffic accidents in the sunshine state--a 43 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2014. According to a report by the National Safety Council, the number of deadly traffic crashes is rising across the nation as well. The estimated cost of motor vehicle deaths, injuries, and property damage in 2016 was $432.5 billion, an increase of 12 percent from 2015. These costs include wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, employer costs and property damage.
Many common causes of motor vehicle accidents can be avoided by simply paying attention to the road and keeping your cool. Some of the top causes of car accident fatalities include:
Distracted driving has been one of the leading causes of car accidents for decades. With the advent of technology such as smartphones, it becomes a larger threat every year. Paying attention to the road while you are driving should be a no-brainer, but many avoidable car accident fatalities are caused by drivers texting, eating, reading, applying makeup, and talking on the phone while behind the wheel.
Taking your eyes off the road to simply glance at a text can result in loss of life. If you must talk on the phone, pull over and make the call. Laws concerning "hands-free driving" vary by state, so make sure to reference the state legislature you're in to get better details on this. Focus your attention only on the road when you are driving. It may save a life.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Exceeding the speed limit when you are running late may seem harmless, but it is a major cause of car accident fatalities nationwide. Reckless and aggressive driving can lead to horrible accidents and loss of life as well. Taking your time and remaining calm when you encounter aggressive drivers can help you avoid needless accidents caused by recklessness or carelessness. Look behind you before you change lanes and obey the speed limit.
Paying attention to your surroundings at all times while driving is essential. Running red lights is against the law. Even if it seems like no other cars are coming, you can cause a serious accident by running a red light. You may be in a hurry or thinking about other things, but the chances of hitting a pedestrian also increase when you run a red light. The physical, mental and emotional toll of being involved in a fatal car accident is indescribable.
As stated above, don’t text or talk while driving. Life is more important than getting to work on time or answering a text. Slow down, be conscious of your surroundings, and stop at red lights.
Drunk driving is one of the most deadly causes of accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 2,494 car accident fatalities in Florida in 2014, 807 were alcohol-related. The cost of a DUI in Florida is high, both financially and emotionally, and can lead to hefty fines and loss of your driver’s license. Always use a designated driver. If you do drink, don’t drive--take a taxi or give your keys to a sober friend. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is simply not worth the risk of endangering yourself or others.
If You Have Been Injured or Lost a Loved One in a Car Accident, Contact an Attorney
After any motor vehicle accident, it is vital to contact an attorney. Losing a loved one due to an accident is a painful experience, and having the support of an experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of Florida law can make a difficult time easier for you and your family. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys will protect your rights and help to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Lowman Law Firm in Citrus County, FL at (352) 796-0016 or toll-free at (866) 9-LOWMAN.