“Accidents” are No Accident
The statistics are daunting: Over 600,000 Florida drivers were involved in nearly 400,000 car accidents in 2015, alone. That is over 1,000 accidents per day. The number of injuries surpassed 150,000, with nearly 3,000 fatalities.
When you or a loved one is involved in a serious auto accident, you want help from an attorney who considers you more than just a statistic. You want concerned, yet aggressive legal assistance.
Factors Impacting Highway Safety
The fact of the matter is, the majority of automobile accidents have precipitating factors that, if avoided, would preclude the accident.
- Drunk driving: Although 1.9% of drivers report driving after drinking too much throughout the nation, that percentage jumps to 2.1% in Florida. Corresponding fatality rates in Florida are higher than national averages as well, with nearly 2,400 alcohol-related deaths in 2014. Indeed, 16,400 accidents involving alcohol occur in Florida annually. Florida law forbids operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. Impaired driving may occur at levels far below this, however.
- Drug-impaired driving: Using any controlled substance and getting behind the wheel is illegal in Florida if normal facilities (such as walking, speaking, etc.) have become impaired. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 12 percent of nighttime weekend drivers tested for DUI had a positive result for illicit drugs. Accidents and fatalities are too often the tragic result of drug-impaired driving.
- Distracted driving: 45,000 accidents involved distracted drivers in 2015, with nearly one fatality every single day. One of the most decisive distractors on the highway is cell phone use, primarily texting. Florida law bans texting while driving.
- Aggressive Driving: Surprisingly, aggressive driving is accountable for over 60 percent of U.S. driving fatalities, and is actually responsible for four times the number of deaths related to DUI. In Florida, characteristics of aggressive driving include speeding by at least 15 miles over posted limits, following too closely, passing improperly, changing lanes unsafely, failing to yield right-of way, and ignoring traffic signals and signs.
- Reckless driving: An individual who operates a motor vehicle with “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” is considered reckless under Florida law. While aggressive or distracted driving may fall under this umbrella, it encompasses much more. Fleeing law enforcement and drag racing are examples of reckless driving, which may result in jail-time and hefty fines, not to mention accidents, injuries and death.
- Road debris and obstacles: Drivers who fail to secure their load may inadvertently cause dangers on the roadway. Failure to secure a load is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida.
Accidents are often the result of the carelessness, negligence or aggression of other drivers on Florida roadways. At Scoma Law Firm, we know how to fight for justice when accident victims suffer significant injuries, disfigurements, or death. Contact our experienced team in Clermont for your free, confidential consultation today.