Law enforcement officers and personal injury lawyers will tell you several contributing factors can lead to car collisions, which include:
- Vehicles driving at speeds above the speed limit
- Distracted driving
- Failure to observe and obey traffic laws
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Reckless driving
- Weather and driving conditions at the time of the accident
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this for accident victims is that many contributing factors are rooted in driver negligence. Unnecessary car collisions caused by driver negligence often leave accident victims with damage that can upend their lives for years.
The reason we have posted speed limits is that scientific studies have shown motorists driving above those limits pose a significant danger to the public. As a vehicle’s speed increases, the distance drivers need to safely change direction and slow down also increases.
At the same time, driving at high speed gives drivers less time to change direction or slow down. On top of that, the faster a vehicle is going at the time of the collision, the more severe the impact will be on the people involved in the collision. For both reasons, speeding is incredibly dangerous.
In recent years, distracted driving has become one of the most common contributing factors to car collisions. A distracted driver is much more likely to engage in dangerous behavior behind the wheel, which includes:
- Making sudden, unsafe lane changes
- Running through stop signs, red lights, or intersections without the right-of-way
- Following too closely to the car in front of them
Although cellphones are frequently a cause of distracted driving, there is no shortage of potential distractions for drivers. This includes engaging the vehicle’s radio or touchscreen or even attending to children or pets instead of paying attention to the road.
Failure to Obey Traffic Laws
Traffic laws aim to keep drivers and the people they share the road with safe. That extends beyond just obeying red lights and stop signs. School zones and construction zones often have special restrictions that exist during certain periods of the day.
Rural roads are also where passing is unsafe or only allowed in certain areas. Drivers who disobey traffic laws put everyone at risk every time they do it, which is why the failure to observe posted signs, the vehicle code, and other traffic laws contribute to so many collisions. This is one of the reasons that the cost of tickets for failure to obey traffic laws is so high.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
The effects of alcohol and/or drugs significantly reduce driver awareness and reaction time. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), over 5,000 car collisions involving alcohol-impaired drivers occurred in 2022. These crashes resulted in nearly 3,000 injuries and more than 250 fatalities. Statistics like these demonstrate why driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do.
Reckless driving is another factor that contributes to car accidents and collisions. Examples of reckless driving include:
- Burnouts or trying to burn rubber at takeoff
- Doing donuts
- Driving aggressively (e.g., cutting off other drivers, tailgating)
Weather and Driving Conditions at the Time of the Collision
Weather and general driving conditions can affect drivers in several ways and contribute to accidents. Rain not only compromises visibility, but it can also pool on roads and mix with surface waste, such as oil, to create slick patches of road that can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Other low visibility conditions include fog or even coming over hills and being blinded by a setting sun.
Other hazards like potholes and road construction projects can also contribute to car accidents. The risks posed by adverse weather and driving conditions are exacerbated when drivers are under the influence or driving at excessive speeds. That’s why it’s important for drivers to be attentive and operate their vehicles at a safe speed relative to the existing weather and road conditions, even if it means driving below the speed limit.
Have You Been Injured in a Car Collision? Call GED Lawyers Today for Help
It is unfortunate that so many factors contributing to car collisions are preventable. When drivers’ reckless or bad behavior contributes to vehicle accidents that could have—or should have been prevented—that bad behavior is a form of negligence.
Although Florida has a no-fault insurance law, you still have the right to demand damages from a driver whose negligent actions (e.g., speeding, talking on a cellphone while driving) contribute to or cause an accident where the damages exceed your no-fault policy limits. If you think driver negligence contributed to a car collision you were in, consider contacting an auto accident lawyer from our firm for a free case consultation.