Why Do Car Accidents Happen in Tampa?

March 11, 2024 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Why Do Car Accidents Happen in Tampa?

Tampa is known for its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and busy downtown. But, like any metropolitan area, it also sees its fair share of car accidents. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 27,461 car accidents in Tampa last year, of which 12,088 involved injuries and 233 were fatal.

Consulting with an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer can provide guidance and support to navigate the legal complexities associated with such incidents.

Why do these accidents happen in Tampa? 

One of the main causes of accidents is driver error. Some common driver errors that increase the risk of accidents include reckless driving, distracted driving, and driving under the influence. Here’s a closer look at each:

Reckless Driving

In Tampa and across the country, reckless driving is a significant contributing factor to car accidents. The disregard for traffic laws and safety measures by some drivers not only jeopardizes the safety of the drivers themselves but also endangers innocent pedestrians and passengers in other vehicles. 

When a reckless driver causes an accident, they may be held liable for the medical bills and other damages they cause to others. Reckless driving can take many forms, such as:


One common form of reckless driving is speeding. Many drivers exceed the posted speed limits, both in residential areas and on highways, in an attempt to reach their destinations faster. However, this reckless behavior significantly increases the likelihood of accidents, as drivers have less time to react to unexpected situations.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, and excessive honking also contribute to car accidents. These actions create an atmosphere of tension on the road and can lead to impulsive and dangerous maneuvers.

Running Red Lights

Running red lights is another form of reckless driving that puts everyone on the road in danger. Drivers who ignore traffic signals and fail to yield when necessary increase the risk of severe collisions, especially at intersections.

Distracted Driving

An agitated adult male driver stands in front of his car after a collision in the city road.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Tampa. It occurs when a driver's attention is diverted away from the task of driving, resulting in reduced focus, slower reaction times, and an increased risk of collisions.

One common form of distracted driving is texting while driving, which involves composing, sending, or reading text messages on a mobile device. Texting requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention, making it an extremely dangerous distraction on the road. In fact, research shows that texting while driving increases the risk of a car accident by up to 23 times.

Talking on the phone, whether handheld or hands-free, is another form of distracted driving that can lead to accidents. Engaging in conversations on the phone diverts the driver's cognitive attention, impairing their ability to fully concentrate on the road ahead.

Other distractions in the car—such as eating, putting on makeup, adjusting the radio or GPS, or interacting with passengers—can also contribute to accidents. These distractions may seem minor, but even a momentary lapse of attention can have serious consequences on the road.

While not reckless, distracted driving is still dangerous. If someone is driving while distracted and causes an accident, they may be held liable for the damages they cause others. 

Drunk Driving

One of the most dangerous and preventable causes of car accidents in Tampa is drunk driving. When individuals choose to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, they put not only their own lives at risk but also the lives of innocent road users. The effects of alcohol impair judgment, reduce reaction time, and diminish coordination and concentration, making it extremely dangerous to operate a vehicle.

According to FLHSMV, drunk driving accounted for nearly 10% of all traffic fatalities in Hillsborough last year. In fact, Hillsborough County, where Tampa is located, consistently ranks among the highest counties in Florida for alcohol-related crashes and fatalities.

Driving under the influence is not only dangerous, it’s illegal. Anyone caught driving drunk faces criminal charges and possible fines, jail time, and suspension of their driver’s license. Someone injured by a drunk driver may be able to file a car accident lawsuit in civil court and seek compensation for their medical bills, lost earnings, and other damages. 

Other Factors that Contribute to Car Accidents in Tampa

Sometimes, driver error isn’t the cause of an accident. Occasionally, other factors, such as inexperienced drivers, weather conditions, or mechanical issues, may play a role. Here’s a closer look at each:

Inexperienced Drivers

Inexperienced female driver sits close to the steering wheel, her mouth open in a frightened expression.

While not deliberately reckless, the presence of inexperienced drivers on the roads can increase the risk of car accidents happening. This includes teenagers who are new to driving as well as individuals who have recently obtained their driver's licenses.

Driving requires a combination of knowledge, skills, and experience to make the right decisions on the road. Inexperienced drivers often lack the necessary experience and may struggle to react quickly or appropriately to unexpected situations.

Inexperience can lead to a variety of dangerous behaviors that increase the risk of accidents. For example, inexperienced drivers may underestimate the speed of oncoming traffic, fail to maintain a safe following distance, or struggle with controlling their vehicles in certain conditions.

Even if unintentional, when an inexperienced driver causes an accident, they may be held liable for the resulting injuries. 

Poor Road Conditions 

If roads aren’t well maintained, they may cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles.

Factors such as potholes, uneven pavements, and insufficient signage can create hazardous situations for drivers, increasing the risk of accidents.

  • Potholes are a common problem on Tampa's roads. These deep, unfilled holes can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, especially if they are driving at high speeds. Potholes can also damage tires and suspension systems, further compromising the safety of vehicles on the road.
  • Uneven pavements can be another challenge for drivers in Tampa. Uneven surfaces can cause vehicles to sway or veer unexpectedly, leading to accidents. This is particularly dangerous for motorcycles and bicycles, as they are more susceptible to losing control on uneven surfaces.
  • Insufficient signage is also a concern on Tampa's roads. Clear and visible signage is crucial for directing drivers and providing important information about upcoming road conditions. Without proper signage, drivers may make sudden maneuvers or miss important traffic regulations, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

When poor road conditions contribute to an accident, a government agency may be held liable for the resulting injuries and other damages.  

Mechanical Failures

A car mechanic is servicing and repairing brakes at an automotive service station.

Issues such as brake failure, tire blowouts, or malfunctioning headlights can lead to vehicular accidents that result in injuries or even fatalities. It is crucial for drivers to understand the importance of regular vehicle maintenance and address any mechanical issues promptly.

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 2 percent of car accidents in the United States are attributed to mechanical failures.

Car accidents caused by mechanical failures often occur unexpectedly and can be particularly dangerous. Here are some common mechanical issues that can contribute to accidents:

Mechanical IssueDescription
Brake FailureMalfunctioning brakes can lead to longer stopping distances or the inability to stop completely, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions or collisions at intersections.
Tire BlowoutsBlowouts occur when a tire suddenly bursts, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. This can lead to rollovers or collisions with other vehicles on the road.
Malfunctioning HeadlightsDim or non-functioning headlights reduce visibility, making it harder for the driver to see obstacles, pedestrians, or other vehicles, increasing the risk of accidents.
Steering System FailureA malfunctioning or unresponsive steering system can make it difficult for drivers to maneuver their vehicles, potentially causing accidents, especially in emergency situations.

Any malfunction or failure in a car's mechanical systems can undermine the driver's ability to operate the vehicle safely, potentially resulting in accidents with varying degrees of severity. 

You can hold a manufacturer liable for a car accident in a product liability claim if you can prove that a defect in the vehicle or one of its components caused the accident.

Here are several ways you can hold a manufacturer liable:

  • Defective Design: If a flaw in the design of the vehicle or one of its components caused the accident, you can hold the manufacturer liable. This could include design flaws that make the vehicle inherently unsafe or prone to certain types of accidents.
  • Manufacturing Defects: Even if the design of the vehicle is sound, errors or defects that occur during the manufacturing process can lead to accidents. If a specific vehicle or batch of vehicles was improperly manufactured, leading to an accident, you can hold the manufacturer liable.
  • Failure to Warn: Manufacturers have a duty to provide adequate warnings about any known dangers associated with the use of their products. If a manufacturer fails to provide sufficient warnings about potential risks or hazards associated with the vehicle or its components, you can hold the manufacturer liable for resulting accidents.
  • Breach of Warranty: Manufacturers typically provide warranties that guarantee the safety and performance of their vehicles. If a vehicle fails to meet the terms of its warranty and this failure leads to an accident, you can hold the manufacturer liable for breach of warranty.
  • Negligence: If you can demonstrate that the manufacturer acted negligently in designing, manufacturing, or testing the vehicle, and this negligence contributed to the accident, you can hold them liable for damages.
  • Strict Liability: In some cases, you can hold the manufacturer strictly liable for any injuries or damages caused by defects in their products, regardless of whether they were negligent or at fault.

To hold another driver, government agency, or manufacturer liable for your car accident injuries, consult an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer to help guide you through the legal process and improve your chances of a successful outcome.

Contact a Trusted Car Accident Lawyer in Tampa

Matthew Dolman, Attorney for Personal injury in Clearwater, FL
Matthew Dolman, Tampa Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents in Tampa can be attributed to various factors, including reckless driving, distracted driving, drunk driving, inexperienced drivers, poor road conditions, and mechanical failures. Understanding these causes is crucial in order to take preventive measures and ensure road safety.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident in Tampa and need legal assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. Our experienced Tampa personal injury lawyers are dedicated to advocating for your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (813) 303-0916 or through our online form for a free consultation, and let us help you navigate through this challenging time.

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Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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