Boca Raton Causes of Car Accidents. According to a report from the state Department of Highway and Motor Vehicles, in 2017, there were 482,385 motor vehicle crashes throughout Florida, resulting in more than 254,000 injuries. Motor vehicle crashes happen in a number of ways for a number of reasons. Here is a look at some of those reasons.
Distracted Driving and Car Accidents
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts the driver's attention away from the act of driving. There are three types of driver distractions:
- Manual distractions are those that require a driver to remove their hands from the wheel
- Visible distractions compel a driver to look away from the road
- Cognitive distractions result in the driver's focus straying away from the job of driving.
Some of the potential distractions that a driver encounters are particularly dangerous, as they involve more than one type of distraction. For example, texting while driving is reported to be such a dangerous task because it generally involves all three types of driver distractions.
It causes drivers to take their hands from the wheel, look away from the road, and focus their thoughts on something other than driving for several seconds at a time. For example, it reportedly takes five seconds to read or respond to a text while driving.
If a distracted driver is traveling at 55 mph, they would have traveled the length of a football field during that time.
Other Driver Distractions
Here is a look at some other driver distractions that increase the risk of accidents, as noted in a 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report:
- External distractions include objects and events outside of the vehicle, such as crash scenes, billboards, pedestrians, other motorists, or animals on or near the roadway.
- Internal distractions, which occur inside the vehicle. Some examples might include the movements or actions of other people in the car, adjusting vehicle controls such as air conditioning or mirrors, or phone controls such as receiving or sending text messages or emails, eating, smoking, or even applying makeup.
- Visual distractions such as GPS devices or portable entertainment systems.
- Manual distractions such as eating or drinking in the car or retrieving an object from one's purse.
- Cognitive distractions, including personal or work problems, financial problems, daydreaming about upcoming events or listening to the radio.
- Incidental distractions such as manipulating the windshield wiper controls, an animal stepping into the roadway, or an insect flying into the vehicle's window.
Speeding Increases Car Accident Risk
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that a crash is classified as a speeding-related wreck if any driver involved was charged with speeding. More than a quarter of all fatal crashes are the result of speeding. Here is more information about this common cause of accidents:
- Males are more likely than females to be drivers in a speeding-related fatal crash. The younger the male driver, the higher the risk of a speeding-related fatal crash. In 2016, nearly one-third of all male drivers aged 15-20 involved in a fatal crash were speeding at the time of the crash.
- Speeding drivers involved in a crash are more likely to have had a history of driving infractions, including prior speeding tickets, DUI offenses, or a license under suspension or revocation. More than 25% of speeding drivers in fatal crashes in 2016 did not have a valid driver's license at the collision.
- According to 2016 figures, 37% of speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes had a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit. This is compared to 15% of drivers involved in fatal crashes who weren't speeding when the collision occurred.
- More serious speeding-related crashes happen at nighttime and on the weekends, compared to daytime and weekdays.
- Speeding-related fatalities are more prevalent on rural non-interstate roads than on interstate rural, interstate urban, or non-interstate urban.
Drunk or Drugged Driving
The incidence of drinking and driving has decreased in recent years, but it is still a problematic issue, and for a good reason. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 2010 study revealed that 112 million adults reported drinking and driving at some point during the year.
Here are some other facts about the issue:
- Out of every five people who drink and drive, four are men.
- Alcohol-impaired drivers, those whose blood alcohol content is over 0.08 percent, are involved in about one of three crash deaths.
- Drinking impairs several skills needed for driving, including the ability to control the car and focus on driving, the ability to stay in one's own lane, the ability to have an adequate response time to roadway dangers, the ability to process information and reason, reduced coordination, loss of judgment, and the ability to do two things at the same time.
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that, in 2016, 11.8 million people in the United States drove while under the influence of illicit drugs. In Palm Beach County, where Boca Raton is located, drugs and alcohol contributed to 348 accidents, injuring 225 and taking the lives of 12 people, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
- Drinking and driving and drugged driving are more common for young adults, ages 18 to 26, than adult drivers older than 26.
- Drivers found to have THC—the active ingredient in marijuana—in their blood are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those who do not.
- While there are established roadside sobriety tests to check for drunk drivers, a reliable test for drugged driving does not yet exist.
- Many drivers who cause drunk driving accidents have alcohol and drugs or more than one drug in their system. This makes it challenging to know which substance had a more significant effect on the drunk driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle.
Drowsy and Fatigued Driving Increases Car Accident Risk
Many people do not realize precisely how dangerous driving while drowsy can be. It may seem pretty innocuous to drive while a little tired but fatigue can physically affect your driving abilities and significantly increase the chance of being involved in a car accident.
In more extreme cases, there is even a chance that you may even fall asleep at the wheel. Driving while drowsy or fatigued is a significant contributor to the number of car accidents that occur each year. This is mainly because people disregard the idea of driving while tired being dangerous.
Driving while fatigued is comparable to driving under the influence since they share many similar symptoms. People who drive drowsy have reduced motor skills, poor perception, and lowered reflexes, and their judgment is also affected.
Running Stop Signs or Red Lights
Red light violations occur when a vehicle enters an intersection at any time after the light changes to red. Those in the intersection when the light changes, such as drivers turning left, are not considered to be running a red light. If a driver is permitted to turn right on red, they must bring the vehicle to a complete stop before entering the intersection.
In Florida in 2017, nearly 4,000 crashes were caused by drivers running red lights, and almost 3,000 more were caused by drivers running stop signs. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that red light and stop sign running are the most common causes of crashes in urban areas, with 22% of all urban crashes being caused by someone failing to stop on red. Here are some more details about the issue:
- About half of the 800 fatalities caused by drivers running red lights in 2016 were pedestrians, bicyclists, and people in other vehicles who were hit by red-light runners.
- Injuries occur in about 39% of accidents in which the driver ran through a traffic control device without stopping.
- According to a multi-state study, 3.2 drivers run a red light every hour. Heavier traffic generally results in more red-light running.
- Thirty-six percent of the participants in an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey reported that they had run a red light in the past 30 days.
- Red-light runners frequently have a history of other traffic offenses such as drunk driving convictions, speeding convictions, or prior accidents. Like speeding, red-light runners are more likely to be young men and less likely to have a valid driver's license.
- Right turn on red violations are hazardous for pedestrians and bicyclists. Studies show that allowing drivers to turn right at a red light may increase the number of collisions in the intersection by 43-123 percent.
- A report from Statista noted that, in a study of the fatalities from red-light running in major U.S. cities between 2004-2013, Miami rated sixth worst, with more than 80 deaths attributed to motorists running red lights.
Defective Parts Cause Car Accidents
While many crashes are associated with risky behaviors such as speeding or distracted driving, defective vehicle parts are also common in accidents. Some of the vehicle parts that may elevate the risk of an accident or suffering injuries or death in an accident if they are not designed and manufactured safely include:
- Steering wheels
- Accelerators that may cause the speed of the car to increase without warning
- Seat latches that cause the driver's seat to recline unexpectedly
- Airbags that deploy too easily
- Faulty wiring that poses a fire hazard
There are three categories of product defects, which include:
- Design defects that cause a product to be dangerous, regardless of how it is manufactured or used.
- Manufacturing defects happen when a product is assembled improperly or manufactured with substandard materials.
- Warning defects, which happen when the manufacturer fails to adequately warn customers of risks associated with the product's use.
Products that are discovered to be unsafe may be subject to a recall. Product recalls can be initiated voluntarily by the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Recalls are only issued if the defect poses a risk to consumers.
A Legal Claim Against Tesla
A product defect is at the center of a lawsuit recently filed against the automaker Tesla. It was filed on behalf of the family of a teenage boy who was killed in a crash. As reported in January 2019 by Local 10 News, the 18-year-old was a passenger in a 2014 Tesla S sedan when it crashed in Aventura in May of 2018. The boy and the 18-year-old driver were trapped inside the vehicle and died when it caught fire.
A backseat passenger survived. The suit alleges that the vehicle's defective battery pack caused it to burst into flames. Additionally, the lawsuit states that Tesla mistakenly extracted a limiter that would have prevented the car from driving faster than 85 miles per hour.
The National Transportation Safety Board reported that the vehicle traveled at 116 miles per hour seconds before it crashed.
Car Accidents in Work Zones
The Federal Highway Administration states that accidents in work zones have increased in recent years. For example, in 2015, there were 96,626 crashes in work zones in 2015. Here are some more details about work zone car crashes:
- In Florida, in 2017, work zone and maintenance equipment were listed as the first harmful event in around 400 crashes. Of those crashes, four included fatalities, and dozens more caused injuries.
- Every 5.4 minutes, there is a traffic crash in a U.S. work zone.
- More than a quarter of work zone crashes result in injuries.
There are often additional factors of the work zone crashes that result in a fatality. Some of these factors include:
- Lack of seat belt use
- Alcohol impairment
- Time of day (fatal car accidents in work zones are more prevalent during the daytime)
- The day of the week and the time of year (more fatal work zone crashes are recorded mid-week, during the summer).
- More than 40 percent of work zone crashes involve one vehicle rear-ending another.
- Tractor-trailers are more likely to be involved in a crash in a work zone than they do on highways.
- Nearly half of the worker fatalities that occur due to work zone crashes involve another vehicle running over or backing over the worker.
What is a Good Settlement Offer?
When you are healing from an accident, missing work, and the expenses and bills are piling up, any offer might seem like a good one. However, the insurance representative is counting on this.
The insurance industry has people whose job is to safeguard the company's bottom line rather than concern themselves with your economic losses. Therefore, they will attempt to draw out negotiations hoping for a quick settlement that gives you less.
A fair settlement will be enough to cover the entire value of today's and tomorrow's expenses. This includes medical costs, wage loss, and pain and suffering. You should also receive compensation for the damages done to your property.
How to Get Fair Compensation After Your Car Crash
If you want to get fair compensation after a car crash, follow these steps:
- Contact an experienced Boca Raton personal injury lawyer.
- Maintain your medical records and any documents related to medical treatment.
- Take photographs of the damage to your car.
- Get copies of police reports.
- Ask an experienced auto accident attorney if they can help you with the paperwork.
Contact our skilled attorneys today if you think that you deserve compensation for your injuries. We will review all aspects of your case and provide you with a free consultation so we can determine what options are available to you.
What If the At-Fault Party Doesn't Have Insurance?
Most people who drive cars in the United States have auto insurance. But what happens when the at-fault driver does not have insurance coverage?
In this case, you may need to file a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage. This type of policy aims to protect you if you are injured by someone who doesn't have insurance.
This type of coverage pays for your medical expenses including hospital bills, lost wages, repair costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to being hit by an uninsured driver. It is important to note that there are different uninsured motorist policies. Some only pay for bodily injury, while others also include property damage claims.
We recommend researching the type of policy you have before filing a claim.
What if the Other Party Was Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs?
However, if the other party was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then you could potentially sue them directly. Additionally, if the other party did not stop at the scene of the accident, then you could also potentially pursue a lawsuit against them.
Our experienced team is ready to fight for you. Contact us today to learn how we can help you recover maximum compensation for your losses. And because we work on a contingency fee basis, we don't get paid until we win.
Should I Add Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
You may also consider adding uninsured motorist coverage to your current auto insurance policy. This way, you would have protection even if the person responsible for the collision had no insurance.
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for bodily injury claims made by drivers not covered by their insurance policies and is usually part of your automobile policy. It protects you against paying for damages resulting from someone else's negligence.
Yet, uninsured motorist coverage does not pay for damages caused by intentional acts, such as driving while intoxicated. In addition, you must meet certain requirements before filing a claim.
For example, you cannot make a claim unless you have exhausted other payment sources. These sources could include your insurance policy, state no-fault laws, and workers' compensation.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you may still be able to recover damages from the driver's liability carrier. After contacting us, a car accident lawyer will evaluate your situation and advise you about whether or not you should add this coverage to your existing policy if you do not already have it.
We are Here To Help You Recover Maximum Compensation For Your Injury Claims
If you were hurt because another driver didn't have adequate liability insurance, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Our personal injury lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case to see if you qualify for payment.
You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our law firm has helped many clients obtain this form of compensation. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and find out more about how we can help you.
Car accidents happen every day. Sometimes it's due to negligence on the part of the driver, sometimes it's due to a manufacturing failure, but whatever the cause, it's always bad news.
Were You Injured by a Negligent Driver in a Car Accident in Boca Raton?
Negligent or reckless driving practices are at the heart of many car crashes. Car accidents in Boca Raton can lead to severe injuries and even death. If you were involved in a car accident or truck accident caused by someone else's negligence or recklessness, you might be eligible to receive compensation through a personal injury lawsuit for damages.
The financial compensation from your accident lawsuit will help you cover:
- Property damage
- Vehicle damage
- Medical bills and prescription costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of quality of life
- Medical care or medical treatment, including physical therapy
- Physical pain and suffering from catastrophic injuries
You may also get paid for non-economic damages, including:
- Loss of enjoyment
- Emotional distress
- Emotional trauma
- Reduced quality of life
Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident?
Research has demonstrated multiple ways a person can be injured, even in a minor car accident. Unfortunately, many minor injuries won't show up until days following the motor vehicle accident.
Most individuals think of bodily injuries like lacerations, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or head trauma. However, if you are involved in a rear-end accident with minor damage, you may feel fine at first because adrenaline can mask the soreness.
Then a few days later, you may wake up with severe neck or back pain.
This type of injury could be a sign of whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your head jerks forward and backward following an accident. It usually results in muscle spasms, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms. These symptoms can last for weeks or months.
If you experience these symptoms, it's essential to seek medical treatment immediately to get the best possible diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, if you fail to seek medical attention, you could miss out on essential information or evidence that could help your case.
Finally, don't leave the accident scene without filing a police report, accident report, or insurance claim with your insurance carrier. Otherwise, you may find it challenging to take your personal injury claim to court. This is true, even if you have a medical expert to testify on your behalf.
Hire Us to Handle Your Accident Settlement or Property Damage Claim
The experienced Boca Raton personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers would like to talk to you about your case details and provide answers about your legal options. We will go over the legal process with you and discuss the legal liability of the at-fault party.
Whether our clients need us to aggressively negotiate with their insurance adjuster or insurance company to obtain the maximum compensation, or to represent them at trial, our accident lawyers are committed to helping accident victims. Contact Dolman Law Group or call us today to schedule a free consultation and case review.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 301 Yamato Road, Suite 1240 Boca Raton, Florida 33431
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