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Clearwater Driver Seriously Injured After Street Racing

On February 16, 2016, a 27-year-old driver was speeding east in the outside lane of Ulmerton Road in Clearwater[1], Florida, when he lost control of his Ford F-150 and slammed into a traffic light pole.  Florida Highway Patrol said that the collision occurred at the intersection of Carillon Parkway around 3:30 a.m.  The injuries sustained by the driver made it necessary to rush the individual to Bayfront Medical Center in critical condition where he was fighting for his life.  The Troopers said that evidence at the scene indicated a second vehicle may possibly have been involved in illegal street racing with the truck. Anyone with information on the second vehicle was asked to contact the Florida Highway Patrol.

Florida Street Racing Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration[2], 153 people were killed in 122 crashes while racing between 2001 and 2010.  The agency changed the way it tracks street racing cases in 2009 so that a crash is considered “racing involved” only if police charge at least one driver with racing. Previously, crashes were considered racing if at least one driver was charged or if investigators concluded that racing was involved. Under that broader definition, there were 1,047 racing deaths from 2001 to 2008.  The Administration further reports:

  • In Florida in 2001, 7,216 citations were issued for racing on the highway.
  • In 2002, the Florida Department of Highway and Safety for Motor Vehicles reported 48 racing accidents, 1 fatality, and 60 injuries.
  • motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 20.
  • Nationwide statistics show that 49 people are injured for every 1,000 who participate in illegal street racing.

Unfortunately, street racing accidents[3] are not uncommon and can often turn fatal, especially because they are six times more likely than other fatal crashes to occur at speeds greater than 65 miles per hour. Additionally, many incidents involve drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Offenders also tend to be younger males with a history of risky driving behavior.

Clearwater Law on Street Racing

Title XXIII, Section 316.191 of the Florida statute provides as follows:

A person may not:

(a) Drive any motor vehicle, including any motorcycle, in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, or exhibition of speed or acceleration or for the purpose of making a speed record on any highway, roadway, or parking lot;

(b) In any manner participate in, coordinate, facilitate, or collect moneys at any location for any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition;

(c) Knowingly ride as a passenger in any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition; or

(d) Purposefully cause the movement of traffic to slow or stop for any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition”
The statute further describes drag racing:

“Drag race” means the operation of two or more motor vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other, or the operation of one or more motor vehicles over a common selected course, from the same point to the same point, for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of such motor vehicle or motor vehicles within a certain distance or time limit.

Compensation for Clearwater Accidents Caused by Street Racing

Street drag racing accidents often involve drivers who are reckless. The concept of drag racing involves an extreme level of disregard for the rules of the road and a serious disregard for others’ safety, a key indicator of reckless driving. Those motorists who involve themselves in these races are placing everyone in close proximity at risk, including their own vehicle and body. Unfortunately, however, the rate of street races continues to increase as more and more drivers are becoming enamored with the concept of illegally racing on Clearwater’s roadways.

The following are some of the most common auto injuries linked to street drag racing injuries:

  • Broken Bones
  • Brain Injury
  • Head and Neck Injury
  • Burns and Lacerations
  • Spinal Cord Injury
    Wrongful Death

When a motor vehicle collision occurs during a race, those involved must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many of the above injuries are able to be treated if caught quickly. Sadly, many street racers are hesitant to seek a physician because of the illegal action taking place. However, anyone involved in a traffic crash must immediately visit a medical facility to prevent further damages.

Contact a Clearwater Street Racing Accident Attorney

When you or someone you love is hurt in an auto accident caused by unlawful street racing, you might feel overwhelmed, traumatized, or helpless. You will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help walk you through the next steps.  At the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Clearwater, Florida, our team of highly skilled attorneys can prepare a legal claim on your behalf, and negotiate a fair settlement to cover the cost of accident-related damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  Our street racing collision lawyers have helped many victims obtain the recovery they deserve for their injuries and related losses. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900



[1] http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/traffic/2016/02/15/crash-closes-eb-lanes-ulmerton-road/80394564/
[2] http://www.nhtsa.gov
[3] http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/10/1/53.full