Causes of Car Accidents in Doral

Causes of Car Accidents in Doral Florida

Across the nation, thousand of persons get into car accidents each day—about 180 a day in the Doral area alone. There are many different causes of car accidents, but here is a look at some of the most common ones.

Distracted Driving

When people think of distracted driving, texting and other cell phone use generally comes to mind. However, there are many other other situations that lead to distracted driving. In fact, according to information provided by EndDD (End Distracted Driving), anything that draws a driver’s primary focus away from the task of driving is considered a distraction. Here are some distracted driving statistics from EndDD:

  • According to NHTSA figures from 2015, about 10 percent of fatal crashes and 15 percent of injury crashes were caused or at least influenced by driver distractions.
  • 3,477 people lost their lives in the United States in 2015 and another 391,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.
  • Teen drivers are particularly susceptible to driving distractions. More than 58 percent of crashes involving teen drivers were the result of driver distractions.
  • Teen drivers who witness their parents driving distracted are more likely to do so themselves.
  • A University of Utah study found that drivers who are talking on their cell phones are as impaired in their driving skills as those driving with a legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent.
  • Text messaging while driving increases the chances of crashing by 23 times.
  • If a driver is reading or sending texts, his or her eyes are off the road for about five seconds—long enough to travel the distance of a football field when driving 55 miles per hour.

As explained by EndDD, there are three types of driver distractions: (1) Manual distractions that require a driver to remove his or her hands from the wheel; (2) Visual distractions that cause a driver to look away from the road; and (3) Cognitive distractions, which result in the driver’s mind wandering away from the task of driving. The reason texting while driving is such a dangerous task is that it generally involves all three types of driver distractions, causing drivers to take their hands from the wheel, look away from the road, and focus their thoughts on something other than driving.

Common Examples of Distracted Driving

Smartphone Usage: We all are aware of how dangerous texting and driving is but smartphone usage, in general, is a growing issue when it comes to distracted driving. Smartphones have become a swiss army knife of sorts when it comes to handling a myriad of different tasks. Chief among these that is found to be the biggest distraction is social media like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and similar applications.

Eating and Drinking: The act of eating or drinking may not seem that distracting but it takes attention from the task of driving. You have to focus on holding and putting in your mouth whatever food or drink and also keep your eye on the road. Worst case scenario, you spill whatever you were drinking or eating and an even greater distraction is made.

Conversations: Other people in the vehicle can be a big distraction. Conversations have the potential to be very distracting when a driver becomes especially involved in them. Heated conversations lead to a fair share of car accidents. Children are also a big distraction that cause motor vehicle accidents with tantrums and similar misbehavior.

Changing Car Settings: Manipulating the controls of a vehicle to change the air conditioning, GPS, music volume, etc. can be a distraction. Make sure to get your car settings sorted out before you get onto the road to avoid this.

Outside Distractions: Rubbernecking is a term used to describe the act of looking at accident scenes as you pass them instead of the road. Ironically, this behavior results in its fair share of accidents as well.

Speeding Causes Car Accidents

As reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, speeding-related crashes accounted for more than a quarter of all traffic-related fatalities. Speeding doesn’t just include traveling over the posted speed limit but also traveling too fast for road conditions as well. Speeding poses a number of risks, including:

  • An increased potential for losing control of the vehicle.
  • Decreased effectiveness of vehicle safety equipment, including seatbelts and airbags.
  • A greater distance is required to stop for perceived dangers.
  • Injuries are often more severe than those suffered from low-speed crashes.

Here are some additional statistics about speeding-related crashes:

  • Fewer than one-sixth of all speeding-related crashes occur on interstates.
  • Those cited for speeding in residential neighborhoods often reside in the neighborhood where the offense occurred.
  • Teen drivers are more likely to speed and to allow less space between their vehicle and the one in front of them. Having teen male passengers in the car increases the likelihood of speeding.
  • 64 percent of drivers state that they are comfortable with speeding. About half of the drivers who participated in a 2017 National Safety Council survey report that they have driven at least 15 miles over the speed limit on the freeway and at least 10 miles over the speed limit on a residential street.
  • According to statistics provided by CreditDonkey, about 112,000 people are ticketed each day for driving too fast. Almost 41 million speeding tickets are written each year in the U.S., equaling about one each second.
  • Around 800 people die in the U.S. due to speed-related traffic accidents every month.

Drunk or Drugged Driving Increases Accident Risk

In spite of decreasing incidents of drunk driving and drunk driving fatalities, alcohol-related crashes continue to be a concern. According to information provided by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD):

  • About two-thirds of the U.S. population will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime.
  • Drugs other than alcohol are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths. The drugs used include illegal drugs as well as prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  • Drivers between the ages of 26 and 29 are most likely to drive drunk.
  • In the United States, there are more than 300,000 drunk drivers on the road every day. In Miami-Dade County, home to Doral, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that 343 alcohol-related crashes took place in a recent year, killing 11 and injuring 178. Drugs contributed to nine crashes, killing seven and injuring 10. A combination of alcohol and other drugs resulted in 13 accidents that killed 12 and injured 10.
  • Seven percent of drivers who were involved in fatal traffic crashes tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
  • An underage drunk driver is a factor in about a quarter of the crashes involving teens.
  • One person in the United States dies every 48 minutes due to drunk or drugged driving. A person is injured in a drunk driving crash in the United States every two minutes.
  • Drunk driving costs every adult in the United States more than $500 a year. The cost to the nation is about $132 billion every year.
  • Not counting those who died without tests being taken, driving under the influence of drugs kills about 4,000 drivers every year. This figure also does not include drivers of other vehicles who were killed due to drugged driving.
  • 17 percent of fatally injured drivers have both drugs and alcohol in their systems.
  • The number of alcohol-impaired male drivers involved in crashes is four times greater than the number of alcohol-impaired female drivers involved in crashes. Men are three times more likely to be arrested for driving drunk than women are.
  • As of 2017, around 9 percent of all drivers involved in daytime fatal crashes were drunk. That percentage jumps to 32 with nighttime fatal crashes.
  • Around one-third of all drivers arrested for driving drunk are repeat offenders. The average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before they get arrested for it.

Running Red Lights or Stop Signs

Running red lights or stop signs is another common cause of car crashes. In fact, according to facts provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, red light and stop sign running are the most common causes for crashes in urban areas, with 22 percent of all urban crashes being caused by someone failing to stop on red. Here are some more details about the issue:

  • In 2016, more than 800 people were killed due to red light running. About half of those fatalities were pedestrians, bicyclists, and people in other vehicles who were hit by red-light runners.
  • Red light violations occur when a vehicle enters an intersection at any time after the light changes to red. Those who are in the intersection when the light changes, such as drivers who are turning left, are not considered to be running a red light. If a driver is permitted to turn right on red, he or she must bring the vehicle to a full stop before entering the intersection.
  • Studies of 19 intersections in four states revealed that, on average, 3.2 drivers run a red light every hour. The number of red-light runners increases during heavy traffic.
  • 36 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 often have had other traffic infractions such as speeding convictions, drunk driving convictions, or prior accidents. Red-light runners are more likely to be young, male, and less likely to have a valid driver’s license.
  • As of 2017, 430 communities in the United States were operating red light cameras as a way to reduce the number of violations and crashes at red lights.

According to a report from Statista, a study of the fatalities from red-light running in major U.S. cities between 2004-2013 revealed that Miami ranked sixth worst, with 82 deaths attributed to drivers failing to stop at red lights.

Car Accident Caused by Defective Parts

In spite of a number of safety features now regularly available in newer model cars, defective parts continue to be a major cause or contributor to car crashes. Many of these parts come with a warranty, which is breached when the defective part causes an accident. Some common car parts that can trigger or worsen a crash if they’re defective include:

  • Brakes
  • Seat belts
  • Steering wheels
  • Accelerators
  • Ignitions
  • Seat latches that cause the driver’s seat to recline unexpectedly
  • Airbags that deploy too easily
  • Faulty wiring that poses a fire hazard
  • Tires

There are three categories of product defects, which include:

  1. Design defects that cause a product to be dangerous, regardless of how it is manufactured or used.
  2. Manufacturing defects, which happen when a product is assembled improperly or is manufactured with substandard materials.
  3. Warning defects, which occur when the manufacturer fails to appropriately warn consumers 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 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Recalls are only issued if the defect poses a risk to consumers.

A product defect is at the center of a lawsuit recently filed against the automaker, Tesla, 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 of the vehicle and died when it caught on fire; plaintiffs allege that the vehicle’s defective battery pack caused it to burst into flames. Additionally, the suit states that Tesla wrongly removed a limiter that would have prevented the car from driving faster than 85 miles per hour; by comparison, the National Transportation Safety Board reported that the vehicle was traveling at 116 miles per hour at the time of the accident.

Work Zones and Car Accidents

The Federal Highway Administration states that there were 96,626 crashes in work zones in 2015, an increase of 7.8 percent over the year before. More details about this common cause of car crashes include:

  • A work zone crash occurs somewhere in the United States every 5.4 minutes.
  • Although the risk of dying in a work zone crash is low, more than a quarter of these crashes resulted in injury.
  • Of the work zone crashes that result in a fatality, there are often additional factors. Some of these factors include lack of seat belt use; speeding; alcohol impairment; time of day (fatal work zone crashes are more prevalent during the daytime); and 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.
  • Fatal work zone crashes involving tractor-trailers are more common than highway fatalities involving large trucks.
  • Nearly half of worker fatalities occur due to work zone crashes where another vehicle runs or backs over the worker.

Were You Injured in a Car Accident in Doral?

As shown above, car accidents can happen for a number of different reasons. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Doral that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to receive compensation through a personal injury lawsuit for damages such as:

  • Property damage to your car
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Pain and suffering

The skilled personal injury attorneys at Sibley Dolman’s Doral location are eager to talk to you about the details of your case and to provide answers as to what your options are and how best to proceed with your case. Whether our clients need us to negotiate with big insurance companies or to represent them through a jury trial, we are committed to helping accident victims to obtain the maximum amount of compensation that is available to them. To schedule a free consultation and case review, Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP by calling (305) 930-7688.

Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP
8400 NW 36th St Suite 450
Doral, FL 33166
305-930-7688

What Our Clients Have to Say:

“My experience with this law firm has been extremely pleasant. After being involved in an accident where I was injured, I was able to seek treatment from the best doctors in the area. I was lucky to have a team that assisted in scheduling my appointments that worked around both my full time work schedule and my demanding grad school schedule. Even with a move out of state to New York, I was able to remain with this law firm and continue treatment in south Florida while remaining under the care of the doctors that I felt most comfortable with. Even though I suffered injuries and experienced difficulties in that aspect, the team here was able to make sure that I was able to continue work and stay on track with grad school all while I moved to a new state.”

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Anna Slough
August 2018
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