You will probably not be surprised to hear that automobile accidents are the leading cause of personal injury in Florida. On average, the state records more than 380,000 accidents per year, or more than 1,000 every day. These accidents result in almost 250,000 personal injuries every year, of which the latest Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) statistics characterize between 15,000 to 19,000 as “incapacitating.”
But this begs the question of what causes these motor vehicle accidents that lead to personal injuries? This question is essential because those injured in automobile accidents due to the negligence of others have the right to seek fair compensation. Establishing the cause of an accident is crucial for receiving this compensation through the state’s personal injury laws.
In Tallahassee’s Leon County, automobile accidents injured more than 3,200 people in 2020. The personal injury lawyers at Tallahassee-based Akbar Law Firm, PA, can tell you that many of those injuries were caused by the negligent driving of others. So, let’s take a closer look at the statistics to determine what types of negligent driving cause the most personal injuries in Florida.
Numerous Negligent Actions Lead to Auto Accidents
The FLHSMV reported that traffic accidents in the state caused 15,614 incapacitating injuries and 196,818 other injuries in 2020. While the statistics do not attribute a cause to each injury-causing accident, its data on “first driver actions and injury levels” (referring to the first of up to four actions that may have contributed to the accident) suggest their primary causes. There are likely multiple causes in many cases, such as an impaired driver who runs through a stop light at excess speed. However, the statistics cannot be used to highlight such incidents.
Operating a motor vehicle in a careless or negligent manner is the primary cause in Florida’s injury-causing accident cause tally, with roughly 34% of “first driver actions” attributed to this cause for incapacitating and other injuries. Because most of the other reasons technically fall under this category, we assume that the FLHSMV uses this terminology to describe “distracted driving,” which is not listed as a distinct cause. It should be noted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified distracted driving as the leading cause of traffic accidents nationwide.
FLHSMV statistics suggest that failing to yield right of way is the second leading cause of injury-causing traffic accidents, with the cause attributed to 19.6% of incapacitating injuries and 22% of other injuries. Other (non-specified) contributing actions” are the third leading cause, accounting for roughly 9% of overall injuries. Running a red light (which would seem to fall under the failure to yield category) comes in a distant fourth; the first driver action cause of roughly 5.5% of all injury-causing accidents. Rounding out the top-10 leading causes of injury-causing motor vehicle accidents are:
- Following too closely
- Failing to keep in the proper lane
- Running a stop sign
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Improper turn
- Reckless or aggressive driving
Impaired driving by alcohol, drugs, or both is not counted as a “first driver action” for the FLHSMV’s statistical purposes. Overall, though, impaired driving accounted for 705 incapacitating injuries and 2,745 other injuries in the state’s 2020 motor vehicle accident reporting.
How to Avoid Becoming an FLHSMV Statistic
No one wants to be injured in an auto accident, and there’s not much you can do to prevent negligent driving by others. However, some basic steps can help lower your odds of getting injured by the actions of other drivers. First off, maintain attentiveness to your own driving habits to ensure that you’re not the cause of an accident. This means not speeding, obeying all traffic regulations, and paying careful attention to the road and other drivers. Keep both hands on the wheel and always be prepared for unexpected actions by other drivers. Come to a complete stop where required at intersections, and always look twice before moving into one. If you see someone driving erratically, keep your distance. In essence, the best means of possibly avoiding an accident caused by another driver is always maintain situational awareness.
Consult with Akbar Thomas Law Firm, PA, on Your Personal Injury Claim
If you or a loved one are injured in an automobile accident due to apparent negligent driving by others, seek out the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure that you secure fair compensation for your injuries as allowed by the law. The personal injury lawyers at Akbar Thomas Law firm, PA, provide compassionate legal representation for their Tallahassee-area personal injury clients. We are skilled at obtaining maximum compensation for our clients through negotiations or, when needed, by bringing our case before the courts. To learn more about how Akbar Thomas Law Firm, PA, can help you with your automobile accident personal injury claim, contact us today at 850-383-0000.