According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, Florida has over sixteen million drivers. Statewide, more than two hundred thousand motor vehicle accidents occur every year. Miami-Dade County has the highest traffic accident rate in all statistical categories. The most common causes of Miami car accidents are driving while distracted, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving while fatigued, and driving inappropriately for the weather conditions.
How can you avoid becoming a statistic? By learning more about the causes, you will greatly improve your chances of steering clear of accidents.
Driving While Distracted
Crashes caused by distracted drivers are unfortunately common causes of Miami car accidents and have increased by twenty-five percent since 2012. According to Distraction.gov, an initiative of the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2013, 3,154 were killed in distracted driving crashes.” The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles lists the most common distractions as:
- checking a GPS device
- eating, drinking or lighting a cigarette
- tending to unsecured pets
- personal grooming
- adjusting stereo or climate controls.
Find out more about distraction-free driving at Take the Pledge.
Driving While Drunk or Drugged
Intoxicated driving is one of the most dangerous common causes of Miami car accidents. That is why December has been designated as National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. The campaign’s slogan, “Remember, buzzed driving IS drunk driving,” reminds everyone that no amount of intoxication is safe when a person is behind the wheel. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department urges all drivers to Be Responsible. Don’t Drink and Drive.
Driving While Fatigued
Scientific studies have shown that lack of adequate sleep can be as detrimental to brain function as alcohol or drugs. Each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents related to driver fatigue cause at least 71,000 injuries and 1,500 deaths. Fatigue slows reaction time and impairs decision-making skills. There is plenty of advice to keep you awake at DrowsyDriving.org, an initiative of the National Sleep Foundation.
Ignoring Weather Conditions
It may surprise you to learn that weather is one of the other common causes of Miami car accidents. Many accidents occur because drivers don’t alter their driving in response to changing weather conditions. Extreme weather, including rain, fog, ice, snow and dust, can dramatically reduce visibility. Many drivers also underestimate how much extreme weather conditions affect how a car functions.
For real-time traffic and road condition reports, as well as maps and additional safety tips, Florida Highway Patrol encourages motorists to visit the FHP Live Traffic Crash & Road Condition Report website. And there are plenty of additional tips at: Don’t get caught in the storm.
What should you do if you are in a car accident?
No one wants to think that they’ll be involved in a car accident, but statistically, it is a situation in which we are all likely to find ourselves some day. It is important to educate yourself about what Florida law requires of you when an accident occurs. The Department of Motor Vehicles offers an easy-to-follow guide laying out your responsibilities at Accident Guide in Florida.
While the common causes of Miami car accidents are fairly straightforward, the legal proceedings can be anything but. You should always seek assistance from an experienced attorney. Lavent Law can guide you through the entire process. We hope you are never in a Miami car accident, but if you are, contact our office as soon as possible at (305) 440-0450 to speak with someone who can help.