Common Causes of Car Accidents in Florida

Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Tampa Bay

If you’ve been driving in Tampa Bay for a while, you probably don’t need a long list of statistics to be convinced that we don’t have the most careful drivers. And if you live in Pinellas and work in Hillsborough (or vice versa) and have the pleasure of taking the beautiful Courtney Campbell Causeway on a regular basis, you are also likely very familiar with the crashes that seem to happen on that bridge almost daily.

Why is it that no matter how often we are stuck in three hour long traffic jams caused by car accidents, they never seem to serve as cautionary tales for anyone?

Below are some of the most common reasons for car accidents in our region.

The Top 5 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Florida

1. Distracted Driving

Raise your hand if you know anyone who would still check their text or social media notifications immediately, even during Armageddon. Are you one of them? How would it feel to not be able to reply because you’re dead?

Texting isn’t the only culprit of distracted driving. Things like looking for music to play, entering directions on a GPS, turning around to scream at misbehaving children, reading the many billboards that visually litter the Bay Area… It only takes a split second to not notice that the car in front of you stopped.

2. Driving Under the Influence

You would think that in the age of Lyft and Uber, people would be more mindful about not driving after having a couple of drinks. However, driving under the influence is still a major problem in Hillsborough County.

Florida law defines you as being under the influence if your blood alcohol level is 0.08 or more, and the penalties for a DUI could include:

So even if you feel like you’re doing ok after a couple of beers, it might be a good idea to purchase a breathalyzer. The results may surprise you, and you may be better off getting one of your friends to drive or Uber home.

3. Speeding

Speeding comes with an entire subset of issues that exponentially increase the chances of getting into a car accident, such as:

  • Not having enough time to react to a situation
  • The distance required to brake on time doubles
  • Increased chance of hydroplaning when the roads are wet
  • Increased force of impact in the case of an accident
  • Possible charge of reckless driving

And reckless driving is no joke. It exposes the driver to fines and jail time, and if someone ends up with serious bodily injury or death, the driver is exposed to felony charges and an extended prison stay.

4. Rain

The Tampa Bay Lightning got their name for a reason. Every summer (sometimes even starting in spring), we get well acquainted with daily rain. Wet roads reduce road traction. Increased winds can cause motor vehicles to swerve. Heavy rains affect visibility. All of these conditions together are a recipe for disaster.

To reduce your chances of being involved in an accident due to weather, you can follow these tips:

For more tips for driving in the rain and wet weather, check out our blog: 7 Safety Tips for Driving in the Rain

5. Failing to Yield

A yield sign isn’t the only time when drivers should keep a close eye on who has the right of way. At any intersection or crosswalk, the driver has a duty to yield. Failing to yield is a traffic violation at best, or a car accident and lawsuits on a bad day.

Yet, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles statistics, failing to yield is one of the top causes of car accidents.

Call the Clark Hartpence Law Car Accident Lawyers in St. Petersburg for a Free Consultation

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s essential to talk to an attorney. Whether you’re at risk of facing criminal charges or whether you were just an innocent driver who is now suffering from damages, you want to know your rights.

If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.