Common Causes of Car Accidents in Tampa, FL
With sunny beaches, thrilling amusement parks, and fascinating cultural attractions, Tampa is one of Florida’s most popular destinations for visitors and residents alike. Unfortunately, this means roads in Tampa are often congested, and car accidents are frighteningly common.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), more than 29,000 crashes occurred in Hillsborough County alone in a recent year. Of those crashes, more than 20,000 people were injured, and 176 were killed.
Have you been seriously injured in a car accident in Tampa? Talk to an attorney at Brooks Law Group today. You could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Let us help restore your sense of personal and financial well-being. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Most Common Causes of Tampa Car Accidents
You were hurt in a car accident in Tampa due to another driver’s negligence. Your ability to claim compensation for your losses will depend on whether you can demonstrate the causes and effects of the crash. Some of the most common contributing factors in Tampa car accidents include:
- Drunk driving: Data from the FLHSMV shows that more than 500 accidents in Hillsborough County in a recent year involved alcohol. Around 57 percent of these drunk driving crashes resulted in injuries, and more than three percent were fatal.
- Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is illegal for a reason. Alcohol impairs cognitive functions, reducing your ability to think and react. The more alcohol a person consumes, the more these negative effects worsen and the more dangerous it is for them to get behind the wheel of a car.
- However, even relatively modest amounts of alcohol can have adverse effects on driving ability. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports hundreds of fatal injuries every year caused by alcohol-related crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol levels below the legal limit.
- Drugged driving: Drivers impaired by the influence of drugs cannot make safe driving decisions. Drugs that cause drowsiness, dizziness, or mood changes can compromise driver safety, no matter if those drugs are prescription or over-the-counter medications.
- Drugged driving can be uniquely problematic because the effects of a drug can vary widely from person to person, and there’s no uniform way for law enforcement to test for the presence of all drugs. Disturbingly, NHTSA recently reported an increase in drug use among drivers.
- Distracted driving: There are many types of distracted driving, but one of the most prevalent is texting while driving.
- Research suggests that it takes approximately five seconds to send or receive the average text message. In the span of those five seconds, a driver traveling at just 55 miles per hour can travel the entire length of a football field without paying proper attention to the road.
- Distracted drivers frequently cause rear-end collisions, sideswipe accidents, and T-bone crashes when their full attention is diverted from safe driving.
- Drowsy driving: A driver can become dangerously fatigued behind the wheel due to insufficient sleep, drug side effects, or untreated health conditions. Drowsiness compromises a driver’s ability to pay attention to the road, react in time to emergencies, and make good driving decisions.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that thousands of crash-related injuries and hundreds of fatalities are associated with drowsy driving every year. Experts suggest that drivers who travel at night, commercial drivers, and those with sleep disorders are particularly at risk of causing drowsy driving accidents.
- Speeding: Researchers estimate that speeding is a factor in roughly one-third of all motor vehicle accident fatalities.
- Drivers who exceed posted speed limits are not only breaking the law — they’re putting themselves and everyone around them at risk. When drivers are speeding, they have less time to react, are more likely to lose control of their vehicles, and are more likely to sustain severe injuries in the event of a collision.
- Reckless driving: Reckless drivers willfully operate motor vehicles without regard for other people’s safety or property. Reckless driving is a serious crime under Florida law, and drivers convicted of reckless driving offenses can face penalties such as fines, probation, and jail time.
- Common examples of reckless driving include exceeding posted speed limits, driving too fast for road conditions, and making dangerous passing maneuvers. Drivers who swerve between lanes, cut off other drivers, and run red lights or stop signs may also be cited for reckless driving. Reckless drivers frequently cause devastating high-speed accidents as a result of extreme carelessness.
- Aggressive driving: According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), aggressive driving describes a category of traffic violations in Florida that includes offenses such as speeding and running red lights. Aggressive driving is distinct from reckless driving in that aggressive drivers behave in ways that harass, intimidate, or otherwise obstruct others on the road.
- Aggressive driving can easily lead to catastrophic accidents when drivers ignore traffic signage, weave in and out of lanes, or attempt to run other vehicles off the road. Victims of road rage accidents frequently sustain severe and life-threatening injuries due to abrupt impacts or loss of control.
- Driver inexperience: Research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) suggests that young and inexperienced drivers are significantly more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents. Inexperienced drivers are often more susceptible to distraction and may have difficulty judging critical factors like safe following distances.
- Drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are roughly four times more likely to be involved in crashes than older and more experienced drivers. When teens and inexperienced adult drivers are distracted, drowsy, negligent, or simply presented with stressful traffic situations, they are at increased risk of causing dangerous inexperienced driving accidents.
- Failure to yield: Florida has right-of-way laws that exist to protect drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians at traffic intersections. Drivers who violate these laws put themselves and others in harm’s way. When negligent or inexperienced drivers fail to yield the proper right-of-way, disastrous accidents can occur at intersections, crosswalks, and roundabouts.
- Poor maintenance: Car owners are responsible for taking proper care of their vehicles, including preventative inspections and necessary repairs. Cars that have not been adequately maintained can malfunction or fail at critical moments, leading to a loss of control and devastating accidents.
- Common issues that may result from a lack of proper maintenance and lead to accidents include tire blowouts, brake failure, fluid leaks, and faulty exterior lights.
- Defective vehicle parts: In some cases, malfunctioning vehicle components may be the result of manufacturing defects. An experienced car accident attorney can help you hold negligent vehicle manufacturers accountable for accidents caused by faulty car components.
How Brooks Law Group Can Help You
If you were involved in a Tampa car accident, look no further than the personal injury team at Brooks Law Group. Since 1992, our passion for serving injured victims has earned us a reputation for success and allowed us to secure millions of dollars in compensation for deserving clients. We can help you with your car accident claim by:
Explaining your legal rights and the laws that apply to your situation
- Providing professional advice based on decades of legal experience
- Helping you access the medical care you need to heal from your injuries
- Managing important documents, deadlines, and other aspects of your case
- Communicating and negotiating with other parties on your behalf
- Representing you in court, if a reasonable settlement can’t be reached
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Tampa for Help
If you need help after a Tampa car accident, Brooks Law Group’s knowledgeable attorneys are standing by. Our team is available 24/7 to respond to your concerns and ensure you receive the individual attention you need.
At our law firm, we believe that justice should be accessible to Floridians regardless of their ability to pay. That’s why we charge no fees to get started on your claim and only get paid if your case wins. Contact us today for a free case review.