Four Top Car Crash Causes
In 2015, over 2,900 Floridians died in vehicle collisions, and that figure has increased steadily over the past several years. Human error caused almost all these car wrecks, meaning that the victims may be entitled to substantial compensation. For although we all make mistakes, we must all accept the consequences of our mistakes as well.
If the victim sustained a serious injury, as that term is defined in Florida law, eligible compensation includes money for economic damages, including medical bills, as well as noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering.
Even though courts, law enforcement, and advocacy groups have targeted “drunk drivers” with an array of publicity campaigns, stricter laws, and tougher enforcement over the last twenty years, substance impairment is still a factor in about a third of the fatal crashes in the United States.
Alcohol and other drugs, such as prescription painkillers are even many over-the-counter medicines, typically suppress the central nervous system, slowing reaction time and therefore making it impossible for these drivers to safely operate motor vehicles. Alcohol inhibits mental functions as well, as people who drink have problems concentrating.
Because it increases the risk of a collision and the force in a collision, excessive velocity is a factor in about a third of the fatal car crashes in Florida.
Faster speeds have a multiplying effect on stopping distance, which is the amount of ground that a car covers in the time it takes for the operator to see a hazard, move his/her foot from the accelerator to the brake, and safely stop the vehicle. Although this process only takes a few moments, at 30mph, most vehicles travel at least six car lengths in these few moments. Stopping distance triples to eighteen car lengths at 60mph.
Furthermore, per the Second Law of Newton, speed also has a multiplying effect on the force in a collision. This effect is especially pronounced inside a passenger compartment, because a sudden collision essentially transforms cell phones and other loose objects into high-speed missiles.
Statistically, today’s drivers watch the road much less often than they did before, dramatically increasing the risk of collisions. Moreover, even if drivers are watching the road, their minds are often elsewhere.
Hand-held cellphones combine both these aspects of distracted driving (mental and visual distraction) with yet another component (manual distraction, or taking one’s hand off the steering wheel). Hands-free cellphones, which manufacturers and many pundits tout as safe alternatives, still involve two of the three parts of distracted driving and also give operators a false sense of security.
People who would never dream of drinking and driving routinely get behind the wheels of their vehicles when they are dangerously fatigued, even though driving after eighteen consecutive hours without sleep is the equivalent of driving with a .08 BAC.
Drowsy driving is worse among young people, shift workers, and certain other at-risk demographic groups.
Connect With Assertive Lawyers
Although car crashes have many causes, driver error is nearly always the primary factor. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.