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Resolve to Be a Better Driver This New Years

Every New Years Eve, people throughout South Florida make resolutions on how to improve themselves or their lives in the upcoming year. As 2013 approaches, our Miramar personal injury attorneys urge you to consider making a resolution to be a safer driver. To help you to fulfill your resolution, we’ll be doing a four part series on some of the top causes of car accidents including speeding, distracted driving & bicycle and pedestrian accidents.

Resolve to Be a Safer Driver in 2013
Car accidents happen every day throughout the United States, and hundreds of those accidents occur each day in Florida. In fact, according to 2010 statistics published in the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Traffic Crash Statistics report:

  • There were 235,461 car accidents throughout the state.
  • There were 338,112 drivers involved in the Florida car crashes that occurred
  • An average of 645 crashes happened each day
  • 2,444 people died in car accidents
  • 195,104 people were injured in car accidents

As this list shows, car accident deaths are very common in Florida and every driver is at risk. To decrease your chances of becoming involved in a crash, you need to follow safe driving rules and you always need to be a responsible driver who exercises care on the roads. This means avoiding dangerous behaviors and making smart choices behind the wheel.

Avoiding Dangerous Driving Behaviors
There are many bad decisions and dangerous driving moves that you can make that increase the risk of becoming involved in an accident. Two of the most dangerous behaviors, however, include speeding and driving while you are distracted.

Speeding was a contributing factor in many of the reported 2010 Florida traffic accidents. In 118 of the fatal accidents that occurred, the crash occurred because the driver exceeded a safe speed limit. In another 2,440 crashes that caused injury, exceeding a safe speed limit was listed as a contributing cause. Exceeding the stated speed limit, on the other hand, was a contributing cause in 94 fatal crashes and 517 injury crashes.

Speeding is divided into two categories for statistical purposes because it is possible to get into a speeding crash even if you did not actually exceed the posted limit. This is because you are expected to slow your speed so you can operate the vehicle safely given the current conditions of the road. In wet weather, when there is low visibility and when there is heavy traffic, you may need to drive slower than the maximum limit in order to be safe.

Distracted driving is another major contributing factor in car accidents. Driver distraction was specifically listed as a contributing factor in seven of the fatal crashes in Florida in 2010 and in another 1,474 of the injury crashes. These numbers may not reflect the full extent of the distracted driving problem either, since drivers may not admit that they were distracted when they caused a crash.

Because speeding and distracted driving cause so many crashes and are so dangerous, we’ll be taking a look at these top causes of traffic crashes in our New Years Safe Driving series. We’ll also be taking a closer look at the pedestrian and bicycle accidents that are occurring and at how these can be avoided. Preventing these types of crashes has, unfortunately, become a major priority since NHTSA 2011 data on traffic accidents indicates that the number of fatalities among cyclists increased by 8.7 percent throughout the U.S. from 2010 to 2011, and the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by 3 percent during the same time period.

To fulfill your New Years safe driving resolution, check back for the next blog on avoiding speeding accidents.

If you or your loved one has been the victim of a car accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp, & Gonzalez at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:
Drunk Driving Crackdowns in South Florida Continue Through New Year, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, December 15, 2012.

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