Florida the Car Accident State
With our warm weather, beautiful beaches and theme parks, Florida tops the list as the 2nd most visited state by tourists in the country. We are also on track to be the fastest growing state with almost 1,000 people a day moving to the state based on the most recent census data. With this growth of new residents, as well as being a top destination for tourists, it is no wonder Florida ranks among the highest in the number of automobile accidents. There were 344,170 total traffic accidents in 2014, which was almost a 9% increase from the previous year.
Dangers of Head-On Collisions
Car accidents can occur several different ways, with the most common being rear end collisions. One of the most dangerous types of automobile accidents is a head-on collision, which occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes into the front end of another vehicle. These accidents tend to happen when both vehicles are in motion and often at a high rate of speed. Head-on collisions tend to cause the most catastrophic injuries and often times they prove to be fatal. The Department of Transportation estimated that 18% of crashes outside of intersections involve head on collisions. Though they make up only 2% of total crashes, they have the highest fatality rate at 10%.
Many new cars are reducing the risk of injuries in a head-on collision and other types of car crashes with new technology and better safety features. This includes crumple zones, seatbelts, front and side airbags, bumpers, etc… all with the intention to absorb the collision impact and to keep motorists inside the vehicle. However, even with the best technology and despite all of these additional safety features, many victims bear life-altering injuries and even death with head-on collisions.
The vast majority of head-on collisions occur due to another driver’s negligence. If a negligent party caused your car accident, you have the right to hold that party responsible for their actions and receive just compensation for your injury or loss.
Common Causes of Head-on Collisions
There are many reasons for head-on crashes to occur. The following are a few examples of some of the more common causes of these horrific crashes:
Drunk Drivers — According to the Insurance Information Institute Report accidents caused by drunk drivers make up 31 of all fatalities. Drunk drivers are driving impaired causing them to swerve back and forth, leaving their designated lane. Often times they may cross over the center line and collide with an oncoming car. Drunk drivers may at times go the wrong direction down a one way street or highway causing a head-on collision.
Driving Tired— Some accidents may occur due to a driver being fatigued. This can cause a lapse in judgement, lack of concentration or even worse falling asleep at the wheel. Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel can cross lanes, medians and cause head on collisions.
Distracted Driving — With today’s technology, almost everyone has a smart phone or tablet. The most common form of distracted driving is texting on your device. The average text message takes 5 seconds. If you are going 55mph, you will travel the length of a football field without looking at the road. In 2014 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Due to their distractions, many texting or distracted drivers do leave from their lanes and into oncoming traffic, which often results in head-on collisions.
Improper Passing — Every driver should know common Florida traffic laws, that you are not supposed to pass another vehicle when there is a double yellow line. Many impatient drivers however, feel they have enough time or are experienced enough to pass cars on a two-lane highway or road. All too often, the passing driver cannot see oncoming cars in the passing lane and don’t have enough time to brake or get back over to their lane in time to avoid a head-on collision.
Rural Roads — Almost 50% of all head on collisions occur on rural roads. These roads are often narrow, winding with hills and can make it difficult to see oncoming traffic. In addition, because they are so rural, typically law enforcement is not present; due to this many people tend to travel at high rates of speed. These conditions can lead to cars straying into the opposite lane and colliding with an oncoming car.
Road hazards — Construction, potholes, uneven lanes, improper lane markings, objects in the road, and other road hazards can cause a driver to quickly swerve or lose control of their car, which can cause a serious head-on collision.
GAINESVILLE CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER
If you or a loved one has been injured in a head-on collision, you should discuss your legal rights with an experienced car accident attorney in Gainesville. Call The Law Office of Laurie D. Mitchell for your free consultation (352) 371-9828.