Skip to Content
Contact Form Map & Directions Videos

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Auto Accident Help from a Leading Florida Law Firm

Don’t Take Less Than You Deserve! Consult with Searcy Law to Learn the Strength of Your Car Accident Claim

Police question driver after car accident

Car accidents account for a significant number of injuries and deaths in Florida, which ranks among the most dangerous states in the country in this respect. According to crash data collected by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), in 2022 alone there were 388,961 crashes statewide, with 247,745 reported injuries and 3,428 reported traffic fatalities from all crashes reported. From January 1, 2023 – January 19, 2023, the FLHSMV already reported the following crash statistics:

  • All Crashes: 13,574
  • Total Fatalities from All Crashes: 74
  • Injuries from All Crashes: 8,760

Unfortunately, many accident victims do not realize how important it is to speak with an experienced Florida auto accident lawyer soon after their accident.  Many accident victims do not seek the assistance of counsel at all and do not pursue the full compensation they deserve for the injuries they sustained from a negligent driver on Florida roadways.

Many car accident injury victims fail to recognize that they have a legitimate claim for damages under Florida law. Car accidents can result in various damages and expenses for an injured car accident victim including but not limited to: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Deteriorating quality of life
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property loss

If you have questions about the damages you may be able to obtain for the serious injuries you sustained in your auto accident case and are unsure of what to do next, speak with an experienced Florida auto accident lawyer at Searcy Denney.  Our auto accident lawyers can help explain your options as well as the process for filing a personal injury claim. We can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you need for the injuries you sustained so that you can focus on what is most important – healing and returning to your normal life. By bringing a timely action against the defendant, the injured plaintiff may be able to secure compensation for their various losses.

Here at Searcy Denney, an experienced Florida auto accident lawyer can assist you at every stage of the litigation process, from gathering evidence to negotiating a settlement to arguing the case at trial. We are tenacious advocates and are willing and able to go the extra mile to ensure that our clients obtain the compensation they deserve. If you’d like to learn more about our legal services and what we can do to help, contact us today to set up a free and confidential consultation.

Common Factors Leading to Car Accidents Explained by a Top Florida Auto Accident Lawyer 

Car accidents may be caused by a variety of factors, many of which can be linked to the negligent or otherwise wrongful acts of a defendant. If you are capable of proving that the defendant’s actions led to your injuries, then you may be entitled to recover significant damages as compensation.

Consider the following common car accident causes. If any of these causes were present during your auto accident case, call our office today for a free consultation to determine whether you may be able to pursue damages for the injuries you pursued.

Poor Weather Conditions

Many drivers mistakenly assume that, because the weather conditions are poor, they are shielded from liability in the event that they lose control of their vehicle and cause a car accident. In reality, however, drivers are held to a standard of care that is dynamic in accordance with the circumstances. If visibility is poor, for example, then the driver cannot operate their vehicle in the same manner (and at the same speeds) that they might otherwise during fair weather conditions. Failure to account for these challenging environmental conditions could expose the driver to significant liability in the event of an accident.

Let’s use a quick example to clarify.

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident collision involving another driver (during heavy rain and a thunderstorm). The defendant-driver argues that they lost control of their car due to the slick roads and rainy weather, causing them to swerve into your lane and get into an unexpected collision.  You could counter this assertion by showing that, even if the conditions were poor, the defendant-driver should have accounted for the risk posed by the weather conditions and operated his vehicle at a slower speed, and with greater care.  Had he done so, perhaps the collision would not have occurred.

By way of another example, suppose on a foggy Florida morning where visibility is difficult, a driver continues at the rate of speed appropriate for a clear sunny day and runs a red light because the driver was not able to see it in time to stop due to fog and the driver’s high rate of speed. As a result, the negligent driver T-bones another driver who was in the right-of-way, causing the other driver to sustain various injuries and damages. Even though fog was present as a condition that inhibited every driver’s visibility while driving that morning, the driver who ran the red light had a duty to reduce speed during the foggy conditions. Generally, when a driver runs a red light and strikes another car, the driver running the light is often at fault.     

A Florida auto accident lawyer can help you evaluate whether the other driver exercised the appropriate standard of care under the circumstances.

Regarding weather conditions, the FLHSMV 2020 report revealed various weather conditions present when accidents occurred including, but not limited to:

  • Blowing Sand, Soil, and/or Dirt
  • Cloudy Weather Conditions
  • Fog, Smog, or Smokey Conditions
  • Rainy Conditions
  • Severe Crosswinds
  • Sleet/Hail/Freezing Rain

A Florida auto accident lawyer can help you evaluate whether the other driver exercised the appropriate standard of care under the circumstances.

Reckless, Negligent or Aggressive Driving and Speeding Car Accidents 

Reckless driving and excessive speeding often lead to car accidents and cause other drivers on the road to sustain serious injuries, some of which may be fatal.  In fact, in 2020, the FLHSMV reported the following injuries caused by drivers who operated a motor vehicle in an erratic, reckless, or aggressive manner:

  • Fatal: 101
  • Incapacitating: 282

The FLHSMV also reported the following statistics from drivers who operated a motor vehicle in a careless or negligent manner:

  • Fatal: 726
  • Incapacitating 4,837

If you have been injured in a car accident where the defendant was operating their vehicle in a reckless manner or at an unreasonable speed, then you may be entitled to damages for your injuries. In fact, if they were traveling in excess of the legal speed limit for the roadway, you may be able to hold them liable for damages pursuant to “negligence per se,” which allows you to automatically find the defendant negligent for the circumstances. This can make it substantially easier to prove that the defendant is responsible for your losses. If you have questions about your rights from the injuries you sustained in an auto accident case involving a reckless, negligent, or aggressive driver, contact Searcy Denney today. For more than 45 years, we have been helping accident victims fight for their deserved compensation. Call today for a free case evaluation.

Intoxicated Driving

According to statistics, intoxicated drivers (whether they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or some other substance) are responsible for nearly 30 percent of all traffic fatalities.

 The FLHSMV reported the following alcohol-related statistics in 2020:

  • Alcohol Confirmed Crashes: 4,554
  • Alcohol Confirmed Fatal Crashes: 349
  • Alcohol Confirmed Fatalities: 384
  • Alcohol Confirmed Incapacitating Injury Crashes: 229

If you have been injured by an intoxicated driver, chances are that you will be able to obtain compensation for your losses. It’s worth noting that in some cases, Florida dram shop laws may give you the right to sue and recover damages from the business and/or social host that served the intoxicated driver alcohol. Given the hidden complexity of many “drunk driving” car accident lawsuits, it’s important to consult with a qualified Florida auto accident attorney as soon as possible, so that your case can be thoroughly and timely evaluated.

Fatigued/Drowsy Driving

Fatigued driving, otherwise known as drowsy driving, is a serious problem, and it is a lot more common than many drivers expect. According to data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving led to 633 fatalities in 2020, making up 1.6% of total fatalities in 2020 alone.

Many drivers mistakenly underestimate the effect of fatigue on their ability to competently operate a vehicle. In truth, however, fatigue can slow reaction times, making it significantly more difficult to avoid collisions. In extreme cases, fatigue can cause a driver to fall asleep at the wheel.

Fatigued driving is perhaps most commonly encountered in the commercial driving context, where employers overwork their drivers and provide incentives that encourage their drivers to avoid sleep and take stimulants. 

While traveling on Florida roadways, especially at night, be sure to watch for signs that another driver on the road is fatigued or drowsy.  Some common signs to look for to identify driver fatigue include but are not limited to:

  • Wandering from lane to lane
  • Continuously hitting a rumble strip

If you are able to see inside the other driver’s car or are in a car with a drowsy driver, you may also notice frequent yawning or blinking while driving. If you are injured by a fatigued commercial driver, you may have an independent negligence claim against the employer, too.

Vehicle Rollovers

Rollover accidents may be dangerous, but they are avoidable. Drivers must exercise reasonable care when inspecting, loading, and operating their vehicles to ensure that the rollover risk is kept to a minimum. Failure to do so could expose the defendant to significant car accident liability.

Teen Drivers

Teen drivers can be a significant risk to others on the road. Oftentimes, teen drivers operate vehicles in a distracted or reckless manner. For example, teen drivers may become too absorbed in the music they’re listening to, or too involved in a conversation occurring inside the vehicle, causing them to fail to react in time to road hazards.

According to the crash statistics from the FLHSMV’s 2020 annual report, below are statistics by age range of the drivers involved in the accidents:

  • 15 to 17-year-old drivers in crashes: 13,306
  • 15 to 17-year-old driver fatalities: 29
  • 18 to 20-year-old drivers in crashes: 39,968
  • 18 to 20-year-old driver fatalities: 108
  • 21 to 24-year-old drivers in crashes: 53,653
  • 21 to 24-year-old driver fatalities: 191

Fundamentally, however, the main problem that plagues teen drivers is their relative inexperience. Many teen drivers lack the requisite muscle memory necessary to make safe driving decisions during dangerous situations. They may turn too slowly or fail to make the correct decision to avoid a collision or minimize damage in the event of an unavoidable collision.

In car accidents involving teen drivers, sometimes the vehicle is not owned by the teen driver themselves, but by their parent (or even a friend), particularly when the teen is a minor. If that is the case, you may also have an independent right of action against the vehicle owner for damages, pursuant to “negligent entrustment.” If the vehicle owner knows that the teen driver is incompetent to safely operate the vehicle (i.e., unlicensed, excessive history of accidents, etc.), then they may be held liable for injuries caused by that driver after entrusting the vehicle to them. Understanding who can be held responsible for an accident caused by a teen driver is one of the many hurdles a Florida car accident attorney can help you overcome.

Senior Driver May Accidentally Cause a Collision 

Eventually, advanced age can impede the physical and mental faculties of a driver to a significant enough extent that they are simply not “competent” enough to safely operate a motor vehicle. Drivers must consider their ability to safely operate their vehicle before setting forth on the road. If they are having trouble effectively navigating roadways, then chances are that they are exposing others to an unreasonable risk of injury.

Road Hazards 

In some car accident scenarios, you may have a legitimate claim for damages against a property owner — public or private.  Property owners have a duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition for others, and this includes roadways. Failure to adequately maintain roadways (and adjacent structures) could lead to a serious car accident and expose the property owner to liability.

Consider, for example, a situation in which you are injured by a falling tree on the highway during perfectly normal weather. After further investigation, you find that the owner of the property abutting the highway did not properly inspect the trees for disease and rot. Had they done so, they would have discovered that the trees posed a dangerous falling hazard, and they could have corrected the issue by cutting down the trees or otherwise treating the disease/rot. A Florida lawyer can help you determine whether your accident was preventable and within the property owner’s duty to maintain.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Attorneys to Discuss Your Case

If you have sustained serious injuries in a car accident due to the negligence or wrongful misconduct of another individual (or entity), then you may have a right to be compensated for your losses under Florida law. Here at Searcy Denney, we have extensive experience representing injured claimants in a range of car accident lawsuits, from those involving drunk drivers to multi-car pileups.

Interested in learning more? Contact a skilled Florida auto accident lawyer to arrange for a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. Call 1-800-780-8607 or request an appointment online.  We do not charge our clients fees or costs until — and unless — the case is won, and you have received just compensation for your injuries.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"The attorneys and staff at Searcy Denney are some of the most compassionate and caring individuals I have met in the legal field. They work tirelessly on behalf of their clients to ensure the best possible outcome. I would highly recommend them for anyone who is seeking excellent legal representation."
Posted By: Lauren Schumacher