4 Common Causes of Traffic Accidents in Tampa Bay

Did you know that Florida is among the states with the most reported traffic collisions? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that approximately six million motor vehicle accidents happen each year in the U.S. If you do the math, that averages to about one traffic collision every 10 seconds. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2017, 368,984 of those collisions occurred in Florida, with 153,430 resulting in personal injuries and 2,506 in fatalities.

Although more safety features become available in new cars as technology advances, there remain common factors associated with traffic collisions that still pose a great riskto those traveling. These factors involve driver error and are responsible for the majority of injuries and fatalities on the road:

1. Distractions

Distracted driving accounts for a considerable portion of motor vehicle collisions. Distractions can include eating while driving, adjusting the radio, and even talking to apassenger. However, possibly the most alarming of distractions is text messaging. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that 1.6 million traffic accidents per year are attributed to texting while driving. The NSC further reported that texting while driving is approximately six times more likely to cause a motor vehicle accident than operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

An AT&T survey, conducted in 2015, discovered that 70% of those surveyed admitted to phone usage in some way while behind the wheel. The vast majority of those surveyed also admitted to reading and replying to texts, as well as emailing, using social media, taking selfies, and recording videos.

2. Fatigue

According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, 60% of poll takers admitted to driving while feeling drowsy, and 37% admitted to actually falling asleep. Every year, around 100,000 of auto collisions are the direct result of driver fatigue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported. Of those 100,000 collisions, 71,000 lead to permanent injuries, while 1,550 lead to deaths.

3. Speeding

For the last two decades, speeding has attributed to approximately a third of all motor vehicle fatalities. According to the NHTSA, in 2016, speeding was the contributing factor for 27% of all fatal crashes, resulting in 10,111 deaths. Whether a driver speeds out of frustration towards other travelers or because he is running late for an appointment, the consequences of speeding are often severe. In 2016, speeding resulted in 393 Florida deaths and around 11,478 injuries.

4. Tailgating

You have probably heard of the “three-second rule,” but have you ever really stopped to think about how many cars would fit within that 3-second space? Under clear weather and traffic conditions, if you’re traveling at a speed of 35 mph, three seconds is the equivalent of approximately 10.5 cars. On the other hand, if you’re driving at a rate of 65 mph, the equivalent of three seconds is approximately 18 cars. And if weather conditions are poor, you must at least double the amount of space. This allows for time and distance to respond to the issues that may lie ahead. Unfortunately, many drivers neglect the rule altogether and find themselves in another vehicle’s rear bumper. According tothe NHTSA, rear-end collisions constitute roughly 23% of all traffic accidents, resulting in approximately 950,000 injuries and 2,000 fatalities.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, call Personal Injury Attorney Chelsie M. Lamie at 727-501-3464 for a free consultation. You can also learn more about Attorney Lamie by visiting www.chelsielamie.com.

© 2017 Chelsie M. Lamie, P.A.

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