What Are the Major Contributing Factors to Traffic Accidents? Many factors cause traffic accidents in Florida.

Traffic accidents can happen anywhere and for a multitude of reasons. Different forms of driver negligence caused a large number of the nearly 400,000 accidents that occurred in Florida in 2016.

According to various studies, most car accidents occur due to one of the following reasons:

  • Driver behavior
  • Failing equipment
  • Poor roadway design or maintenance

What Are the Major Contributing Factors to Traffic Accidents?

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Driver Behavior

In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that the critical reason for 94 percent of crashes is driver error. Drivers behave negligently or recklessly behind the wheel and breach their duty to other drivers to operate their vehicles responsibly. Here are some of the most common mistakes drivers who cause accidents make behind the wheel.

  • Inattention/failure to keep a proper lookout– Drivers do not always pay attention to the roadway and other vehicles. The NHTSA found that inattention, internal and external distractions, and inadequate surveillance make up 41 percent of driver errors in accidents.
  • Poor decision-making– Even experienced drivers do not always make the best decisions while driving. Decision-related errors were responsible for approximately 33 percent of driver behavior accidents, according to the NHTSA survey. Drivers often go faster than they should with certain road and weather conditions, misjudge the speed of other drivers and overcompensate while steering.
  • Aggressive driving– Drivers who engage in aggressive driving behaviors such as aggressive tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic causes some Florida accidents.

Many driver errors occur due to one of the following reasons:

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

Drivers under the influence of alcohol often have slower reaction times and are unable to make sound decisions behind the wheel. Drivers with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher may not operate a vehicle under the law, but that does not stop thousands of people from doing it anyway. The NHTSA found that impaired driving factored into 31 percent of all 2014 accident fatalities in the United States.

The NHTSA also found that Florida had the third highest number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the United States with 685 fatalities. In 2015, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) estimated there were 16,400 Florida accidents involving a driver suspected to have alcohol in their system. Out of these accidents involving the suspected influence of alcohol, nearly 7,000 involved an injury, and over 900 involved a fatality.

Distracted Driving

In 2015, distracted driving caused 45,700 Florida motor vehicle accidents, according to the DHSMV. Taking your eyes off the road even for a split second can lead to catastrophic injuries and damages. There are many forms of distracted driving including:

  • Phone usage – One of the most common distractions for drivers is smartphones. Drivers often talk text, check social media, take photos, check e-mail and surf the web while driving.  
  • Eating
  • Adjusting the radio, GPS, or other in-vehicle devices
  • Engaging with passengers in the vehicle
  • Reading

Driver Fatigue

Drivers who do not get the sleep they need may find it difficult to pay attention while driving. Some drivers even fall asleep behind the wheel, causing the vehicle to veer off the road and crash into other vehicles, pedestrians, or stationary structures. The NHTSA found that sleep and other non-performance errors accounted for seven percent of crashes.

Defective Vehicle

Although driver error is the critical reason for most motor vehicle accidents, it is not the only possibility. Defective vehicles account for approximately 2 percent of all accidents. Some of the most common defects that cause accidents include:

  • Defective tires (35 percent of defective vehicle accidents)
  • Faulty brakes (22 percent of defective vehicle accidents)
  • Defective steering (3 percent of defective vehicle accidents)
  • Unknown vehicle issues (40 percent of defective vehicle accidents

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Environment

The environment was the critical reason for approximately 2 percent of accidents. Some of the most common environmental issues include:

  • Slick roads (e.g., debris, ice) (50 percent of environment-related accidents)
  • Glare (17 percent of environment-related accidents)
  • View obstructions (11 percent of environment-related accidents)
  • Highway-related conditions (9 percent of environment-related accidents)

No matter what caused your accident, if you suffered injuries, you could receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. For more information on how we can assist you, call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine at 800-747-3733 as soon as possible.