Keeping our roads safe is a shared responsibility that falls on the shoulders of every driver. A crucial part of this duty involves gaining a comprehensive understanding of the road and traffic conditions we encounter daily. This knowledge not only enhances our driving skills but also equips us with the necessary foresight to avoid potential accidents. In Florida, where a high population means highways and roads are almost always busy, being aware of the most common types of car accidents can be instrumental in keeping you, your passengers, and fellow motorists safe.
5 Common Car Accident Types in Florida
Safety groups such as the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) diligently compile and analyze accident data. This crucial information provides insights into the patterns and circumstances surrounding road accidents, guiding drivers, researchers, and automakers toward more effective safety measures. (The most recent complete data sets are from 2021, so most of the information in this blog will be based on these statistics.)
Five most common types of car accidents on Florida roads:
- Drunk driving accidents: Despite stringent laws and awareness campaigns, drunk driving remains a persistent problem. These accidents often result in severe damage due to impaired reaction times and judgment. FLHSMV data shows that 5,111 car accidents in 2021 involved or were caused by a drunk driver—that’s 14 confirmed and serious drunk driving accidents per day across the state. (Distracted driving is suspected to be much more common than drunk driving, but definitive statistics are difficult to gather because most drivers won’t admit to driving while distracted.)
- Rear-end collisions: Often occurring in heavy traffic or at stop lights, rear-end collisions are common. Many rear-end collisions involve a driver who broke the speed limit, drove too quickly for traffic conditions, tailgated, or ran a stop sign. The FLHSMV reported more than 106,000 such accidents in 2021.
- Left-turn accidents: These accidents typically occur when a driver making a left turn fails to yield to oncoming traffic, resulting in a collision. Failure-to-yield right-of-way accidents accounted for more than 150,000 traffic accidents in 2021, according to the FLHSMV.
- Sideswipe accidents: Usually happening in multi-lane traffic, sideswipe accidents occur when two vehicles traveling parallel make contact. This can lead to loss of vehicle control and subsequent accidents. Sideswipe accidents often happen on highways.
- Head-on collisions: Although less frequent, head-on collisions are incredibly dangerous and often fatal. They usually happen due to reckless driving, wrong-way entry into a one-way road, or loss of control. The FLHSMV estimates more than 3,000 accidents happened in 2021 due to a motorist driving on the wrong side of the road or going the wrong way on a one-way street.
Common Serious Injuries Caused by Car Accidents in Florida
A motor vehicle accident can change a life in an instant. In the blink of an eye, a routine drive can lead to severe injuries that necessitate extensive medical care and rehabilitation. The FLHSMV reported 397,514 motor vehicle accidents in 2022, resulting in 3,565 fatalities and 252,133 injuries. What types of injuries proved to be the most common?
Five most common serious injuries caused by car accidents in Florida:
- Head injuries: These can range from minor concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The impact of a collision can cause the head to collide with the steering wheel, dashboard, or window, leading to significant injury.
- Back injuries: Damage to the spinal cord is particularly serious as it can lead to partial or complete paralysis. Even less severe injuries such as herniated disks can cause significant pain and require long-term treatment.
- Whiplash: A serious form of neck injury, whiplash is most commonly caused by rear-end collisions. The force of the impact causes the head and neck to whip back and forth, straining the muscles and ligaments in the neck and upper back.
- Broken bones: The force of a car accident can break bones. The most commonly broken bones in car accidents are ribs, arms, legs, hands, and collarbones.
- Lacerations: Broken glass and metal can cause deep cuts during a car accident. While some lacerations are minor, others can lead to significant blood loss and may require surgery.
How Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. Can Help
If you've been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, can provide the trusted and experienced legal counsel you need to file an injury claim. With over 70 years’ experience, our highly skilled attorneys are well-versed in handling such catastrophic injury claims from start to finish. We work tirelessly to gather and analyze evidence, consult with medical experts, negotiate with insurance companies, and build a strong case on your behalf. Known throughout Florida’s legal community and beyond, our lawyers never hesitate to take a case to litigation if necessary to ensure you have the best chance to get the compensation you deserve.
Don't hesitate to reach out for legal counsel. Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. is always ready to jump into action for a client. Call our law firm at any time to discuss your case and learn more about how we can help you navigate the complex legal process following a serious motor vehicle accident in Florida.
Dial (954) 467-8800 to get started with a free, confidential consultation.