COVID-19 UPDATE: Gerson & Schwartz Accident & Injury Lawyers operations continue uninterrupted. Click for More Information.

Articles Posted in Car Accidents

You might not give much thought to the countless intersections you turn on or pass through as you navigate your way throughout South Florida roadways, but there are risks involved with every encounter. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), around 25% of all traffic deaths and half of all vehicle accident injuries are linked to intersections. Despite clear signage and laws regarding yielding when drivers approach cross-streets, motorists are still careless or unaware of right of way rules. 

Florida auto crash laws allow victims to pursue damages from the at-fault driver, so it is comforting to know that you have options for recovering compensation. A Miami intersection car accidents lawyer can explain your remedies, but some additional statistics and causes behind these incidents is useful for understanding the risks.

Detailed Data on Intersection Auto Crashes

Even after years of public safety campaigns and issuing tickets for cell phone use, it seems that many motorists could use a reminder on the dangers of texting, talking, and other forms of distracted driving. Once again, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is hosting its annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month this April 2022. The “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” slogan is directed at prevention through pointing out the financial implications, but other details are important for revealing the risks of distracted driving. This risky misconduct causes more than 3,100 fatalities every year and, instead of decreasing, the number of deaths is on the rise. 

It may be tempting to grab your phone while behind the wheel, but you are less likely to reach for it when you understand the dangers. While you should consult with a Miami distracted driving accidents lawyer if you are involved in a crash, it is helpful to review some tips in avoiding the temptation.

Why Distracted Driving Increases the Risk of Crashes 

Aggressive driving and “road rage” have become serious problems nationwide in recent years, and Florida followed in the steps of several US states by enacting laws to penalize dangerous misconduct. State traffic laws define aggressive driving as driving at excessive speeds, making unsafe lane changes, “tailgating,” and cutting off another motorist while passing. A first-time offense could mean up to 90 days in jail, a fine ranging from $25 to $500, or both. The penalties get harsher with subsequent offenses, which are punishable by up to six months’ incarceration and fines up to $1,000. 

Unfortunately, the threat of jail time, fines, and a driver’s license suspension are not sufficient to discourage all motorists from aggressive driving. Their outrageous conduct puts everyone on the road at an increased risk of crashes, and the injuries to victims are far more severe. You should consult with a Miami aggressive driving accident lawyer right away if you were hurt, but some tips may help you avoid being involved in such an incident.

Avoid Being a Target: Drivers often enter road rage mode after getting frustrated with traffic maneuvers by other motorists that, while legal, can be maddening. When traveling on multi-lane highways, do not drive slowly in the fast lane – even when you are doing the speed limit. If you spot a vehicle rapidly approaching in your rearview mirror, you should wait to attempt a passing move.

Contrary to popular misconception, YES, you can be arrested for drunk driving while on a bicycle in Florida. The state statute on driving under the influence (DUI) applies to anyone on a vehicle, and the law specifically excludes the word “motorized” when describing the offense. You could be charged if you have a blood alcohol concentration in excess of the legal limit, but officers could also arrest you if they believe your capabilities are impaired by alcohol. If convicted, you face up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. 

However, the potential for a criminal conviction is not the biggest concern for bicycle riders. Alcohol has the same effects on your mind and body no matter what vehicle you are operating, so you put yourself at risk of serious injuries in a Miami bicycle accident. Some information on the dangers should convince you to avoid riding after consuming alcohol.

Statistics on Drunk Driving and Bike Crashes

A South Beach community is reeling after an incident involving an elderly woman who drove her vehicle into a popular outdoor café, killing one man and injuring six others. Miami’s Local 10 News reported on the accident, which occurred during the busy evening hours when the restaurant was packed with diners enjoying their meal on the terrace. Witnesses believe the woman was attempting to parallel park her Bentley when she mistook the “Park” pedal and put the car in reverse. As a result of her confusion, the woman plowed through an embankment, over the curb, and into the outdoor dining space. 

The woman is not facing criminal charges, but victims and their families may already be considering legal action through Miami personal injury lawsuits. As the investigation into the deadly accident continues, some of the details are raising more questions than answers.

What liability concepts apply? There are two possible personal injury claims that victims and their families might consider pursuing, as the incident encompasses both premises liability and motor vehicle accident concepts. However, the basis for liability is the same: These accidents happen because of negligence, so victims must prove that the incident occurred because a party failed to exercise reasonable care.

Every major city in the US has traffic problems, and Miami is no exception. On any given day, especially during morning and evening rush hours, motorists could be looking at a bumper-to-bumper scenario – were it not for the miracle of express lanes. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has established regulations regarding “managed” lanes, which you may know familiarly as the optional express lanes that you can steer into for a more efficient commute. There are multiple express lanes throughout South Florida, including portions of I-97, I-75, and even US Route 1. 

However, even as express lanes offer the benefits of managed traffic congestion and route options, the risk of vehicle crashes remains. In fact, certain factors may contribute to an increased risk. If you were involved in such a crash, it is critical to reach out to a Miami car accident attorney right away. Plus, some tips should help you get through the chaos and confusion that ensues.

Pull Over Safely

It may not be a surprise to learn that road travel is more dangerous around holiday periods in Miami, but you might be shocked to find that Christmas and other winter celebrations do not rank in the Top 10. The “bookends” of the summer season – Memorial Day and Labor Day – claim #1 and #2 for the highest number of fatal collisions according to auto insurance marketplace AutoInsurance.org. In fact, deadly crashes around Christmas are 12.4% below the average of all holidays considered, putting the holiday at the #17 spot. Travel on New Year’s Day, the 12th most dangerous holiday, is slightly riskier at 3% under average. 

Obviously, car accidents still occur at an alarming rate in Miami. There have already been more than 107,700 auto crashes in South Florida so far, and 2021 is not yet over. If you were injured or lost a loved one, retaining a Miami car accident lawyer should be a priority any time of year. Some additional information on holiday traffic collisions offers insight on the dangers.

Risk Factors for Holiday Auto Crashes in Miami 

Even with advancements in auto safety, increased enforcement of traffic laws, and cracking down on distracted driving, car accidents still occur in South Florida at an alarming rate. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reports that there are more than 65,000 auto crashes in Miami-Dade County alone, causing almost 300 fatalities every year. Another 32,000 victims are injured in traffic collisions, and their losses can be devastating. In addition to the physical pain, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other consequences add up. 

Various factors are at play when it comes to assessing the safety risks on county thoroughfares, local city streets, and highways. You can trust a Miami highway car accidents attorney to protect your rights if you were involved in a collision on any of South Florida’s most dangerous roads. When you know where they are located, you might understand why collisions are a common occurrence in these areas.

I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike

Bicycle accidents may not be as common as other traffic-related collisions, but they do tend to cause a disproportionate number of fatalities and injuries. According to the Crash Dashboard operated by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are almost 6,700 total bicycle accidents statewide every year; in 95% of them, at least one person is killed or injured. It does not take a degree in physics to know that the person on the bike will typically suffer the most devastating harm. If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, you may wonder about your legal options versus the at-fault motorist. 

Fortunately, you do have remedies for recovering compensation, and they fall under state auto insurance laws. Florida is a no-fault jurisdiction, so motorists are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to cover their own injury-related losses. These requirements impact your rights as a victim, and a Miami bicycle accidents lawyer can explain the details. Answers to common questions about Florida PIP insurance in bike collisions may also be useful.

What Does “No Fault” Mean? 

When happy hour extends well into the evening, you know that it is a huge mistake to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. What you may not realize is how being drunk can impact your rights in an accident, even when you were not driving. Under basic personal injury laws, individuals and entities can be held liable for harm caused by negligent conduct. However, the state comparative fault statute also takes into account the victim’s misconduct. If you were hurt by someone else’s negligence, your compensation might be reduced by the amount of fault attributable to you. 

Therefore, you might expect to lose out on a portion of your monetary damages if you were hurt because of your own negligent acts. Unfortunately, another statute may apply to completely bar compensation for victims who were drunk when injured. A Miami personal injury attorney may be able to help overcome the impact of this law, but you should understand how it works.

Florida’s Alcohol or Drug Defense Statute

Florida Justice Association
The National Center for Victims of Crime
outh Florida Legal Guide
Contact Information