Fatal Car Accidents
When drivers get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, they are responsible for tons of steel moving at high speeds, in a variety of challenging conditions. It is essential to take that responsibility seriously. Unfortunately, all too often vehicle collisions result in very severe accidents, and even deaths. If you lose a loved one in a fatal collision, a local accident attorney may be able to assist with your questions about the future.
In 2016 alone, nearly 37,500 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents across the country. Just under 3,200 of those fatalities occurred here in the Sunshine State. The numbers in Florida are grim:
- Roughly 1/3 of deaths involved occupants in cars;
- Just under 20 percent of occupants were in SUVs or trucks;
- Nearly one in five fatalities involved motorcyclists;
- Over 20 percent of those killed were pedestrians;
- Bicyclists comprised four percent of the fatalities;
- More than half of fatal accidents involved drivers who exceeded the legal blood-alcohol level of .08 percent;
- 51 percent of people killed were not wearing seatbelts.
Causes of Fatal Accidents
Studies indicate that fatal crashes occur due to a variety of factors:
- Meandering out of designated lanes;
- Failing to yield;
- Driving recklessly;
- Overcorrections after being startled;
- Failing to adjust to changes in road surfaces;
- Obstructions in the roadway;
- Wrong way driving;
- Operating a vehicle that lacks required safety equipment;
- Turning improperly;
- Driving carelessly or while distracted.
In Florida, all of these have influenced fatality statistics, with distracted and reckless driving being the primary contributors to highway deaths.
Just what can drivers do to protect themselves and their precious passengers when behind the wheel? A number of simple things can be critically important:
- Have a serious attitude about driving. Nonchalance can lead to tragedy in just seconds;
- Make sure you and your passengers are always buckled up;
- Refuse to get behind the wheel after drinking or using medications or drugs that could impact your ability to handle the vehicle effectively. Make sure not to be a passenger in a vehicle if the driver is incapacitated, even if it’s just a short drive;
- Avoid distractions such as phones, food, and so forth while driving;
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained;
- Adjust your driving for weather conditions, construction sites, and other potential hazards;
- Watch for children and other pedestrians;
- Proceed with extra caution through intersections;
- Stick to posted speed limits;
- Be aware of small children and other pedestrians in parking lots and when backing out of driveways.
When Tragedy Strikes
Nothing can prepare one for the devastating news that a loved one has been lost in a motor vehicle accident. As the reality of the matter starts to sink in, the array of emotions and questions that are experienced may be overwhelming. As you strive to manage the emotional trauma, let the experienced and compassionate team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton address the legal issues associated with the incident. Schedule your confidential consultation in our Daytona & Ormond Beach office today.