Last Update: 01/13/16
8 Ways You Can Cause a Traffic Accident
Last week, we listed thirteen different ways that you can cause a car accident. Here are eight more:
1. Speeding or Driving Too Slow
If you fail to keep a reasonable driving speed by going either over the speed limit or driving much slower than the speed limit, you can cause an accident. Speed limits are designed to keep traffic moving safely and do minimize traffic accidents. Driving too fast can result in serious crashes with severe injuries and even fatalities. Driving too slow is also dangerous: someone who drives too slowly can block traffic, as well as frustrate other drivers to the point that they make rash driving errors.
2. Not Safely Stopping or Parking Your Car
If you fail to park or stop your vehicle properly, then you can cause an accident. Cars need to be parked properly in parking lots as well as along the sides of streets and freeways. Moreover, according to Florida Statute 316.1945, it is against the law to stop, stand or park your car in the following places unless it is necessary in order to “… avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic control device”:
1. On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street.
2. On a sidewalk.
3. Within an intersection.
4. On a crosswalk.
3. Sudden Stops Or Sudden Slow Downs Can Cause Accidents
Sudden stops in traffic and/or a driver abruptly slowing down their rate of speed are often the causes of rear-end collisions. While Florida law does say that all drivers must keep a safe amount of space between cars so they are able to brake when the car in front of them unexpectedly slows or stops, the “sudden stop defense” allows drivers in rear-end collisions to place sum of the blame for the accident on the driver in front of them that stopped too fast.
Unfortunately, though, this means if you were injured in a rear-end accident, the sudden stop defense may affect the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries from the driver who rear-ended your car. If you were the one to suddenly stop, then you will have to share in the percentage of fault in causing the crash: it will not be solely the rear driver who slammed into your car that is considered legally to blame for the accident.
4. Not Obeying Warning Signs of Traffic Road Hazards
In times of roadway construction, bad weather, or accidents blocking traffic, warning signs are placed in the form of orange cones, temporary speed limit signs, detours, and the like. The failure to obey these warnings of road hazards can cause accidents.
5. Improperly Making a Turn
There are laws and regulations in place on how a driver is to properly make a left-hand or right-hand turn. These are designed to keep both the driver and others on the road safe. Turns are not to be made from interior lanes, for instance, and they are not to be made without the proper signaling.
6. Rapid Lane Changes Can Cause Wrecks
Drivers should not change lanes when driving without a need to do so, for example to allow for more distance between cars or to prepare to exit the roadway. Today, more and more drivers choose to move fast through traffic by zipping between cars going from lane to lane. This is illegal and dangerous: moving from one lane to another lane in traffic, particularly heavy traffic, invites danger and often causes accidents.
7. Not Honking to Warn Others
Failure to use vehicle’s horn (or lights, etc.) to warn the other driver. When there is danger on a Florida road, drivers can and should warn oncoming traffic of the problem. Freight dropped off the back of a truck can block a roadway; a tree limb can fall after a storm; a car can stall: there are all sorts of dangers that can surprise drivers going along a road or highway that drivers going on the opposite direction can easily give warning by honking their horns or flashing their lights. Failing to warn others of these hidden dangers can cause accidents.
8. Driving the Middle: Not Staying on the Right Side of the Road
In Florida, traffic must move forward on the right-hand side of the roadway no matter the size or location of the road. On narrow roadways, like rural roads, or on freeways with little traffic, there is a temptation to drive along the middle of the road for many drivers. However, failing to remain completely on the right side of the road can cause accidents.
What Should You Do?
A good piece of advice if you have been harmed in an accident, is to at least speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.