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Florida-specific Factors in Auto Accidents

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Personal Injury

While long-time residents may have gained the skills necessary to operate their vehicles in an appropriate and reasonable manner along Florida’s roadways, we must also take into consideration the presence of other motorists, who are unfamiliar with traffic, roadway, and weather conditions, many of which are unique to our state. This concept can be realized simply by reflecting upon the transient nature of many motorists that utilize Florida’s roadways. Florida has become well-known for its high rate of tourists, out-of-state visitors, as well as persons relocating from out-of-state.

With more than 19 million residents, Florida is the fourth most populated state in the U.S. According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, approximately 1000 people a day move to Florida. In addition, tourism statistics show that, on average, well over 80 million people visit our state each year. In observation of the correlation amongst motor vehicle collisions, high population rates, and drivers that lack familiarity or preparedness to properly navigate our roadways, the Gainesville Injury & Accident Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. comment on this important issue.

With more residents comes more drivers, which means more motor vehicles occupying our roadways. In an effort to reduce congestion and traffic, many of Florida’s highways have an increased number of traveling lanes in comparison to other states, which can be dangerous for motorists who are not accustomed to traveling upon multiple lane highways. Also, rural, residential and other non-highway roads often have many more lanes of traffic, as well as multiple turning lanes, both of which can create difficulty for drivers that are new to Florida.

In addition, because of the large number of tourists, visitors, and new residents to Florida, many drivers simply lack general familiarity with the area. This problem is often further complicated due to road changes and ongoing construction, that may not be properly accounted for on GPS devices, or other directional, mapping, or travel route planning devices, systems, mobile applications, or websites. Sadly, many accidents occur each year as a result of negligent motorists who either engage in distracted driving by attempting to utilize directional devices while operating a motor vehicle, or otherwise continue to travel in an unreasonable manner, rather than pulling over to reassess their location.

The risk of an auto collision in Florida can also be seen by taking into consideration the aggregate effect of all three aforementioned factors—high population, transient visitors or tourists, as well as new residents. Put simply, more people, more drivers, and more cars, can combine to create a higher incidence rate of many commonly recognized factors associated with motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, this can mean more reckless, careless, impaired, negligent, and/or distracted drivers, as well as more unlicensed and/or uninsured drivers.

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The weather conditions in Florida is another factor that often contributes to accidents. For example heavy winds, especially during hurricane season, can cause a motorist to lose control of a vehicle. Also, due to the often sudden onset of heavy rain storms, Rainfall related accidents are a huge concern in Florida. Often time, drivers coming from cold weather states may operate their vehicles under the misconception that if they are able to drive in ice and snow, that they are also prepared to drive safely during and following periods of heavy rainfall. The truth of the matter is that driving in ice or snow is very different than driving in rain.

Aside from rainfall, there are other visibility related issues that can contribute to auto accidents in Florida, such as sun glare. Our Gainesville injury team takes note of another problem in Florida—fog and/or smoke induced accidents. Visibility issues related to fog and smoke are particularly problematic in low-lying areas, such as Paynes Prairie. Most concerning with these types of accident is they often result in multi-vehicle crashes and deadly pile-ups.

Sharing our state’s congested roadways with other motorists, whether new residents, tourists, visitors or Florida natives, can be a risky endeavor for any driver. Motor vehicle accident rates in Florida are alarming. The Gainesville Automobile Collision Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. believe that when an injury or fatality occurs as a result of the negligent actions of another, that the victim should receive the compensation deserved for any damages incurred.