Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bad Habits on the Road that Lead to Car Crashes

You may consider yourself a good driver and express frustration at the other bad drivers on the road. But could you be guilty of one or more bad habits that lead to car crashes? Or have you been the victim of someone else’s bad habit that caused a car accident? If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident, it is important to contact an experienced Florida car accident attorney right away to discuss the laws that apply to your case and the compensation you deserve.

Driving While Drowsy

You consider yourself a responsible person. You work hard, and you take care of your family. However, today it has been a long day at work, and you can hardly keep your eyes open. You would never drive drunk or even consider texting while driving, but did you know getting into the driver's seat while drowsy can have equally significant effects? Some warning signs that you are too tired to drive include the following:

  • Delayed response to a stoplight change 
  • Missing exits or taking wrong roads
  • Swerving or veering onto rumble strips on the road side
  • Feeling of heaviness in eyelids or inability to keep eyes open

While coffee, music, and opening the windows may help you to feel like you are successfully keeping yourself awake, a much better solution is to pull over in a safe spot to sleep until you can drive safely. If you are close to home (for example, at work), consider calling a ride share program or a taxi. Car accidents can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a taxi is inexpensive in comparison.

Texting While Driving

You might think that sending a quick "On the way!" text will take your eyes off the road for just a second, but you are wrong. Florida has banned texting while driving - and for good reason. The NHTSA explains that reading or sending a text takes your eyes off the road for a full five seconds, which at freeway speeds, is the length of a football field. And you are not the only one guilty of putting yourself and others in danger in this way. Studies show that at any moment during the day in the United States, around 660,000 drivers are in the process of using a cellphone or electronic device while driving. These texts are not without consequences. In 2015 alone, 3,477 people died and 391,000 were injured in car crashes where drivers were distracted. What are some practical solutions to this problem?

  • The easiest solution is to wait. Your friends, your family, and your work would rather wait to hear a response from you and have you arrive at your destination safely.
  • Pull into a parking lot and park briefly if a text urgently needs to be sent. 
  • If you need to regularly send texts, consider carpooling or calling a cab so you can do so as a passenger.
  • Take a pledge to not text and drive in honor of someone you love.
  • Ask your friends and family to keep you accountable, making sure that you hold to your word in not texting while driving. 

Changing the GPS or radio can also be dangerous. Wait until you are not driving to do so, or ask a passenger to change the GPS or radio on your behalf.

Driving Under the Influence

Imagine you are leaving dinner with some business colleagues late Thursday night. You had only two beers, and you are fairly certain your blood alcohol levels are under the legal limit. As you leave, you attempt to make a left turn from the restaurant onto the road. However, you misjudge the distance of the oncoming cars. Not only could you be involved in a serious accident, but you may be at fault in taking the lives and/or property of others. These kinds of cases can haunt you for years or even through your entire life.

Like a speed limit, a blood alcohol limit is the maximum—you could be impaired at far less. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that even a blood alcohol concentration of .02 percent can lead to "decline in visual functions" and a decline in the "ability to perform two tasks at the same time." The NHTSA also states that 28 people in the United States die every day in an alcohol-related crash, costing over $52 billion annually. You may think that driving on one drink is perfectly safe, but that is not always the case.


Finally, even if you are fully focused on the road, driving too quickly, recklessly, or unsafely for the conditions can cause serious accidents. The NHTSA explains that there are multiple consequences for speeding, including the following:

Higher likelihood of losing control of the vehicle
Longer time to stop after a danger is seen
Higher likelihood of a severe crash and severe injuries
Higher costs and mental implications of a crash
Increased fuel usage

Reckless driving in Florida can also make you subject to criminal charges.

Contact a Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney for a FREE Case Evaluation

Any of these bad driver habits can cause serious accidents or injuries. Car accidents can have lifelong repercussions, ranging from significant health issues to heavy financial burdens. It is vital to have a qualified advocate ready to walk you and your family through the litigation process. The court system can be tricky to navigate, and insurance companies are skilled in ending the process as quickly and cheaply as possible, which can be problematic if your injuries or health care needs are more extensive than you know. If you or a loved one has suffered through a car accident, the Dolman Law Group is here to help you obtain the results you need. The Dolman Law Group includes the premier personal injury lawyers in the Clearwater area, and we stand ready to fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve. Call (727) 451-6900 today for a FREE consultation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765