The 12 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Miami, FL
November 10, 2022 | Sagi Shaked | Car Accidents
Car accidents in Miami tend to happen for a few specific reasons.
Warm weather prevents common environmental hazards like snow, and while cars can suffer breakdowns almost anywhere, Florida’s Crash Facts report hasn’t reported any accidents caused by equipment failures since before 2020. Instead, most car accidents in Miami result from driver errors.
Here are the 12 most common causes of car accidents in Miami, FL, and what factors you need to prove to obtain compensation for injuries stemming from them.
When the Cause of a Car Accident Matters in Florida
Florida uses no-fault car insurance. When you buy insurance, it includes personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which pays 80% of your medical costs and 60% of your wage losses, regardless of who caused the accident.
In exchange, Florida limits the circumstances under which you can pursue a liability claim against the at-fault driver. For example, you usually can’t file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver after suffering minor injuries. In these instances, the law limits you to your PIP benefits.
However, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver in two scenarios:
- Your PIP benefits fail to cover your medical expenses
- You suffer a significant, permanent injury
When either of these situations occurs, you can file a claim against the driver who caused the crash. Thus, the cause of a car accident becomes a central issue when you need to pursue an injury claim against another driver who injured you.
Common Causes of Collisions in Miami, FL
According to the most recent Crash Facts report, Florida had 649,618 car accidents that resulted from a collision between at least two vehicles. This number includes truck accidents and multi-vehicle accidents where a car or truck collided with a motorcycle.
The statistic doesn’t include pedestrian accidents or bicycle accidents. Although Florida sees thousands of bicycle and pedestrian accidents yearly, these tend to happen for different reasons than automobile accidents.
The most common causes of car accidents include:
1. Failing To Yield the Right-of-Way
According to the Crash Facts Report, the most common cause of car crashes is failure to yield the right-of-way. Residential roads and side streets still use stop signs and yield signs.
Drivers are expected to proceed through intersections using the rules they learned in driver’s education class:
- The first driver to arrive goes first
- If two drivers arrive at the same time, the driver to the right goes first
Liability for these accidents falls on the driver who went out of turn.
Speeding includes exceeding the speed limit and traveling too fast for the conditions. In either case, this behavior increases the chances that a driver will lose control of their car. It also increases braking distance and shortens the window of time the driver has to stop or swerve.
Speeding often results in rear-end collisions. When a speeding driver rear-ends another vehicle, the speeder bears liability for the accident.
3. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving happens when something takes a driver’s eyes, hands, or mind away from driving.
This can result from:
- Talking on the phone
- Text messaging
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting the radio or cabin controls
- Conversing with passengers
Distracted drivers often fail to react to roadway hazards because their attention has been diverted. As such, they usually bear liability for collisions.
4. Following Too Closely
Tailgating can also lead to rear-end collisions, which occur when the tailgater doesn’t have sufficient time or space to brake without hitting the car in front of them. Tailgaters bear the legal responsibility for rear-end collisions they cause.
5. Intoxicated Driving
Drugs and alcohol impair judgment, reduce reaction time, and cause drowsiness. All of these changes make an intoxicated driver very dangerous to nearby vehicles. Liability for intoxicated driving accidents falls on the intoxicated driver.
6. Making Improper Turns
It’s common for accidents to happen when a vehicle turns directly into another vehicle or across another vehicle’s path.
These accidents usually occur when a driver turns left at an intersection or parking lot entrance and either hits or gets hit by an oncoming vehicle. They can also happen when a driver makes a right turn into another driver’s path and gets rear-ended. In both cases, the turning driver usually bears liability for the crash.
7. Changing Lanes
Lane-change accidents happen when drivers get lazy and fail to check their blind spots before merging or changing lanes. The driver who changed lanes without looking will bear liability for these crashes.
8. Drifting from a Lane
Cars can drift from their lanes for many reasons. For example, a driver might have physical or visual limitations, or they might be tired or distracted. In any event, the drifting driver will be liable for the collision that results (typically a sideswipe or head-on crash).
9. Aggressive Driving
In Florida, you can break the aggressive driving law by committing two or more traffic violations. But aggressive driving is broader than the state’s legal definition. Drivers who escalate in response to the ordinary annoyances everyone experiences on the road can cause injuries or deaths.
10. Improper Lookout
An improper lookout can put you into another driver’s path without even realizing it. Improper lookouts often happen in driveways, parking lots, and intersections. A driver who fails to exercise reasonable care in looking for other vehicles will be assigned responsibility for the resulting crash.
11. Improper Backing
Improper backing is when a driver fails to ensure the way is clear before reversing into traffic. Like improper lookouts, these accidents usually happen in parking lots and driveways. Liability for improper backing falls on the driver who reversed without checking for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles.
12. Running a Red Light or Stop Sign
Motorists frequently run red lights and stop signs despite the obvious risks. In 2020, 165 people were killed in Florida by drivers who ran a red light or stop sign. Liability for these accidents falls on the driver who failed to stop.
Proving the Cause of a Car Accident in Miami, Florida
Your evidence to support your claim can include testimony from you and others who witnessed the accident. You can also rely on an accident reconstruction expert to determine what caused an accident and provide testimony. If you can prove negligence and causation, you’ll be able to recover compensation for your accident in a personal injury claim.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Miami, FL
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Miami, FL and need legal help, contact our Miami car accident lawyers at Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.
Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers
20900 NE 30th Ave Suite 715
Aventura, FL 33180