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What Causes Vehicle Collisions?


Some form of driver error causes over 98 percent of the car crashes in Florida. Sometimes, this driver error is a wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time mistake. Usually, however, this error is negligence, or a lack of care. Most drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must be at their best, physically, mentally, and otherwise, when they drive. Furthermore, they must drive defensively and obey all traffic code provisions.

If driver negligence caused injury, a Tampa personal injury lawyer can obtain substantial compensation in court. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Frequently, a third party is financially responsible for damages in these cases. For example, if an Uber driver causes a wreck, the victim can usually sue the company. Third-party liability adds an extra layer to a case that’s already very complex.

Product Defects/Extreme Weather

Defective tires, ignition switches, and other defective products cause a few car wrecks. Usually, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. The strict liability rule applies if the defect was a design defect, like a tire without all necessary rubber layers, or a manufacturing defect, like a cheap foreign-made component.

Weather frequently contributes to car wrecks, but it hardly ever causes them. If Tom loses control of his car on a rain-slicked road, the water contributed to the wreck, but Tom’s excessive speed substantially caused it.

Extreme and unpredictable weather events, such as lightning strikes and (maybe) powerful wind gusts, are the primary exception to this rule.

Operator Impairment

The chain of events that ends in a car crash often begins before the tortfeasor (negligent driver) gets behind the wheel. Common kinds of operator impairment include:

  • Alcohol/Drugs: Usually, alcohol and drugs cloud the driver’s judgment and impair the driver’s motor skills. As a result, these motorists make mistakes like improperly judging the distance between themselves and other vehicles. Then, because of their slow reactions, they cannot adjust quickly enough.
  • Fatigue: Extreme fatigue and alcohol affect the brain and body in similar ways. Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for many Florida drivers.
  • Medical Condition: Heart disease, epilepsy, and other serious medical conditions cause a sudden and unexpected loss of consciousness. If that happens behind the wheel, the driver usually causes a disastrous out-of-control collision. Colds, flus, and other moderate medical conditions reduce driving ability by as much as 50 percent.

A Tampa personal injury lawyer often obtains additional compensation in these cases. Arguably, impaired motorists made a conscious decision to put other people at risk when they started their vehicles.

Aggressive Driving

Speeding is the most common, and most dangerous, form of aggressive driving. High velocity increases the risk of a wreck. Speeding drivers have less time to react to changing situations. Furthermore, velocity multiplies the force in a collision, according to Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

Speed also illustrates the difference between mistakes and negligence. Speeding 5mph over the limit probably isn’t negligence in the eyes of most jurors. Speeding 20mph over the limit is a different matter.

Other forms of aggressive driving include tailgating, running a stop sign, and making an illegal turn. 

Contact a Dedicated Hillsborough County Attorney

Injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start working for you.



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