Car Accidents are Dangerous, Knowing What Causes Them Can Keep You Safe
Whether shuffling kids to school, running errands or going to work, driving is part of everyday life. Even though you have a clean record of safe driving, unforeseen obstacles could cause a severe car accident that could endanger you and your family. From potholes to malfunctioning traffic lights, here are some of the most common Florida road hazards every driver should watch out for.
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Sun Glares Can Cause Accidents
Florida is an extremely sunny place. With that sun comes plenty of sun glares, as the light from the sun reflects off shiny cars or other objects. Or, the sun just shines straight into your eyes during sunrise or sunset; we’ve all had that happen in Florida.
Accidents caused by sun glares are actually quite common in Florida. Driving into direct sunlight can interfere with your vision and using the sun visor doesn’t always prove to be the most helpful.
While you cannot change the sun, here are some things you can do to avoid sun glare and decrease your chances of a car accident, especially if your eyes are particularly sensitive to sun glares:
- Avoid driving during early morning sun
- Avoid traveling during late afternoon sun
- Always wear sunglasses when you’re driving
- Polarized sunglasses are best
- Keep your windshield clean
- Use your sun visor, even if the sun isn’t directly in your eyes
Missing or Obstructed Road Signs Can Be Dangerous
We rely on road signs to keep us safe and to ensure we are moving in the right direction. Just think of how dangerous an intersection would be without stop signs.
But a missing stop sign is actually quite rare; what’s not rare is less common signs like yield signs, one-way road signs, or other signs that let drivers know of possible dangers.
In addition to being missing, traffic signs may also be obstructed by foliage or other objects, which can be just as dangerous to Florida drivers.
To prevent missing or obstructed signs from being a danger, always drive defensively. This means that you always drive like the other driver is not paying attention or is a crappy driver.
Potholes are a Common Cause of Accidents
In Florida, potholes are a notorious road hazard. Constant rain and insufficient infrastructure often means that roads are in poor condition and filled with holes.
Potholes can pose the following problems that could lead to a car accident:
- Tire blowout
- Wheel damage, like a bent rim
- Broken suspension
- Steering knocked out of alignment
- Damaged bearings
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Tire Blowouts Cause Violent Car Accidents
Tire blowouts can obviously have a significant impact on your ability to control your car. Once a tire blowout occurs, your vehicle will abruptly pull you in an unwanted direction, posing a serious risk of an accident.
When a tire blowout occurs, it is important that you get to the side of the road as quickly and safely as possible. From there, if it safe, you can change your tire contact a tow truck.
Some common reasons for accident-causing tire blowouts are:
- Under-inflated tires
- Over-loaded tires
- Old or worn tires
- Damage to tire, like a rip
Malfunctioning Intersection Lights are a Common Cause of Accidents
Have you ever seen old black and white footage of cars driving aimlessly because there were no intersection lights? While we’ve come a long way with technology—but our reliance on these technologies can cause some dangerous situations. If you ever seen a traffic light out during a Florida storm, and the way all the drivers react to the unexpected scenario, you can probably imagine how dangerous a failed traffic light can be.
Power outages at traffic lights malfunction during storms all the time. It is common for this situation to lead to car accidents.
If you ever approach a broken traffic light, obey the following Florida traffic laws:
- If the traffic signal lights are completely out, all drivers are required to stop at the intersection, then proceed as if the intersection was a four-way stop.
- If law enforcement officers are directing traffic, obey their directions.
- If the traffic signal facing you is a flashing red light, you are required to stop like a stop sign.
- If the traffic signal facing you is a flashing yellow light, then you can proceed forward with caution.
Remember the above directions regarding traffic lights are the rules of the road, but they are not some almighty law. Other drivers may not know the rules or they may be driving while distracted, so treat these types of intersections as dangerous places and proceed with caution.
Likewise, keep in mind all the above tips about Florida road hazards and how to prevent them from causing you to be involved in a serious car accident. Some of the information above may seem obvious or inconsequential, but knowledge is power (and safety). The smallest tip or piece of advice may help keep you and your family safe on the roads.
Contact the Experience Fort Myers Car Accident Attorneys at Viles & Beckman
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and were injured due to negligence, you have legal rights and options that you may not know about. Contact Viles & Beckman, LLC at (239) 334-3933 or fill out our online contact form today, to schedule a no cost, no obligation consultation. If you were injured in a car accident, our team of experienced car accident attorneys can help you receive the justice you deserve.
Traffic light image attribution: Kevin Payravi, Wikimedia Commons