Roadway departures are a leading cause of serious and fatal crashes in Florida. Roadway departures are defined as a vehicle leaving the road, either by crossing the median or center line or by veering off to the right and over the edge lines at the side of the road. Regardless, our Fort Myers car accident attorneys understand the increased risk of serious or fatal injuries when a vehicle leaves the roadway.
A 2008 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states the leading cause of Florida traffic fatalities is roadway departures. If a vehicle travels off the road, crosses the center or road edge line the crash is deemed a roadway departure accident. In Florida, 38% of all fatal crashes from 2005 to 2009 were caused by vehicles leaving their lane or running off the road.
There are a number of reasons why roadway departure crashes occur. By understanding why such accidents occur, a motorist can better defend against the likelihood of being involved in such a collision.
-The leading cause is excessive speed. A driver going too fast may swerve in order to maintain control.
-Drunk or drowsy driving is another cause of roadway departure accidents.
-Road conditions such as flooding on the roadway may cause a driver to go across the center or edge lines. Most drivers swerve to avoid obstacles in the roadway in order to prevent hitting it which causes them to go outside the lines.
-Distracted driving is also a common reason why a driver can cross a center or edge line. Lastly, though the least common, when a vehicle breaks down it may leave the road. These are particularly dangerous because controlling the vehicle after a blown tire or engine shut off is difficult to manage in and of itself. Crossing over the center or edge line just adds insult to injury in terms of controlling the vehicle.
Though it’s a work in progress, the Florida Transportation Commissions 2008 report offered the four “E” solution to reduce road departure crashes. Their continual goals are to:
-Improve law “enforcement” practices on limited access and rural roadways.
-Increase the public’s “education” on roadway departures.
-Enhance or “engineer” roadway design.
-Escalate “emergency services” response to a crash.
These goals along with drivers being more careful on the roadways should lead to less roadway departure car crashes in the future.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, has four decades of experience representing accident victims in South Florida. Call 1-800-Dial-BLS for a free case evaluation.