At the start of 2020, the transportation nonprofit Go Safe Labs released a report on auto accidents in 2019, making a list of 10 cities with the highest accident numbers and a list of 10 particular "hotspots," or accident-prone locations, in the U.S. Incidentally, one of these hotspots was in Florida in Miami.
On March 8, 2020, daylight saving time begins. Florida residents should be aware that losing one hour of sleep can have a negative impact on driving; in fact, a study from the University of Colorado Boulder found that this loss of sleep raises the risk for fatal car accidents. The study was published in the journal Current Biology in January 2020.
On Jan. 17, a Volkswagen sedan traveling north in the southbound lane of the Don Shula Expressway collided with a Jeep and a police car. An officer witnessed the driver going the wrong way near 152nd Street and tried to catch up with the vehicle, but the officer was unable to intervene before the crash took place. Authorities say that the driver of the sedan was a man and that the officer injured in the crash was a woman.
Red-light running is a factor in hundreds of crashes every year in Florida and across the U.S. In 2016, more than 800 people died in red-light running crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. There is one way to reduce this trend, however. And it's through the installation of red-light camera systems.
Thirty-four states, including Florida, require ignition interlock devices to be installed in the cars of DUI offenders. Over the past decade, the number of IIDs installed has gone from 133,000 to 350,000. These devices are simply breath tests connected to a car's ignition, and they keep a car from starting if the driver turns out to be drunk. They have prevented thousands of attempts made by drunk drivers to start their cars.
Florida drivers who have safety systems installed in their vehicles may be more prone to distraction risks. This was one of the findings of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which did a study in conjunction with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute that examined video of drivers.
Opioid use is a factor in more auto accidents in Florida and across the U.S. In 1993, the percentage of crash initiators who tested positive for opioids was 2%. In 2016, that percentage was 7.1% Opioids are known to cause psychomotor and cognitive impairment, especially in those who are treating acute injuries and not used to the drugs' effects.
In Florida and across the U.S., distracted driving has long been an epidemic. A report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that it is becoming more of a danger as more drivers get away from talking on the phone and start to use it for other purposes.
Police in Florida say that a 30-year-old forklift truck driver who was involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident on the morning of Nov. 17 was not permitted or licensed to drive heavy machinery. The man faces a raft of criminal charges including a count of fleeing the scene. Media reports claim that the man continued on to a nearby construction site after the deadly crash and only returned to the scene after being pursued by bystanders.
While snow is not something that many Florida residents have to deal with, winter can still make the roads icy and slick. This means that tires lose their traction, and cars have a greater risk of spinning out of control or sliding into the rear of other cars. To keep themselves out of a car crash this winter, residents can consider the following tips.