Auto accidents are a frequent cause of injuries and death in Florida. While most associate this with vehicles colliding, it also occurs in many other ways. Among the most vulnerable people are those who are stopped on the side of a roadway. This could include road workers, law enforcement, drivers of stalled vehicles and others. In this type of crash, injuries can be serious and even fatal. Knowing the risk can be somewhat helpful as awareness might avoid certain accidents. Still, there are incidents where the accident is unavoidable. Knowing the available options is crucial.
AAA statistics show Florida is third from the worst for roadside fatalities
In roadside auto accident analysis by AAA, Florida was behind only Texas and California for the dubious distinction of having the most fatalities. This is true despite the 2002 state law requiring vehicles to move over for law enforcement, utility service vehicles, emergency vehicles and others performing work-related duties. Unfortunately, deaths in these circumstances are still common with 125 people in the state losing their lives between 2015 and 2019. AAA found that almost one in four drivers in the state reported having an accident or nearly having an accident if an emergency vehicle was stationed on the side of the road.
AAA says that drivers who simply reduce their speed are enhancing safety. In addition to driving at excessive speeds, drivers are prone to a complete lack of knowledge about the move-over laws. Another problem is driving while impaired. The biggest factor in recent years has been distracted driving. With the prevalence of smartphones and onboard navigation systems added to other potential distractions – interacting with passengers, changing the radio and eating – that remove a person’s attention from the road, it is difficult to react to the unexpected. That includes vehicles on the side of the road.
An auto accident can cause long-term problems physically and financially
Drivers should be cognizant of the possibility that they will be in a roadside auto accident. People who have been hit in this situation can face personal injury, massive medical expenses, be unable to work and need extensive care. When there is a fatality, the family left behind will be confronted with the emotional, personal and financial concerns that accompany an unexpected death of a loved one. Having experienced advice can help with determining a path forward and take the necessary steps to cover for all that was lost.