Stopped-Vehicle Crashes in Florida Often Result in Severe Injury
A car accident lawyer in Central Florida explains how to stay safe
People dealing with stopped or disabled vehicles often sustain serious injuries in car accidents caused by other drivers, according to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).
In addition, stopped-vehicle crashes also take a significant financial toll on injury victims and their families. According to the IIHS study, the financial impact of stopped-vehicle accidents is $8.8 billion each year. This includes medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and replacement income if injury victims cannot work after their accident.
“This study identifies a part of the road safety equation that doesn’t get much attention, despite the size of the problem,” says David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
These types of accidents often occur in Florida as well. Just recently, a collision on State Road 417 in Orange County involving a disabled SUV killed one person and injured three other people, according to Click Orlando News. The fatal car accident occurred while the victim was pushing the disabled SUV off the road. At that exact moment, a tour bus crashed into the SUV, Click Orlando News reported.
How common are stopped-vehicle crashes?
Many accidents occur every day involving disabled or stopped vehicles. Often, these accidents involve road maintenance vehicles, construction vehicles, police cruisers, tow trucks, and ambulances responding to highway accidents or other types of collisions.
Nationwide, stopped-vehicle crashes kill 566 people and injure an additional 14,371 people each year. These figures are based on the IIHS study conducted by Impact Research, which analyzed accident statistics from 2016 to 2018.
In addition, more than 300 people die each year while walking alongside a road to deal with a stopped or disabled vehicle. And such accident fatalities are only getting worse. Since 2014, pedestrian fatalities involving stopped or disabled vehicles have increased by 25 percent.
Why do stopped-vehicle crashes happen?
The IIHS study noted that at-fault drivers who claim they did not see the disabled or stopped vehicle cause or contribute to these types of accidents the most.
Several older studies also identified three major reasons why stopped-vehicle crashes occur:
- Distracted drivers not paying attention and colliding into a stopped vehicle. This is especially true for those who are texting and driving.
- Speeding drivers who are going too fast and don’t give themselves enough time to slow down to avoid crashing into a stopped or disabled vehicle.
- Drivers who do not adjust for road conditions or fail to keep a lookout for other drivers and people alongside the road.
Along with highlighting the seriousness of accidents involving stopped vehicles, IIHS researchers offered several suggestions for preventing such accidents, including:
- Placing flares, traffic cones or flashing lights near a stopped or disabled vehicle.
- Requiring vehicle manufacturers to install brighter, more visible hazard lights on vehicles.
- Sending more than one emergency vehicle to an accident. That way, the second emergency vehicle can be parked and serve as a barrier protecting emergency workers who responded to the crash.
- Installing communication devices in vehicles that alert other drivers and warn them that there’s a stopped vehicle up ahead alongside the road.
- Technological features in cars that can automatically redirect moving vehicles away from stopped ones alongside the road.
Legal help is available if you've been injured
Don’t underestimate the complexity or the severity of a bad motor vehicle accident. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash involving a stopped or disabled vehicle in Florida, make sure you fully understand your legal rights. Make sure you talk to an experienced car accident attorney from the Law Offices of Brent Miller, P.A. in Central Florida. We can review the details of your case and explain the legal options available to you.
Contact us and schedule your free consultation with a car accident lawyer who puts your best interests first. We have four offices conveniently located in Central Florida, including Tavares, Inverness, Clermont, and The Villages.