When people shop for new cars in Florida, they encounter many vehicles equipped with safety technologies like lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, front crash prevention and automatic emergency brakes. With increasing numbers of vehicles equipped with systems designed to prevent crashes, a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety predicted that accident numbers could decline by 20 to 30 percent by the 2030s. A separate analysis from Bank of America Merrill Lynch agreed that the advanced safety technology could compensate for the problems that have been driving the accident rate upward for seven years.
After many years of dropping accident rates, the number of crashes have increased by 30 percent in the U.S. since 2011. Researchers have blamed multiple sources on the worsening traffic situation, including higher employment, more vehicle miles, smartphone distraction and legal marijuana.
One estimate attributed 20 percent of the increase in accidents to smartphone use. As of 2016, 91 percent of drivers possessed smartphones compared to just over half of drivers having them in 2011. Recent studies of accident reports from states with legal marijuana have revealed a possible increase in impaired drivers.
All drivers have a responsibility to stay sober behind the wheel and monitor traffic for hazards regardless of the presence of vehicle warning systems. When a person suffers serious or catastrophic injuries in a wreck caused by a negligent driver, the representation of an attorney could aid with the recovery of damages. An attorney who has experience in motor vehicle accident litigation could identify insurance coverage and personal assets of the negligent driver. These funds could be pursued via a lawsuit after the attorney organizes evidence from a crash reconstruction report and documents the cost of the victim’s medical care and disabilities.