Drivers in Florida should aim to sleep at least seven hours every night. Missing one to two hours of that within a 24-hour period, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, can nearly double one's chances for a car crash. This is why it's always critical to get enough sleep in preparation for daylight saving time.
Florida was among the states with high populations that recorded a collective 5 percent rise in pedestrian deaths during the first half of 2018. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association cited growing population as one source of the increase in traffic fatalities involving pedestrians. With more people crossing streets, the likelihood of accidents increase, but sport utility vehicles and smartphone distractions appear to be contributing to the problem as well.
Many Florida drivers will be involved in a motor vehicle accident at some time, and how they behave in the minutes immediately following a collision can have a great bearing on how their insurance claims are handled. The actions taken at the scene of a crash can also influence the outcome of car accident lawsuits. Experts say that the most important thing motorists can do after a collision is remain calm, but this can be difficult when nerves are frayed and tempers are short.
Florida residents should be aware that there are various causes of car crashes, most of them involving human error or negligence. One of the most common causes is distracted driving. This covers not just calling, texting or using a navigation system behind the wheel but also talking with passengers, eating, drinking and applying makeup.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by inattention and impulsivity. These core symptoms can interfere with one's driving, which is why ADHD patients tend to run a high risk for car crashes. Florida motorists should know about a study published in JAMA Psychiatry back in 2017 that shows how ADHD medication can help lower that risk.
If a person in Florida has a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, he or she is legally drunk. At this point, there is enough alcohol in the system to make it hard to react properly to changing road conditions. Younger adults are more prone to causing drunk driving accidents that result in death as opposed to older individuals. This is generally true even if they have had the same amount to drink.
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.
External airbags are an emerging safety feature that could reduce vehicle occupants' injuries by as much as 40 percent. This is according to new safety data from the ZF Group, one of many car parts manufacturers that are developing external airbag technology. While these airbags are far from being perfected, much less implemented on vehicles, ZF has a concrete strategy for moving forward.
With the approach of winter, drivers in Florida will need to prepare themselves and their vehicles. While winters in the Sunshine State are often mild, inclement weather is still a possibility. That's why it's wise to have a mechanic ensure that components like brakes, an ignition and batteries are ready for the cold. The mechanic could also check tire pressure and antifreeze levels. Drivers should know the function of basic safety features like anti-lock braking and traction control.
Drivers in Florida may be curious about the benefits of advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking. This, combined with a forward collision warning system, alerts drivers to the risk for a crash and, if the driver does not respond in time, can brake for the driver. More and more vehicles come with it, and 20 automakers have pledged to make it standard on all their vehicles by September 2022.