Five of the most common causes of car accidents in Florida are distracted driving, running a red light or stop sign, not being aware of your surroundings, driving too fast, and driving under the influence. A DUI charge means that you are accused of operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more. Your blood-alcohol level can be determined by a Breathalyzer test, which is administered by the police officer involved in your arrest. If the amount of alcohol in your blood is above the legal limit, you will be placed under arrest.
Refusal to Take a Breathalyzer Test in Florida If You Are Charged with DUI
When you sign your name on your driver’s license, you are, in fact, giving implied consent to permit a Breathalyzer or other test to be administered if you are stopped for suspicion of DUI. You can refuse to take the test but refusing to submit to a blood-alcohol test can result in the immediate suspension of your driver’s license. Your refusal is admissible in court, so the prosecution may say that refusing the test means that you had consciousness of guilt.
Driving Under the Influence While Under Twenty-One
If you are under the age of twenty-one, you can be arrested in Florida if your blood-alcohol level is over 0.02. Florida refers to these laws as zero-tolerance laws because they often result in harsh penalties including drivers’ license suspensions. For a first-time offense, a minor may have their license suspended for six months. If they are stopped again for DUI, the license will be suspended for a year.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 3,100 fatalities due to distracted driving in 2017. Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from driving.
- Manual distractions take your hands away from the steering wheel.
- Visual distractions take your eyes away from the road.
- Cognitive distractions occur when your mind wanders away from driving.
Most of these types of distractions include:
- Talking or texting on the phone;
- Eating or drinking;
- Talking to passengers in the car;
- Using the GPS system;
- Changing the music; and
- Anything that prevents you from giving 100 percent attention to driving when you are behind the wheel.
When you are driving and texting, you are taking your eyes off the road for five seconds. If you are going fifty-five miles an hour, you will have gone the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Taking Safety Precautions When Driving in Florida
When people run a red light or fail to stop at a stop sign, they are putting everyone else on the road in danger. If you have been involved in a car accident and the other car ran a red light or went through a stop sign without stopping, chances are that they failed to obey the traffic laws because they were distracted or driving under the influence.
If the driver owed you a duty of care, such as stopping at a red light, and breached that duty by failing to stop, thereby causing an accident which resulted in damages that are recoverable, the driver was negligent and you have the basic formula for a lawsuit in court if you are interesting in suing for compensation.
Florida is considered one of the most dangerous states to operate a motor vehicle according to the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS). One of the most important things a driver should learn if they are operating a motor vehicle in Florida is to drive defensively.
Take advantage of every safety feature in your car including:
- Wearing seat belts at all times no matter where you are sitting in the car;
- Putting children in the back seat with a restraint or booster seat and a seat belt;
- Don’t drive impaired;
- Don’t be distracted; and
- Take extra precautions if the weather is inclement or you are driving at dusk or at night.
How Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers Can Assist You
If you have been involved in one of the most common causes of car accidents in Florida or any other type of car crash and want to know if you are eligible to recover compensation for injuries or damages, call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at 855-529-0269. We will explain your rights are and how much your case may be worth. If you can’t come to us, we will go to you.