The holidays are a peak time for traveling in the US, especially around Thanksgiving. Millions of people are traveling around the country to see their families or to visit popular vacation spots during their time off.
This means that places like Florida (and other popular vacation destinations) see a huge uptick in car accidents from inexperienced or lost drivers failing to handle new traffic conditions safely.
If you were in an accident in Florida over this Thanksgiving break, there’s a strong chance you’re not at fault. Learn about three of the most likely reasons the crash may have been the other driver’s fault.
The Other Driver Was Distracted
The most likely reason that another driver may have been at fault for your accident is that they were driving distracted.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, distracted driving is the most common reason for car accidents, and there are dozens of factors that can contribute to them.
Talking on the phone, changing the radio station or music app, getting something out of the glove box, and texting — they all count as distracted driving when assigning fault for an accident.
If you believe that the other driver in your car crash was distracted, you are likely not at fault for your car accident.
The Other Driver’s Car Was Malfunctioning
With cooler temperatures and wet weather, it is critical that people keep their cars in good condition for the sake of the safety of both themselves and others on the roadways.
Low Tire Pressure
In many car accidents, the fault lies with the party whose car was functioning poorly. For example, cool weather can result in tires with low air pressure. This can affect how the car handles and how it stops. Sometimes low tires can even result in blowouts and crashes.
Broken Head and Tail Lights
Another car maintenance issue is broken or burned out headlights. With shorter daylight hours and dinner parties happening more frequently, dawn and dusk hours see much higher amounts of traffic over the holidays than normal.
Similarly, having a taillight out makes it challenging to determine when a car is slowing. If a driver can’t tell the car in front is stopping, they may wind up in a rear-end collision that is the fault of the party in front.
Brakes and Other Mechanical Issues
Poorly maintained brakes have been found at fault for around 25 percent of all accidents caused by mechanical failures, as well.
While maintenance is the responsibility of the car owner, it is also possible that a specific part of their vehicle – like the brakes – was actually defective.
In any case, if you can prove that the other driver’s car was in poor condition, you may not be at fault.
The Other Driver Was Unsafe
Unsafe driving can include drunk driving, ignoring weather conditions, being over-tired, or simply driving recklessly.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 40 percent of traffic accident deaths around Thanksgiving are caused by drunk drivers, and plenty of non-fatal accidents are caused by the same.
Similarly, drivers who are rushing to make it to a party in wet conditions can cause havoc as well. It is against the law to ignore road conditions such as wet, slippery asphalt, so if you believe the other driver was not taking precautions regarding the weather, you may not be at fault.
Ultimately, remember that driving is a task that takes concentration and focus all year round, but this is especially true during the holidays.
If you’ve gotten in an accident this holiday season, it may not be your fault.
There are many reasons the other driver could be at fault, and it is your right to look into those reasons.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.