Unfortunately, injuries and fatalities happen on Florida roads on a far-too-frequent basis. Tragically, it happens so often that many of us have grown desensitized to the news headlines.
For example, not long ago 2 people were killed in a multi-vehicle collision on State Road 400, better known as I-4 to Florida drivers, and 3 other drivers were severely injured.
On July 31, 2020, a 22-year-old Lakeland man driving a sedan west on I-4 failed to stay within his lane and collided with the side of a tractor-trailer, driven by a 56-year-old man from Ontario, Canada. The force of the side-impact collision pushed the sedan to the center median before colliding with the cable barrier.
The sedan rolled over the cable barrier into the eastbound lanes and continued traveling west. It almost caused a head-on collision with a second sedan, driven by a 56-year-old man from Orlando.
After the impact, the second sedan stopped in the path of a third sedan driven by a 22-year-old woman from Estero. This vehicle, in turn, rear-ended a fourth vehicle driven by a 37-year-old man from Orlando.
The Orlando man’s sedan rolled over the barrier and stopped on the outside shoulder, where he tragically died of his injuries. His passenger, a 37-year-old woman, also died of her injuries at a local hospital. Both the driver and passenger were wearing seatbelts.
A 5th vehicle, a tractor-trailer driven by a 57-year-old man from Tampa, was sideswiped by the 22-year-old’s car. It was forced into the median before crashing with the cable barrier, crossing the westbound lanes, and entered the outside shoulder and collided with a fence before finally stopping.
Miraculously, the woman from Estero and the truck driver from Tampa only suffered from minor injuries, but the man from Lakeland was not so lucky. He was severely injured in the 5-vehicle pile-up, which closed I-4 in both directions for hours.
“Fender benders” happen on a daily basis. However, some rear-end accident cases are much more serious, involving catastrophic injury and property damage.
Pile-ups, head-on collisions and rear-end crashes
Drivers and passengers involved in these chaotic and deadly kinds of crashes often suffer from severe head injuries, such as lacerations and concussions, severe whiplash and sometimes even broken limbs from the impact or seatbelt.
The most common causes of these dangerous wrecks are drowsiness, poor visibility, reckless driving, drunk driving and distracted driving.
Dozing off while driving can lead to serious consequences, especially pile-ups. You should never get behind the wheel if you’ve had poor or no sleep for an extended period of time.
One of the worst pile-ups in history was due to poor visibility, involving 140 vehicles during a heavy fog in Texas in 2012. Fog is particularly dangerous for Tampa drivers because the cold ocean air passes through the warm inland air, occasionally creating thick fog.
Cell phones have been pinned as the most common cause of distracted driving. This has forced government authorities to implement laws that make it illegal for drivers to use their phones while on the road.
Not only is driving under the influence of alcohol a frequent cause of pile-ups, but it is also one of the most common causes of car accidents across the United States. A blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher can impact a driver’s ability to focus and reduce their reflexes, which can lead to multi-vehicle collisions. It’s also against the law, and violators can be criminally prosecuted under Florida law.
Speeding, tailgating, sudden stops and weaving between lanes are all considered reckless driving. Anything that looks remotely like an action movie with a chase scene should never be seen on the road in real life as it causes some of the most severe car accidents.
The Tampa car accident lawyers at Lorenzo & Lorenzo know how scary being in a pile-up crash is. We want you to know you’re not alone, no matter what type of accident you’re in.