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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers



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    Why are Drivers So Much Worse (or Seem So) in Florida?

    Driving in Florida can be a uniquely frustrating experience. It seems everyone’s either in a hurry, leisurely cruising without a care in the world, or simply lost.

    The situation is exacerbated on some of the state’s notorious highways around Orlando, such as the I-4, known for its relentless traffic and frequent construction zones, or the bustling SR 408, where the blend of local commuters and theme park visitors creates a perfect storm for congestion and confusion. These roads act as the main arteries of travel, but too often, they become the scenes of standstill frustration or, worse, catastrophic accidents.

    Catastrophic accidents, those that result in severe injuries or fatalities, are tragically not uncommon on Florida’s roads. Contributing factors include the high speeds on highways, the mix of vehicles from motorcycles to semi-trucks, and the diverse range of driver ages and experience levels. The state’s attraction as a tourist hub brings a constant influx of drivers unfamiliar with local roads, further heightening the risk. Moreover, the significant elderly population, while experienced, may face challenges that affect their driving abilities, such as slower reaction times and decreased mobility. When torrential downpours hit—which they often do, especially in the summer—the risks on these highways escalate dramatically.

    High Number of Visitors

    Florida is a major tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year due to its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and popular attractions such as theme parks and natural reserves.

    This influx of visitors adds a significant number of non-local drivers to the roads who may not be familiar with Florida’s traffic laws, road layouts, or driving customs. Unaccustomed to the local driving environment, these drivers can inadvertently contribute to traffic congestion, confusion, and increased accident rates. The presence of rental cars and RVs, often driven by tourists less familiar with such vehicles’ dimensions and handling, also adds to the challenge.

    Significant Elderly Population

    Florida is well-known for its sizable elderly population, with many retirees choosing to live in the state for its warm climate and tax-friendly policies. While senior drivers are often experienced, age-related declines in vision, hearing, reaction time, and cognitive function can affect driving abilities.

    This demographic shift contributes to a higher proportion of drivers facing challenges in navigating complex traffic situations, responding quickly to avoid accidents, or adapting to the fast pace of Florida’s highways.

    Bad Weather

    The state’s weather, characterized by sudden torrential downpours, especially during the summer months, significantly impacts driving conditions. These heavy rains can drastically reduce visibility and road traction, increasing the risk of accidents. Florida drivers, both residents and visitors, must contend with flooded roads, hydroplaning risks, and the need for sudden stops. The unpredictability and severity of these downpours test the driving skills of all road users, requiring a high level of attentiveness and caution.

    As visibility drops, roads quickly become waterlogged, and the likelihood of hydroplaning increases, making even the most routine journey perilous. These conditions test the limits of drivers and their vehicles, making an already challenging driving environment even more dangerous.

    Whether it’s a bad driver or inclement weather, it’s not just the inconvenience of traffic we are concerned about. The real concern lies in the potential for catastrophic outcomes. Accidents on these highways can lead to severe, life-altering injuries or even loss of life.

    Securing Justice for Traffic Accident Victims in Florida

    Florida’s roads are among the most hazardous in the nation, with statistics reflecting a higher incidence of road traffic accidents than many other states. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports hundreds of thousands of traffic accidents annually, leading to numerous injuries and fatalities.

    For example, FLHSMV Crash Dashboard’s preliminary data for 2023 shows nearly 400,000 traffic accidents, more than 250,000 injuries, and almost 3,400 traffic fatalities last year. Factors contributing to these statistics include the high volume of traffic, particularly in tourist-heavy areas and cities, and the diverse mix of driving styles and capabilities.

    Leighton Panoff Law has a long-standing commitment to advocating for the victims of road traffic accidents in Florida. With extensive experience in personal injury law, our firm understands the profound impact that catastrophic accidents can have on individuals and their families. We are dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive legal support to those affected, aiming to secure the compensation and justice they deserve.

    Our approach combines thorough investigation, leveraging state-of-the-art technology, and a deep understanding of Florida’s legal landscape to advocate effectively for our clients.

    If you or a loved one have been affected by a road traffic accident in Florida, know that you are not alone. Leighton Panoff Law is here to guide you through the complexities of seeking justice and compensation. Contact us today for a consultation, and let our expertise work for you in navigating the legal aftermath of an accident.

    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


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