Worst Car Accidents in Florida History

Car accidents of any kind are a daily occurrence that can cause significant damage and even death. Victims of car accidents can even face trauma from an accident that could leave them too afraid to sit behind the wheel again.

According to statistics recorded by ASIRT (Association for Safe International Road Travel), an average of 3,700 people lose their lives to car accidents daily with 1.35 million people dying per year.

Every state has its history of damaging car accidents, and Florida is no exception. Here are the worst car accidents in Florida history and what you can do to prevent being part of these horrific statistics.

The First Accident Ever Reported

The first recorded automobile accident occurred in 1891 in Ohio. James William Lambert, the man involved in the accident, was driving the nation’s first single-cylinder gasoline automobile. James was not the only passenger in the vehicle.

As they were driving, the vehicle hit a tree root which caused the vehicle to swerve off the road and collide with a hitching post. Luckily, there were no significant injuries sustained to James and the other passenger.

Worst Car Accidents in Florida History

Recently, Florida was in the news due to a car accident that resulted in the death of an NFL quarterback, Dwayne Haskins. The accident happened early in the morning on a highway in Broward County, the second most dangerous county in the state for car accidents. Haskins was struck by a dump truck while also being hit by another Subaru. He was reported deceased at the scene after succumbing to his injuries.

Other terrible car accidents that happened in Florida include:

70 Car Pile-Up

On January 9, 2008, 70 vehicles crashed on Interstate 4, resulting in 4 deaths. The pile-up was caused by fog and smoke from a nearby fire that limited vision to those on the road. The pile-up spanned over 15 miles between Tampa and Orlando with a scene that had several cars pinned under one another, some even pinned under semi-trucks.

Out of 70 vehicles, 20 of them were work trucks and semis. 38 people were injured with five of them in serious conditions.

Alligator Alley Accident

Florida Car AccidentsAnother deadly pile-up occurred in January 2002 as well due to fog on Interstate 75, otherwise known as Alligator Alley. Covering 15 miles again, 27 vehicles, with 16 of them being semis involved in the accident that killed three civilians.

Deadly 3-Car Crash

This year in March, a car accident involving three vehicles in Clay County killed two girls while 9 others were injured. The accident was between a van, concrete pump truck, and sport utility vehicle that all collided on U.S. 301 when the SUV and van accelerated from the traffic signal. The truck hit the rear of the van, causing it to collide with the SUV since all vehicles were in the right lane.

The two deceased victims were both young girls, 13 and 10 years old, who were traveling in the van.

1996 Palmetto Park Collision

Florida Car AccidentsIn February 1996, a car crash took place due to high speed and loss of control that wound up killing five young people. Seven middle school-aged students got into a Honda Civic with two older teenagers they just met at a bowling alley. The driver of the Civic started driving erratically, reaching a speed of 90 mph, which caused him to lose control and hit a median that launched the vehicle into an oncoming car.

The force of the collision was so strong that several of the younger passengers were ejected from the back of the vehicle. Four girls and one boy died from the incident while one lived to be paralyzed.

Other Notable Car Accidents in American History

Florida is not the only state to have a history of bad pile ups and devastating accidents. Here are some other national accidents that have proven to be just as catastrophic.

Tennessee December Pile-Up

In 2011, Tennessee had a pile-up consisting of 176 vehicles as a result of fog and black ice. Surprisingly, there was only one fatality with 16 other reported injuries. The clean-up lasted over 24 hours which still left 50 vehicles on the highway after the first day.

Kansas City Snowstorm

Florida Car AccidentsA massive snowstorm on Valentine's Day in 2010 caused several pile ups throughout the city with one of them alone consisting of over 140 vehicles. No deaths were reported, but there were minor injuries sustained by some of the victims.

2002 California Accident

The accident that happened in Los Angeles, California on November 3, 2002, is still known as the largest multi-car accident in US history and surprisingly did not include any deaths. The accident did, however, include 216 vehicles and 41 injuries after a tractor-trailer hit a concrete divider as a result of fog. Due to the lack of visibility, other drivers saw the accident too late, and a pile-up began to form.

North Carolina Deadly Accident

This accident dates back to 1956 when 21 people were killed in Fayetteville when a work truck with migrant workers was hit by a tractor-trailer. While there is no indication of a pile-up, it’s safe to say most of the deaths came from the passengers.

Deadliest Bus Crash

Florida Car AccidentsIn 1988, a Kentucky school bus was involved in an accident with a semi-truck driver that was intoxicated, and it became the deadliest bus crash in the nation. The accident resulted in 27 deaths and 34 severe injuries.

While these vehicle accidents were deadly and scary, it brought about change to modern technology in cars and road safety to remind drivers to always be vigilant on the road and how to practice driving safely. Since these accidents, there have been several changes in legislation to bring about better justice for accidents, such as the Kentucky school bus where the at-fault driver was driving under the influence.

How to Stay Safe on the Road No Matter Where You Are

No one wants to be involved in car accidents and there are safety precautions you can take to prevent yourself from dealing with these accidents or possibly having a less severe accident. When drivers are on the road, it’s always important to remain vigilant and practice safe driving to avoid injury to yourself and others.

Here are some safe-driving tips to stay safe on the road no matter where you are:

Drive Sober

28% of all traffic-related accidents occur from drivers who are not sober. Drivers who are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can not only face criminal charges but also risk their lives and other innocent civilians’ lives as well. Drugs or alcohol can significantly alter judgment and make anyone unfit to operate a vehicle. If you are planning on going somewhere for the night where alcohol will be consumed, have a plan beforehand to either leave with a designated driver or call a cab to arrive home safely. Whenever you drive, you have a duty to do so prudently for the safety of everyone on the road.

Follow the Speed Limit

The posted speed limit is not a mere suggestion. Speed limits are posted for safety reasons and should be followed precisely. Even going a measly five over can be just enough to cause an accident. Drivers should always monitor their speed and alter their driving if they find they are driving too fast or over the limit. Each road has a speed limit that makes traveling on those roads safer. For instance, most developments have speed limits of 25 to 35 mph to prevent pedestrians from being struck.

Check Your Mirrors

Throughout driving courses, we have all been told to consistently check each of our mirrors. It’s crucial to see what is happening at every angle so you can appropriately change lanes or safely move out of the way if you notice another driver that is driving in an abnormal manner. You can also see who is traveling too close behind you or anything else happening on the road.

Pay Attention to the Weather

Inclement weather can play a big factor in car accidents. Rain, snow, and ice are the worst weather conditions to drive in. Ice, especially black ice, can be unnoticeable and make the roads too slick to give yourself proper control. The same applies to rain. Rainy weather makes up 70% of accidents since the roads become immensely slick and difficult to see. If you are ever on the road during a rainstorm or foggy weather, turn on your lights and gauge your speed appropriately. Go slow enough to be able to see who or what is in front of you to allow yourself space to react. If you start to swerve or lose control of your vehicle due to slick roads, do not jerk the steering wheel.

Give Yourself Space and Time to React

Even when the weather is nice, you should give yourself enough space between the other car in front of you on the road. The best rule of thumb is to give yourself two to three seconds worth of space in between the vehicle in front of you. A little more space is needed on the highway to give you proper time to slow down or make quick movements when needed.

Keep Your Vehicle Well-Maintained

Some car accidents can be a result of poor maintenance. If your tires are low on pressure, they can easily blow out and send your vehicle off the road or into another lane. If your brakes are wearing out, you could lose all function in this necessary feature and not have any way to slow your vehicle down or come to a sudden stop. You should also make sure your headlights and windshield wipers are in proper condition.

Always Be Prepared

It is always best to prepare for any possible scenario. There are ways you can do this with what you keep in your car. You should keep certain items in your trunk or glove compartment such as a notepad, pen, blanket, and other gear if you were to be stranded for a long period of time. When you plan on going on a long trip, always make sure your phone is also fully charged and consider keeping a charger in your car.

What to Do If You’re Involved in a Car Accident

Thinking about being in a car accident can be frightening but knowing what to do if the situation were to arise can help bring relief and what to expect so you’re best prepared. Florida is a busy state with more than 500 car accidents happening every day.

Here’s what you need to do if you are ever involved in an accident of any kind:

Call Law Enforcement

It’s possible that you will not be the only one to complete this step, but that’s okay. If you are not too injured, call 9-1-1 immediately to report the accident to have help arrive. While you are waiting for law enforcement, be sure to move out of the way of oncoming traffic and into a safe location. There is nothing more you can do than check to make sure other passengers you may have with you are okay. Once law enforcement arrives, you will be able to discuss more about your accident.

Receive Medical Treatment

Any time police are called out to the scene of a car accident, medical professionals usually arrive too. Do not skip on being observed by the paramedics. While you might not have any visible cuts or lacerations, you can have internal injuries such as whiplash or a concussion. Some injuries may warrant you visiting the hospital if EMS suspects them to be severe enough and can be very important to your health.

Obtain the Other Driver’s Information

Florida operates with a modified comparative system, it’s  a good idea to obtain the name and contact information of the other party involved for claim purposes later on. Depending on the fault, the other driver could be responsible for paying some of your damages and you might need this information for your own claim as well.

Speak to an Attorney

Depending on the time of day this car accident occurs, this step might have to wait a day or two. Contacting your car accident attorney should be one of the first steps you take once you return home from the scene or hospital. A car accident attorney can help you file a claim with your insurance and discuss the possibilities of filing a lawsuit. They are professionals on standby to advise about your rights in a time like this.

File With Insurance

The last step you should take after being in a car accident is filing a claim with insurance. Since you will have personal injury protection coverage, this will be what helps cover medical bills, lost wages, and other financial burdens the wreck has brought on. In order to seek full compensation, you can benefit from the help of a skilled attorney that will file the claim on your behalf and negotiate with your insurance adjuster.

How Our Firm Can Help

Car accidents can be extremely detrimental and the most common incident to cause injury each day. Our firm is ready to serve several communities in Florida by helping car accident victims seek recovery from their damages (by appointment only).

Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers is a firm dedicated to helping injured victims practice their legal rights by receiving sound legal counsel. Our attorneys have helped clients recover over $100,000,000 in combined settlements across all of our practice areas, with car accidents included.

We can help you seek the justice you deserve and the extra compensation by pairing you with one of our lawyers. To begin, we will need to know more about you and your claim through our no-obligation free consultation.

If you’re ready to begin, you can schedule your consultation today by calling (561) 800-8000 or visit us online to fill out our form.

Call us today if you have any questions or need assistance in filing claims after your car accidents. Our legal experts are ready to assist and guide you throughout the legal process.

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