Along with the rest of the nation, Tampa has recently seen a disturbing
increase in fatal car crashes. This spike is particularly troubling considering
Florida’s improvements in previous years. Until 2012 when fatalities
rose five percent, the entire nation experienced a seven-year decline
in death rates, reaching record lows.
For Tampa, many speculated that Florida’s expanded seat belt laws
were responsible for reducing the danger of accidents. But now what? Governor
Rick Scott has enlisted highway safety leaders to investigate what’s
causing this frightening rise. Along with aggressive driving, which causes
over half of traffic fatalities, distracted driving is the leading suspect,
especially with the increased use of electronic devices. Sure, you’ve
heard the warning countless times—about multitasking and texting
while driving—but there is a reason for all the caution. Though
specific data is currently limited, we do know that in 2010, over 3,000
people were killed in motor vehicle crashes related to this issue.
This past Thursday, Florida legislators finally banned texting while driving
after a long push to address the problem. The hope is that this new law
will help reduce preventable fatalities on the road and keep the Tampa
community safer. While many believe they can rely on the increased safety
of cars, our driving habits will continue to put us at risk. At Darrigo,
Diaz & Jimenez, we want you to have access to all the info you need
to protect you and your loved ones.
Here are some quick tips for road safety:
1. ALWAYS wear your seat-belt.
Whether you’re traveling around the corner or across the state, this
is the easiest way to protect yourself—and it’s the law. An
unbelievable 70% of fatal car crash victims ages 13-15 weren’t wearing
2. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely.
Give the driver in front of you enough time to react, even suddenly. You
can practice the three-second-rule if you have trouble figuring out the
3. Drive defensively, not aggressively.
Expect the unexpected. Predict unsafe driving by those around you. On the
road, you can’t rely on other drivers’ abilities, so be ready
for anything—turning without a signal, swerving, tailgating, etc.
And don’t just focus on the car in front of you.
4. Avoid distractions.
That means anything from eating and drinking to texting and talking on
the phone. Multitasking takes your attention away from the road. And when
it comes to texting, do not text a friend or family member when you know
they are driving on the road. Many car crashes involving texting occur
when the driver is reading a text.
5. Take care of your car.
These simple things make a big difference. Make sure everything is running
properly, all windows and mirrors are clean, and that your car has enough
gas. And always periodically check your tire pressure to make sure they
have the correct amount of PSI at all times.
Don’t underestimate the obvious. Apply these simple tips to keep
you and your family safer on Tampa’s roadways. If you or someone
you know is ever injured in an
auto-related accident, please call Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez for a complimentary consultation.