Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Brandon Personal Injury Attorney
It's Like Having a Lawyer in the Family
Follow Us Facebook Twitter Linked In

Call For a FREE Consultation Handset 813-438-5960 Serving Brandon, Tampa and all of Florida

The Five Types of Driving Impairment

CarAcc7

Most vehicle collisions are not “accidents.” In fact, human error causes about 95 percent of these incidents. Frequently, the error occurs before the tortfeasor (negligent driver) even gets behind the wheel.

Since driving impairment usually involves the intentional disregard of other peoples’ safety, a Brandon car accident attorney can normally obtain substantial compensation in these instances. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Alcohol

Despite a decades-long crackdown against “drunk drivers,” alcohol still causes about a third of the fatal car crashes in Florida. Driving impairment begins with the first sip of alcohol. This impairment includes delayed reactions and impaired judgement. These qualities might make a person fun at parties, but they are incredibly dangerous when driving.

In court, victim/plaintiffs may use circumstantial evidence to establish driving impairment. Such evidence includes things like:

  • Odor of alcohol,
  • Slurred speech, and
  • Bloodshot eyes.

If the tortfeasor was legally intoxicated, the tortfeasor may be responsible for damages as a matter of law. It does not matter how careful, or how careless, the person was.

Alcohol-related collisions often involve third-party liability. Bars, restaurants, and other commercial providers may be legally responsible for damages if they sell alcohol to people who later cause car crashes. Vicarious liability theories, like dram shop liability, give victims an additional source of compensation in catastrophic injury situations, like wrongful death claims.

Drowsiness

Alcohol and fatigue have roughly the same effect on the mind. Sleepy drivers and drunk drivers both have impaired reflexes and judgment. In fact, driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level.

These two conditions have something else in common. There are no quick fixes. Only time cures alcohol impairment, and only sleep addresses fatigue. Shortcuts, like drinking coffee, do not adequately address either condition.

Drugs

In many jurisdictions, there are more “drugged” drivers than “drunk” drivers. Drug impairment may come from:

  • Heroin, LSD, and other street drugs,
  • Oxycontin, Fentanyl, and other opioid painkillers, or
  • NyQuil, Sominex, and certain other over-the counter drugs.

The same liability rules apply in both alcohol and drug cases. DUI-drug drivers may be liable for damages as a matter of law. In other situations, victim/plaintiffs may use circumstantial evidence, like pill bottles and physical symptoms, to establish impairment.

Medical Condition

Generally, it is not illegal to drink, take medicine, or stay up late. But it is illegal, or at least unsafe, to drive in these situations.

Epilepsy, heart disease, diabetes, and other similar medical conditions are much the same. Hundreds of thousands of Floridians struggle with these conditions. People with these chronic illnesses should not drive. If they lose consciousness behind the wheel, they often cause serious loss-of-control collisions.

Circumstantial evidence of medical impairment includes things like erratic driving before the crash and certain medical diagnoses. There may be direct evidence as well. The state usually suspends the drivers’ licenses of people with certain medical conditions. People without valid licenses are usually incompetent as a matter of law.

Distraction

Much like the other kinds of impairment, distraction, and especially device distraction, involves an intentional disregard of the safety of others. Most people agree that using a cell phone while driving is dangerous, yet most people admit they use such devices. Hand-held gadgets combine all three forms of distraction, which are:

  • Cognitive (mind off driving),
  • Visual (eyes off the road), and
  • Manual (hand off the wheel).

Hands-free phones may be even worse. These devices are visually and cognitively distracting. Furthermore, since they give people a false sense of security, drivers may take too many chances behind the wheel.

Florida lawmakers recently approved a limited hands-free law. Tortfeasors who text and drive are presumably negligent. In other cases, circumstantial evidence, like web browsing logs, may establish driving impairment.

Team Up with Dedicated Attorneys

Impaired drivers frequently cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced car accident injury lawyer in Brandon, contact Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. We have four area offices (St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Tampa, and Clearwater).

Resource:

digitaltrends.com/cars/2016-nhtsa-fatality-report/

https://www.needreed.com/top-three-traffic-tickets-in-hillsborough-county/

Brandon Personal Injury
Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law, is located in Brandon, FL and serves clients in
and around Brandon, Tampa, Apollo Beach, Sydney, Gibsonton, Balm, Valrico, Wimauma, Sun City Center, Lithia, Ruskin, Durant, and Hillsborough County.

Our Locations

Brandon

101 East Lumsden Road
Brandon, FL 33511
Tel: 813-438-5960
Fax: 813-438-5995

St. Petersburg

1700 66th Street North, Ste. 104-1008
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Tel: 727-362-7520
Fax: 727-362-7521

Lakeland

248 N Kentucky Avenue #72
Lakeland, FL 33801
Tel: 863-274-7715
Fax: 863-274-7716

Tampa

401 E Jackson Street, Ste. 2340
Tampa, FL 33602
Tel: 813-440-6678
Fax: 813-440-6682

Clearwater

13575 58th Street N, Ste. 200
Clearwater, FL 33760
Tel: 727-767-9914
Fax: 727-767-9915

Memberships

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from www.NeedReed.com

MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2014 - 2020 Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab