Two Florida cities are on the 2013 list of best and worst places to drive in the U.S., published annually by Allstate Insurance. Hialeah and Miami were ranked among the top 10 worst locations for car accidents. Drivers in these communities have collisions every five or six years, compared to the national average of a decade between crashes.
The yearly ranking did not differentiate between fender benders and fatal accidents. In minor collisions, Pensacola drivers often exchange names and insurance information and move on. The effects of serious injury accidents and fatalities are not so temporary.
A young Port Richey resident was jailed after Florida troopers said the 21-year-old man caused a fatal accident. The driver's Mazda crashed into the back of a Kia Sephia at more than 100 mph, without evidence of braking or swerving to avoid the collision.
A 38-year-old woman died from accident injuries she received when her car was shoved over the median of U.S. 19 and burst into flames. The driver was pulled from the wreckage after emergency crews contained the fire, but the victim died shortly after hospitalization.
Troopers said the Mazda driver was unharmed. The man was arrested for marijuana possession. Charges are pending the investigation's outcome and results of alcohol and drug tests.
Drivers owe other motorists, passengers, bicycle riders and pedestrians a "duty of care." Florida juries determining liability compare a driver's actions or failure to act against the behaviors of a "reasonable" person.
Breaching the duty does not have to include intent to harm, although it can. A driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs chooses to drive under dangerous conditions. The driver breaks criminal laws while disregarding a civic duty - the reasonable safeguarding of others.
Victims injured by negligent drivers and families of victims who die can be awarded compensation for unnecessary financial losses, as well as physical and emotional suffering.
tbo.com, "Driver in fatal Pasco crash was once Mitchell High football player" No author given, Nov. 12, 2013