Florida Road Rage Accident on a Rainy Night Results in One Death and Two Fatalities

A recent accident on a rainy night in Broward County highlighted the need to drive safely during the frequent rainstorms in this part of the Sunshine State.  It also highlighted how dangerous road rage can be, particularly in rainy or other inclement weather.  The accident was tragic, resulting in one death and two injured motorists.  It also was completely avoidable according to police if only the motorists involved had decided to use their heads instead of becoming emotional and making decisions in a fit of anger.

The Accident

 A report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel regarding the accident noted that the accident occurred shortly before 6 p.m. on a rain-soaked portion of I-95 in Oakland Park north of Fort Lauderdale.  The accident occurred when, in the middle of wall-to-wall traffic caused by the pouring rain and ongoing construction in the area, a white Honda Accord collided with another car and spun out of control.  Despite suffering damage in this initial collision, the Honda Accord took off from the scene with a pickup truck in hot pursuit.  The two cars then wove in and out of traffic with the pickup truck chasing the Honda until the Accord smashed into a highway median on one side of the highway, killing the 18-year-old driver and seriously injuring his two passengers.  The pickup truck that was giving chase crashed into a median on the other side of the interstate.  The crash backed up traffic on I-95 for miles and caused delays until well after 11:00 p.m.  Police interviewed by local media said that, if the Honda Accord had simply stayed at the scene of the original accident instead of fleeing the scene, there likely would not have been any lives lost as a result of this horrific turn of events.

Florida Law Regarding Driving in Rainstorms

Under Florida law, drivers are required to have their headlights on when it is raining, smoky or foggy.  Many people also make the mistaken assumption that they should put on their flashers when slowing down and driving in a heavy downpour.  This is actually against the law pursuant to Florida Statute Section 316.2397(7)(a).  Drivers are also required to operate their vehicles at a safe and reasonable speed at all times on Florida’s highways, including when it is raining.  Florida State Section 316.183 states that “No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions” and further provides that “The driver of every vehicle shall drive at an appropriately reduced speed when any special hazard exists by reason of weather or highway conditions.”  Therefore, Florida drivers who are out in their motor vehicles during one of Florida’s frequent rainstorms have an obligation not only to utilize their headlights while driving, but also to ensure that they appropriately reduce their speed to adjust for the rain or other inclement weather that is present.

Florida Law Regarding Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

Florida law does not address the issue of road rage, but instead it classifies certain actions that most people would consider to constitute road rage under the more general heading of “aggressive careless driving.”  A motorist is engaged in aggressive careless driving pursuant to Florida law if he or she does two of the following simultaneously or in short succession: (i) exceeding the posted speed; (ii) unsafely or improperly changing lanes; (iii) following another vehicle too closely; (iv) failing to yield the right-of-way; (v) improperly passing another vehicle; or (vi) violating the commands given by traffic control and signal devices.  The pickup truck in the recent Broward County accident discussed above certainly would meet the definition of aggressive careless driving and, as the results of that incident showed, engaging in this type of behavior never has positive effects for either the driver engaging in the behavior or surrounding motorists.

Contact the Experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley

Road rage is unfortunately a more common occurrence than most people would think.  It can be particularly tragic when someone lets his or her emotions get the best of him or her when driving conditions are at their worst and driving is already extremely dangerous.  Adding road rage to the mix can simply make a terrible situation much worse.  Whether it’s road rage or simply the negligence of another driver that caused you to suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Schwed, Adams, & McGinley, P.A. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined practice representing victims of all sorts of motor vehicle accidents, including those caused by motorists who were exhibiting road rage.  Therefore, if you, a family member or a loved one have been injured or killed as a result of another motorist’s road rage, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.