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Crashes Caused By Bad Road Conditions


A driver loses control of their car when they go over a bad section of potholed road, crashing into a telephone pole. In another scenario, a driver gets T-boned when they go through a stop sign without stopping because the sign was obscured by a tree branch. A driver is rear-ended at high speed when they try to merge onto the freeway because the on-ramp is too short and at a dangerous angle. In all three of these scenarios, the driver may be able to argue that the crash was caused by poor road infrastructure or design, and sue the city or state government that was responsible for building and upkeep that section of road. With much of the road infrastructure in Florida on the brink of dilapidation, such as the Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart which is “at risk of an imminent collapse” according to the Coast Guard and CNN, it is not a stretch to imagine that your collision was caused by dangerous road conditions. 

Why Proving That The Crash Was Caused By Crumbling Road Conditions Is So Difficult

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), just two percent of collisions are caused by “environmental” factors, while 94 percent of collisions are caused by human error, two percent are caused by a vehicle malfunction (such as blowing out a tire), and a further two percent are caused by “unknown” critical reasons, meaning the investigators were unable to identify the reason the crash occurred. The two percent of collisions caused by environmental factors only accounts for around 52,000 collisions in the entire country, out of a reported 2.2 million. Of those environmental factors:

  • 50 percent are caused by slick roads, such as ice and snow;
  • 17 percent are caused by glare;
  • 11 percent are caused by view obstructions;
  • Nine percent are caused by other highway-related conditions;
  • Four percent are caused by fog, rain, or snow;
  • Four percent are caused by other weather-related conditions;
  • Three percent are caused by signs or signals; and
  • Just one percent are caused by foad design.

As such, bad road design causes 1,000 crashes per year, or just 0.045 percent of all annual crashes. View obstructions, poor signs or signals, and “other highway-related conditions” could also be included in the “poor road condition” category that would allow a victim to sue a municipality or state government, but combined all of these factors still do not even add up to one percent of traffic collisions. The fact is, it is difficult to win a personal injury claim against a city or state government because there are usually other factors that caused the collision. Maybe the road had potholes or a stop sign was obscured by a tree branch, but it could be argued that the driver should have reduced their speed as they approached the pothole, or that the driver should have slowed down approaching the intersection with the obscured stop sign in the sake of caution, as a reasonably careful driver would have done.

Call an Orlando Auto Collision Attorney Today

If you were injured in a collision that you suspect was caused by another party, including a municipality, it is in your interest to talk to an Orlando auto accident attorney. Call the Payer Law today at 866-930-1238 to schedule a free consultation.



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