Florida Careless Driving Statute Overview

florida statutes careless driving

The driver who caused the vehicle accident you were in may not have been intentionally driving in a dangerous way, but that doesn’t change the fact that their actions caused your injuries. The careless driving Florida statute exists to protect victims hit by careless drivers. 

What Is the Careless Driving Florida Statute?

Florida Statute § 316.1925 states that “Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the same in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.” Violation of this law is called careless driving in Florida.

Within Florida, there is also an “aggressive careless driving” statute, and a “reckless careless driving” statute.

Aggressive Careless Driving

The careless driving Florida statute also defines “aggressive” careless driving. Under Florida Statute § 316.1923, careless driving is considered aggressive if two or more traffic violations occur simultaneously or in succession. These include:

  • Exceeding the speed limit;
  • Unsafely or improperly changing lanes;
  • Following another vehicle too closely;
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way as defined; 
  • Improperly passing as defined; and
  • Violating traffic control and signal devices. 

An example of this is speeding and running a red stoplight. 

Reckless Driving 

Florida Statute § 316.192 states that, “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” This means that the driver was acting purposefully with intentional indifference to the consequences that could be a result of their recklessness. 

Examples of reckless driving in Florida include fleeing law enforcement, weaving in and out of traffic while speeding, drag racing on the highway, and other dangerous or erratic driving patterns. 

What to Do After You Have Been in an Accident with a Careless Driver

There is a good chance that by the time you are reading this, you have already left the scene of the accident. If you haven’t, gather information. You will need it later if you have to prove negligence on the part of the careless driver. If you are badly injured, worry about that above everything else. But if you are able, here is a short list of things to gather before you leave the scene.  

  • The location, time, and date the accident took place;
  • Insurance information for every driver involved;
  • The make, model, and license place number for all vehicles in the accident; and
  • Photos of vehicle damage and the accident scene for perspective.

In most cases, a law enforcement officer will be on the scene to make a report regarding the accident. Make sure to get a copy of this report. Your insurance may want it anyway, but it will make the process faster if you also end up pursuing litigation. 

Once you have left the scene, make sure to keep detailed records of all expenses associated with the accident. This includes all doctor visits, medications, physical therapy, transportation, homecare, lost wages, and other costs. 

Hire an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney

The law office of Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon has been serving Florida accident victims for decades. If you have been injured because of a careless driver, you should contact our personal injury lawyers in Pensacola for a free consultation.

Our team understands the complex legal environment of personal injury law in Florida and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you owe us nothing until we settle your claim. So don’t hesitate; Contact us today