Car Accidents & Snowbirds: Naples FL Car Accident FAQ

There have been numerous studies that show car accidents in Naples, Florida increase during the winter months. Any full time resident of Naples will tell you it’s due to the increased traffic during the annual migration of snowbirds.

Snowbirds are anyone who lives up north and spends their winter months here in the temperate Florida sunshine. Some are tourists here for a few weeks of vacation and some are part-time residents, but all of them increase the amount of traffic in Naples.

With an increase in traffic, the number of car accidents is bound to go up. In 2016 the National Safety Council did a study on traffic fatalities and Florida’s traffic fatalities are rising faster than any other state. There was a 43% increase in fatalities from car accidents between 2014 and 2016.

In Naples, the police department has such a substantial spike in calls during the winter, part time seasonal police officers are hired to handle the influx. Collier County Sheriff’s data says the amount of 911 calls increases by 12% and car accidents increase by 20%.

More traffic is not the only reason car accidents are on the rise during the busy season in Florida. Here are a few other factors that play a role in increasing car accidents.

Unfamiliar Drivers

When you start to see the out of state license plates pouring into Naples, Florida, remember that these people may not know exactly where they are going. In modern society, most people are using GPS, but if they are distracted by their GPS, trying to listen for directions or looking hard for road signs, they may not see people pulling out or a stop light change to red.

Remember to always be aware of your surroundings and do not get distracted by your phone or the radio while driving. The out of state drivers might not see you, but hopefully you will see them.

Driver Fatigue

Many people come to Florida for a midwinter vacation. They are not our part time residents, they are just coming to Naples for a week or two to warm up. These people may have been in the car for 12, 15, even 18 hours straight driving from their home up north.

This leads to dangerous fatigue. If you see a car going too slow or swerving around, call 911 or the non-emergency Naples police department line (239-252-9300) to alert authorities. Impaired drivers are not only people who are intoxicated, but also people who are overly tired.

Elderly Drivers

As we age, our bodies start to process things more slowly and our reaction times are not as quick. Many of our snowbird residents are over the age of 70. While most older people are more than capable of driving, this doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things that are more likely to happen to them.

For example, an elderly person is much more likely to have a medical problem happen while driving than a middle aged person. Some elderly drivers can have vision problems, making it difficult to judge the distance a car is away from them and causing them to pull out in front of it when they shouldn’t.

Make sure not to get distracted while driving and slow down during the busy season in Naples. Be aware of those who are driving around you and the impairments they may have.

At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, we have a dedicated team of motor vehicle collision lawyers. When you get into an accident, you want someone on your side who understands Florida’s car accident laws. If you get into a car accident in Naples Florida in the height of snowbird season, make sure you call the police, seek medical attention and then call our team to speak with an experienced lawyer who can help you through the car accident process.


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