Dangers of Street Racing in Ocala, FL
Bill Allen | June 8, 2021 | Car Accidents
Illegal street racing increased in many areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. With fewer cars on the road, drivers felt more comfortable engaging in unlawful street competitions. However, street racing has been a problem for a long time.
Street racing is extremely dangerous for drivers, passengers, bystanders, bicyclists, and pedestrians. It is also illegal in Florida. The charges for illegal street racing can range from a misdemeanor to vehicular manslaughter, depending on the facts of the case.
A conviction for a first-time misdemeanor street racing is a one-year mandatory revocation of your driver’s license. The judge could impose other punishments, including fines and jail time. Multiple convictions increase the severity of the punishment.
Why is Street Racing Dangerous?
There are many reasons why street racing is dangerous. The risk of a car crash is the most obvious. The drivers, passengers, and others on the road could be seriously injured or killed during a racing accident. Innocent victims who were in the wrong place at the wrong time could lose their lives.
Some factors that make street racing dangerous include:
Street racers can exceed speeds of 100 to 120 mph. They may even race on city streets or in residential areas. These excessive speeds increase the risk of a car accident and catastrophic injuries. Excessive speeds can also increase the risk of a rollover accident.
Ocala’s streets are not designed for racing. Traveling at high speeds along narrow city and residential streets is a recipe for disaster.
Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol and drugs are often present at many illegal street races. The drivers may also be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which increases the risk of a crash. Bystanders who are intoxicated have a slower reaction time, which means they may not be able to move quickly enough to avoid being hit by a speeding car.
Disobeying Traffic Signals and Stop Signs
Street racers do not stop for red lights or stop signs. Therefore, the risk of an intersection accident increases with street racing. A driver who is unaware of what is taking place may enter the intersection with the right of way. The street racer is unable to stop before colliding with the other vehicle.
Violence and Fights
Bystanders may have guns, knives, and other weapons. Fights and violence are common at street races. Individuals with weapons may be intoxicated or have violent tendencies that can escalate quickly.
Injuries Common in Street Races
The drivers and passengers are not the only ones to sustain injuries in a street race. Innocent pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists may be injured or killed because of the race. Bystanders watching the race may also be injured.
Street racing accidents can cause:
- Back and neck injuries
- Paralysis and spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain damage
- Broken bones and fractures
- Lacerations and severe scarring
- Damage to internal organs
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Wrongful death
If you or a family member is injured in an illegal street race, you can sue the at-fault parties for compensation of damages. You could receive compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, pain, and suffering. You may also receive money for other damages, including permanent impairments, personal care costs, and decreases in your quality of life.
What Should I Do if I See a Street Race?
If you see a street race, call 911 to report the race. Try to get out of the area as soon as possible. If you were injured because of the street race, request emergency medical services.
Always visit a doctor after an accident. Follow up with the police officers to determine if they arrested the parties responsible for the street racing accident. An attorney can help you determine your options for obtaining compensation for damages if they find the drivers or if they do not.
Law enforcement officers may file a criminal case against the street racers. The criminal case is separate from any civil claim that you might have. Your civil case does not depend on the outcome of the criminal matter. Still, your lawyer will monitor the criminal case carefully to recover evidence that might assist you in the civil case.
The key is to report illegal street racing. Help law enforcement officers catch and punish illegal street racers. The goal is to get these drivers off Ocala roads so that the roads are safer for everyone.