Does it seem like we have a ton of crazy drivers out there on the roads? It’s no secret that the Sunshine State has its fair share of maniacs behind the wheel, but do we really have the worst drivers? The answer may surprise you. On this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the numbers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and see where Florida compares to the rest of the country in terms of our car accident numbers to determine just how safe we are.
For the year 2016, Florida had the third-highest number of fatal car accidents in the country, with 3,174. That number trailed only California and Texas in terms of the raw number of fatal accidents that occurred within our state lines. However, Florida also has the third-highest population in the country, so that number may seem high but it’s also relatively close to where it should be. Generally, higher populations means larger urban areas, and larger urban areas tend to lead to more car accidents and more car accident fatalities.
However, when you compare the number of accidents within state lines every year to the population of that state, things can get a little grimmer. Mississippi actually has the most dangerous roads in the nation when you compare the number of fatal accidents to population size, closely followed by Alabama and South Carolina in the year 2016.
You’d expect Florida to sit somewhere around the middle based on being the third most populous state and having the third most accidents, and yet Florida ranked 13th in terms of the accident to population ratio, meaning the Sunshine State was well above-average in this statistic. Even though California and Texas both had significantly higher populations and numbers of accidents, both had much lower ratios.
Why Our Roads Can Be Dangerous
There are many reasons why Florida has roads that could be considered so dangerous. For starters, as we mentioned previously Florida has several large urban centers found throughout the state, and these urban centers are always more prone to fatal accidents. More people driving at higher speeds with less space between them is usually going to result in some negative consequences. Combine that with the fact that we have several of the largest urban centers in the country in Orlando, Miami, Tampa, and their surrounding areas, and it’s easy to see how our population density is fairly high.
Our natural causes are also a factor, including Florida’s often-wet weather. Wet roads are always more dangerous due to a lack of traction, and that lack of traction can result in possibly fatal accidents. When you combine the occasional severe weather we have, including torrential rains, high winds, and possible flooding, you have a recipe for potential disaster even just by heading out onto the roads.
Finally, there are many of the other major safety concerns with drivers. Reckless drivers or those who speed excessively are far more likely to cause a fatality when involved in an accident. Drunk drivers have their reaction time impaired or slowed to the point where they can’t make decisions quick enough to drive safely. Distracted drivers who take their eyes off the road to check their phone or change the radio station may not see that they’re swerving into another lane or about to run a traffic signal that has changed. Each of these hazards could potentially be lethal in its own right, so it’s important to avoid them as much as possible.
If you have been injured in a car accident, protect your rights as an injured victim by calling Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC at (866) 675-4427 to put one of our Stuart car accident attorneys on your side!