Facts About Florida Car Accidents
In 2022, 3,495 people died in Florida car accidents, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Crash Dashboard. Estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) put Florida third in the nation for traffic fatalities that year. While these figures inadequately encapsulate the true extent of the tragedy of lives lost, being aware of them may encourage drivers to take extra precautions on the road.
Florida car accidents reached nearly 400,000 in 2022, with roughly 250,000 injuries (FLHSMV). If you or a loved one are among the many unsuspecting drivers injured in a crash, Colling Gilbert Wright may be able to help. Call our Orlando car accident lawyers at (407) 712-7300 for a FREE consultation. Let us evaluate your case to ensure you are pursuing fair compensation for your losses.
Florida Car Accidents Facts & Statistics
Motor vehicle accidents are a significant source of injuries and fatalities, and understanding the facts about these accidents can help inform efforts to reduce their frequency and severity. In Florida, like many places in the United States, car accidents remain a critical issue for public safety.
Here are some essential facts about Florida car accidents:
Prevalence of Accidents
To put it simply, Florida is one of the states with the highest rates of car accidents in the country. Specifically, there were 392,960 car accidents in 2022, resulting in over 249,986 injuries and 3,495 fatalities, according to the Crash Dashboard.
Main Causes of Accidents
The leading causes of car accidents in Florida are distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence. Distracted driving includes any activity that diverts attention from driving, such as talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, or fiddling with the temperature control, stereo, or navigation system.
Some areas in Florida have a higher incidence of car accidents than others, per the Florida Department of Health. Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Hillsborough County tend to have higher numbers of car accidents and fatalities due to their dense populations and heavy traffic. However, when calculated by the rate per 100,000 population, Liberty County, Hardee County, and Union County rank the highest.
As of 2021, Florida was leading the nation in motorcycle fatalities with 651 tragedies, according to the National Safety Council’s (NSC) Injury Facts. The lack of helmet laws for riders over 21 years old and the state’s pleasant weather, which attracts motorcyclists, contribute to this unfortunate statistic.
Florida also has an extremely high rate of pedestrian fatalities resulting from car accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute reported 7,388 pedestrian deaths in 2021. 835 of those deaths occurred in Florida (FLHSMV). That means 11% of the pedestrian fatalities in car accidents that year occurred in Florida. Due to its warm climate, outdoor lifestyle, and tourism, the state has many pedestrians, increasing the likelihood of pedestrian-involved accidents.
Seat Belt Usage
The seat belt usage rate in Florida as of 2019 was only 0.9% less than the national rate of 90.7%. Seat belts are proven to save lives, but not everyone wears them. Florida law requires all drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seat belts. All passengers under 18 years old, no matter where they are sitting, must also be buckled up or in an appropriate child car seat.
Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured motorists in the country. As per the Insurance Information Institute, 20.4% of Florida drivers were uninsured in 2019. This fact underlines the importance of uninsured motorist coverage for drivers in the state.
Aggressive driving is a significant issue in Florida. In 2019, there were 1,261 serious injuries and 384 fatalities related to speeding and aggressive driving in Florida. Not to mention 39% of those fatalities “involved an unrestrained occupant & 44% involved an impaired driver,” according to the Florida Department of Transportation.
This type of driving can be linked to lousy decision-making as a whole. The behavior includes tailgating, improper or erratic lane changing, illegal driving on a road shoulder, ditch, or sidewalk, and/or passing where prohibited.
Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Florida has a high number of commercial vehicle (like trucks and buses) accidents due to its vast network of highways and its position as a trade and travel hub. These accidents often result in severe injuries and significant property damage due to the size and weight of these vehicles.
In 2021, Florida was third in the nation for “most deaths resulting from large truck crashes,” with 373 deaths, per NSC Injury Facts. Large truck accidents can cause massive destruction to passenger vehicles, with only a small percentage of those that perish being drivers or occupants of the truck.
Legal Requirements & Compensation
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning your personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance will cover your injuries up to the policy limit, regardless of who caused the accident. However, in severe injury cases, you can step outside of the no-fault system to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.
Drivers involved in Florida car accidents must report the incident to the police if it results in death, injury, or property damage of $500 or more, per Florida Statute § 316.065. PIP also requires you to report an accident within 14 days. Failure to report can result in penalties, including fines and/or the denial of your insurance claim.
In Florida, surviving family members must initiate a wrongful death claim within two years of a loved one’s passing, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d). Depending on the circumstances of your case, you and your family might be entitled to compensation for damages such as:
- Medical expenses accrued before death
- Lost wages & benefits
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral & burial costs
- Loss of companionship
At Colling Gilbert Wright, we recognize that the sudden death of a family member is traumatic, and our Orlando car accident attorneys are prepared to provide compassionate and skilled guidance throughout your claim.
How Else Can You Help?
According to the Red Cross, up to 100 pints of blood can be necessary to treat car accident injuries. Each year, we celebrate National Blood Donor Month in January, and the importance of donating blood can’t be overstated: If 100 people donated, it could be the difference between life and death for someone who suffered severe injuries in a crash.
Consult a Trusted Orlando Car Accident Attorney
There are many facts surrounding Florida car accidents, and they underline the importance of safe, responsible driving. Remember, if you are involved in a car accident in Florida, it is crucial to consult with a legal professional to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the appropriate compensation for any injuries or damages incurred.
Florida car accidents are frequent and often devastating. At Colling Gilbert Wright, we serve our clients with integrity and compassion. Contact us today for a FREE consultation. We will review your case and advise you on the appropriate action to take in pursuit of just compensation for your losses. We represent clients in Orlando and throughout Florida.