How often do auto accidents occur in Florida? And what causes deadly traffic collisions to happen? According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are a number of different ways that we could help to prevent auto accidents on the highways around Brandon and throughout the state. The FLHSMV compiled a Florida Traffic Crash Statistics Report that helps to show areas where auto safety is improving in our state, as well as areas in which preventive measures might help to improve the rate of highway fatalities.
Compiling Data on Florida Traffic Collisions and Teen Drivers
In order to put together its report, the FLHSMV looked at data from long-form reports of traffic accidents from law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Long-form reports exist for all auto crashes that involve one of the following:
● Accident resulting in personal injury or death;
● Accident in which a driver leaves the scene after causing property damage to an attended vehicle or other property; or
● Accident involving driving under the influence of "alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances or with an unlawful blood alcohol level."
What kind of information do the long-form reports provide? They can help us to see trends in auto accidents in Florida, which can help us to think through safety measures to prevent fatal car crashes.
The FLHSMV first identifies age as a major factor in Florida car accidents. In short, the younger the driver, the more likely that she'll be involved in a deadly auto crash. Teens are at particular risk of dangerous traffic collisions given their inexperience behind the wheel and the likelihood of distracted driving.
Indeed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens." To be sure, "seven teens ages 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries," and "per mile driven, teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash."
Here are some of the statistics on auto accidents in Florida and driver age:
● Nearly 27,000 teen drivers aged 16-19 were involved in auto accidents in Florida between 2010 and 2011. Of those drivers, 217 were killed in the crash. While this number is actually lower than the total in other age groups, the rate per 10,000 licensed drivers is among the highest.
● Drivers between the ages of 20-24 had the most auto accidents involving driving under the influence of alcohol. For drivers in this age group, more than 2,200 drivers were responsible for crashes due to drinking and driving.
Decreases in Highway Fatalities
Although the statistics for auto accidents and young drivers look grim, the FLHSMV did identify some promising trends in Florida traffic collisions:
● In general, traffic fatalities are on the decline. Each year since 2006, deadly auto accidents have been declining. Indeed, even between 2009 and 2010, the rate of traffic fatalities dropped by almost five percent. Since 2010, the total number of fatal car accidents has remained steady, just under 2,500 per year.
● Bicyclist and passenger fatalities have also decreased over the last five years. Between 2009, the total number of deaths dropped by 24 percent.
● Even though teen drivers and their passengers are at high risk of a deadly car accident, fatalities for this age group have also been declining since 2009.
Contact a Brandon Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love recently suffered injuries in a Florida auto accident, don't hesitate to discuss your case with an experienced auto accident lawyer in Brandon. An advocate at the Wells Law Group, P.A. can speak with you today.