According to a study recently issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the number of Florida auto accidents dropped five percent from 2007 to 2008. This is very welcome news to Florida drivers as any reduction in auto accidents is a step in the right direction. However, given the number of Florida auto accidents that occur every year, there is still plenty of room for improvement. From a statistical standpoint, Florida’s streets and highways are still among the most dangerous in the country for number of auto accidents, lives lost, and people injured. The number of drunk driving auto accidents and deaths and injuries from these accidents each year are also near the top in the country.
In 2007, there were 256,206 Florida auto accidents, involving 366,917 drivers. However, in 2008, the number of Florida auto accidents recorded by the DHSMV had fallen to 243,342 and the number of drivers involved dropped to 346,610. Even though the decreases in Florida auto accidents and drivers involved are substantial, the fact that there are nearly a quarter of a million auto accidents in Florida each year is a very grim reminder of the chances we take each time we get behind the wheel. However, the number of people killed in Florida auto accidents declined more than seven percent for the same period. In 2007, 3,221 people lost their lives in Florida auto accidents but that number dropped to 2,983 in 2008, a drop of 7.39 percent.
The number of fatal auto accidents also saw a year-over-year decline with 2,947 fatal auto accidents in 2007 and 2,764 in 2008. Correspondingly, the number of people injured in Florida auto accidents declined from 212,149 in 2007 to 199,658 the following year. Any way you look at it, Florida’s streets and highways are some of the most dangerous in the nation. The number of deaths per 100 million miles traveled, or the Florida State Mileage Death Rate, was 1.5 deaths per 100 vehicle miles traveled in 2008, which represented a record low rate. The majority of auto accidents occurred in what the Florida DHSMV called business areas, with 144,731 or 59.5 percent of auto accidents occurring in these districts.
Drivers who got behind the wheel with drugs and/or alcohol in their system were responsible for causing a significant percentage of Florida auto accidents in 2008. Although the number of people killed in auto accidents involving either drugs or alcohol were down 32.7 percent and 6.03 percent respectively, over one-third of fatal auto accidents in Florida in 2008 involved impaired drivers. Alcohol-related auto accidents in 2007 claimed 1,244 lives and resulted in 16,208 suffering injuries severe enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. For 2008, 1,169 people died in Florida drunk driving auto accidents and 15,736 were injured.
Florida auto accidents that involved a driver under the influence of drugs dropped more than seven percent from 2007 to 2008. In 2007, there were 1,252 drug-related auto accidents in Florida, which dropped to 1,161 the following year. There were 202 people killed in drug-related Florida auto accidents in 2007 with 952 injured. By 2008, those numbers dropped to 136 and 819 respectively.
Cited often as a persistent cause of a rising auto accident rate are Florida’s youngest, least experienced drivers. There is no doubt that some teenage drivers lack judgment and experience. However, the DHSMV study indicates that the number of Florida auto accidents caused by teen drivers is not as high as many have thought. Florida auto accidents involving teen drivers numbered 36,009 in 2007, resulting in 131 teen drivers killed and 13,785 injured. From 2007 to 2008, however, teen accidents, fatalities, injuries, and other statistics fell by more than double digits across the board. Teen drivers killed in 2008 dropped by 16.8 percent to 109 and teen crashes dropped 11.1 percent 32,012. Much of the credit for these declines goes to the Florida DHSMV, the Florida Highway Patrol, and other state agencies that have launched teen driving safety programs throughout the state.
While the number of Florida auto accidents, fatalities, and injuries are down, there is still much to do to make the state’s streets and highways safer for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The number of people killed and injured in Florida auto accidents is still unacceptably high. Until drivers, law enforcement officials, and state governmental agencies participate in driver’s safety campaigns as aggressive as the teen programs, Florida will still be near the top in numbers of people injured and killed in auto accidents.
By sandra1599 from Pixabay