Fatal Car Accidents May Be Increasing This Year in Florida
Florida will not meet a nationwide trend of declining fatal car accidents year-over-year, recent studies predict. In 2012, Florida state officials working with highway safety organizations set estimates for how many fatal car accidents the state would see each year with a hopeful decline of 5% each year. For 2016, the estimate was 1,980 fatalities. As of early July, 1,459 people had already lost their lives on Florida highways, or just under 75% of the estimation. If the fatal accident rate does not improve in the last 6 months of the year, the total number of fatalities could rise well over 2,200. In a worst case estimation scenario, close to 3,000 lives could be lost.
What is Happening & Who is Fixing It?
There are currently no “red flag” trends in terms of what is causing the increase in fatal car accidents across Florida. The normal suspects – distracted driving due to cellphone use and intoxication – are still serious concerns but do not stand out as worsening problems. Some people assumed that tourism in early summer also spiked the number of traffic collisions but data does not support the notion; both January and May 2016 had nearly identical crash statistics, with about 33,000 accidents in each month.
In a bit of encouraging news, sheriff departments throughout Florida have acknowledged the widespread problem of car accident fatalities and have encouraged lawmakers to do what it takes to promote civilian safety. This would include creating harsher penalties for people pulled over for using their cellphones; currently, Florida is regarded as one of the most lenient states when it comes to smartphone-and-driving penalties.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also has disparaging news for Floridians. Out of all the states, Florida is the second worst when it comes to wearing seatbelts. This could be to blame to due loose seatbelt laws that permit adults in the backseat to decide if they want to buckle up or not without fear of legal consequences.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you can contact Willis Law, P.A. today. Our Boca Raton personal injury attorneys can help you with your case from start to finish. We are also well-versed in wrongful death claims if you need to file a lawsuit after losing a loved one to a fatal car accident on the highways of Florida. Call 561.855.0299 today for more information.