Florida sees more than its fair share of auto accidents. For many years, the Sunshine State has held the distinction of having one of the highest car crash rates in the nation, and since 2014 Florida has seen the steepest increase in accident-related fatalities of any state nationwide. While the National Safety Council estimates that fatal accident rates have increased 18 percent nationwide over the last two years, Florida’s rate has increased by an almost unbelievable 43 percent.

When it comes to motorcycle accidents, Florida leads the nation in rider fatalities. While Florida’s large number of riders and lack of a mandatory helmet law certainly contribute, heavy congestion and driver error are among the leading causes of motorcycle rider deaths in Florida as well.

Here are some additional statistics from Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES), updated as of November 15, 2016:

Accident Rates Remain Relatively Consistent Throughout the Year

In both 2015 and 2016, accident rates have remained relatively consistent throughout the year. February saw the least number of auto accidents in 2015 (28,787), while collisions peaked at 34,038 in December. So far in 2016, reports for October show the lowest number of accidents in the past two years (27,224), while March’s total (35,616) topped the highest total from 2015.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents Present Most-Severe Risk of Fatalities

While less than one percent of collisions involving multiple vehicles have resulted in fatalities in 2016, more than six percent of pedestrian accidents this year have been fatal. Approximately two percent of bicycle accidents this year have resulted in death of the rider. These rates are fairly consistent with the rates from 2015.

Looking Ahead to the Holiday Season

According to FIRES, half way through the month, November is on pace to set a five-year low for vehicle collisions. However, with the holiday season looming, drivers will need to exercise particular caution to avoid accident-related injuries. Accident rates tend to spike during the holidays as more people hit the roads; and, despite overall consistency, November and December have seen some of the highest numbers of accidents in Florida in each of the last five years.

While accidents will often be unavoidable, to help protect yourself and your family on Florida’s roads, you can:

  • Drive defensively and obey all traffic laws
  • Know the warning signs of drunk driving and distracted driving
  • Try to maintain a two-second buffer between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you
  • Avoid becoming distracted by passengers and keep your phone out of reach
  • Keep your car well-maintained
  • If you ride a motorcycle, ride within your abilities and wear protective gear on every ride

Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A. | Destin, Florida Car Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a vehicle accident, it is important that you speak with an attorney about your legal rights. At Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A., we offer free consultations, and we do not charge any legal fees unless we secure a financial recovery. To discuss your accident with an experienced attorney in confidence, please call (850) 682-2757 or contact us online today.