The National Safety Council (NSC) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to, “eliminating preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.” It publishes a variety of resources on its website, including its State of Safety report, which is a survey of the measures taken to promote road, home and community, and workplace safety in all 50 states.
According to the NSC’s State of Safety report, Florida ranks 44th in the nation in road safety, and 40th overall when it comes to protecting residents and citizens against injury risks and providing sources of financial compensation when injuries occur. Florida received an “F” in the Road Safety and Workplace Safety categories, and a “D” for Home and Community Safety.
Florida is Only “On Track” in One Area of Road Safety
Within the Road Safety category, the State of Safety report breaks down eight areas where legislation can be used to protect motorists, and then rates each state as “On Track,” “Developing” or “Off Track.” Florida is “On Track” in just one area (although it is an important one): Alcohol Impaired Driving.
The NSC rated Florida as “Off Track” in the areas of Distracted Driving and Vulnerable Road Users. This was due to the state’s lack of a complete cell phone ban for teens and novice drivers, its lack of an outright texting ban, and its lack of protections for pedestrians and motorcyclists. Among the areas in which the NSC rated Florida as “Developing,” perhaps the most notable is Speeding, where Florida received favorable marks for implementing school zone speed limits and speeding/red light cameras, but lost points for its high urban interstate speed limits (which is up to 70 mph).
What does all of this mean for Florida drivers? According to Inc.com, Florida is, “[n]umber 2 in the country for careless driving resulting in death,” and it has the ninth highest number of fatal crashes per capita according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), the number of auto accidents increased by thousands each year from 2011 through 2017. While we saw a slight dip in auto accidents in 2018, the 400,717 accidents last year were still far more than the 229,247 just seven years ago.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, it is important to make sure you have a clear understanding of your legal rights. While Florida’s “no-fault” insurance law limits drivers’ and passengers’ financial recoveries in cases involving minor injuries, if you were seriously or permanently injured, you may still be entitled to full compensation for your financial and non-financial losses. For more information, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
Speak With a Car Accident Attorney in Fort Walton, FL
Our attorneys bring decades of experience to representing auto accident victims in Fort Walton and throughout the Florida Panhandle. If you have been injured and would like to speak with a lawyer, we invite you to call 850-682-2757 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.