There are over 16 million drivers in Florida, and every year there are close to 250,000 car crashes on roads and highways across the state. While the state’s sunny weather and open highways are excellent to cruise on, the risks of car accidents are also dismally high. Consult a Melbourne, Florida personal injury attorney if you have been involved in a fatal car accident.
The Truth About Florida Car Accidents
Raw figures for 2012, the latest data available with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, show that the fatality rate per hundred million vehicle miles traveled for the state was 1.25 over 2010 and 2011. The fatality rate is higher than the national average for the year (1.10). In fact, the total number of car accidents across the state that year was a whopping 227,998, and of these 2,400 were fatal. To put these figures in perspective, the same year there were a total of 32,367 deaths across the United States in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
4,355 of the accidents were in Brevard County alone. Brevard County does not by any means have the highest car accident rate for the year – Miami-Dade, Broward and Hillsborough run into tens of thousands – but it is certainly significantly higher than Liberty, Franklin, Gulf and Lafayette, which had less than a 100 traffic crashes in 2011.
According to City Data, Melbourne alone had 8 fatal accidents in 2011 and 17 persons were involved. This was an increase from 2010, when there were 4 fatalities and half the number of vehicles and people involved.
While these facts and figures do give you an unsettling idea of the incidence of car accidents in the city and the state, it is better to look at these accidents in greater detail to get a sense of the causes and prevent them in the future.
Causes of Florida Car Accidents and Fatalities
The majority of the accidents in Florida (920 according to the DHSMV) were suspected or known to be from alcohol-related causes. An alcohol-impaired crash is typically defined as a crash involving a driver who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 grams per deciliter (gm/dL). Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest causes of accidents across the United States. In 2011, 31 percent of the total car crash fatalities across the US were alcohol-related.
The seat belt usage rate was relatively high across Florida, at 87.4 percent, but it was not enough to save the lives of those involved in the accidents. 497 of those killed were pedestrians and 120 of them were bicyclists. As compared to the previous year, the number of pedestrian fatalities was the same but the number of bicyclist deaths had almost doubled from 76.
According to the Florida DMV, the most common cause of non alcohol-related deaths and injuries is careless driving. This means that the drivers were not taking into account traffic, curves, corners, the steepness of the road and other conditions while they drove.
Preventing Car Accidents in Florida
The most effective solution to keep the car accident counts in the state in check would be to practice safe driving techniques. There are Florida Traffic School course in safe driving, the Traffic Collision Avoidance Course (TCAC) is an excellent online, classroom-based or video based course to help you be a better and safer driver. It also goes without saying that driving under the influence should be avoided as much as possible for the safety of the driver, passengers, other vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.
In the event you find yourself in a crash despite these precautions, you need a lawyer on your side. If you are looking for a car accident lawyer Melbourne Fl has reputable professionals who can work with your best interests in mind.