2016 a Bad Year for Florida Drivers
According to the National Safety Council, the first six months of the year has not been kind to Florida motorists. According to recently released NCS stats, 1600 people have been killed in Florida automobile accidents between January and June 2016. To put this into perspective, this represents a shocking 43 percent increase in car crash fatalities compared to the same time period in 2014.
This does not mean that it is more dangerous to drive in Florida than in other states, as a similar trend in deadly traffic crashes is being seen throughout the nation. Across the US, the NCS estimates that 19,100 people have been killed, with the total estimated cost of the deaths and injuries being around $205 billion.
NCS further notes that it is unlikely that this trend will change any time soon. According to the agency, if the trend continues it is likely that 2016 will be the deadliest year for driving since 2007 – a statistic that gives more urgency to the development of the ‘driverless car’ by such companies as Google, Tesla and Uber.
One member of the Florida Highway Patrol told a local news channel that he sees at least one fatal car crash every week. He believes that Florida has several unique factors that make its roads prone to fatal car crashes, including the beautiful weather and multitude of tourist attracttions that bring drivers from all over the world onto to Florida roadways. In addition, Florida’s large population means there are more people on the road, which increases the statistical risk of being involved in a fatal car crash.
The patrolman also cites new distractions, such as smartphones, along with advanced car technologies as backup cameras and lane-change sensors, as contributing to the increase in fatal car crashes. “It is critical that you do not rely on the sensors within your vehicle, they are there to assist you, not to take over,” he says.
In an attempt to bring down the number of Florida automobile accidents, the Florida Highway Patrol says they are placing more troopers on the roads. However, they also encourage drivers to use situational awareness each time they get behind the wheel. “If everyone just pretends there’s a trooper behind you all the time, we’ll start driving better and we’ll see these fatalities plummet,” says one trooper.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.