Fewer car accidents in Florida but state still among the nation’s most dangerous

The number of people killed in Florida car accidents reached a three-decade low last year, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

As our Boca Raton injury attorneys have reported previously, the economic downturn, high unemployment, and reduced tourism have been cited as primary reason for the reduction. Still, 2,430 people were killed on the state’s roads. Car accidents in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade continue to lead the state.

In 2009, a total of 2,563 people died in Florida car accidents. Last year’s numbers represent a 5 percent reduction and the lowest state total since 1978 — when Florida had half as many residents.

“It is encouraging to see the number of traffic fatalities continue to drop, and the department will continue our efforts to educate motorists and aggressively enforce the traffic laws to create the safest possible driving environment,” said DHSMV Executive Director Julie L. Jones. “Unfortunately, we know all too well the devastating impact that even a single fatality resulting from a careless, inattentive or impaired driver can have on a family and community.”

The state is not alone in tooting the horn of aggressive enforcement. Other state are also pointing to proactive law enforcement measures as being partly responsible for the reduction. However, those claims ring a bit hollow in Florida, which is one of just a few states that have done nothing to combat text messaging or the use of cell phones by drivers.

“The Florida Highway Patrol is committed to patrolling Florida’s highways around the clock, every day of the year, to safeguard motorists and stop dangerous drivers,” said FHP Director, Colonel John Czernis. “Our law enforcement partners and public safety stakeholders also deserve credit for their efforts to keep our streets safe. Motorists can do their part when they buckle up every ride, every time.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to report that car accidents are the leading cause of death for those ages 5 to 34.