Between poorly designed roads and an increase in SUVs, trucks and vans driving on them, traffic accidents and fatalities are on the increase in Florida, according to a number of recently issued reports.
Four of the top 10 most dangerous cities for pedestrians are in Florida, according to a report from Smart Growth America, an advocacy group that works for better planning and safer transportation designs. The city ranked #1 for pedestrian deaths was the Daytona-Ormond Beach metropolitan area. The other Florida cities in the top ten were Tampa (ranked fourth), Jacksonville (ranked sixth), and Orlando (eighth). In 2021, the number of pedestrian deaths in Florida rose from 3,332 in 2020 to 3,629.
During the pandemic, the number of drivers on the road nationwide decreased, but the number of pedestrians killed increased, and in 2021, the number of pedestrians killed in automobile collisions reached the highest number in 40 years. The organization issued a report, “Dangerous by Design,” which attributed the increase in pedestrian deaths to the fact that our nation’s highway and roads systems focus on moving cars quickly at the expense of safety for runners, walkers, bicyclists, and motorcycle riders.
The report also noted that other countries have taken steps to increase safety for pedestrians such as lowering speed limits, building bicycle lanes and roundabouts at intersections, and including automatic braking systems in cars that are activated by detecting pedestrians, and their pedestrian fatality rate has dropped significantly as a result.
Florida Ranks #41 in the Nation for Condition of Its Highways
Another report on the safety of our roads and highways, issued by the Reason Foundation, stated that Florida ranks #41 in the nation for the condition and performance of its highways.
The report was based on costs and statistics on fatalities and other performance indicators. Out of thirteen categories, Florida’s lowest rankings were in urban fatality rate (#48), maintenance disbursements per mile (#44), and rural fatality rate (#43). Despite spending much more than neighboring states on its roads, in safety and performance categories, Florida ranks 37th in traffic congestion, 20th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 9th in rural Interstate pavement condition.
Its highest rankings are in urban arterial pavement condition (2nd), rural arterial pavement condition (6th), and structurally deficient bridges (6th). Its lowest rankings are in capital and bridge disbursements (49th) and urban fatality rate (48th). To clarify, the higher the number of fatalities, the lower the ranking in this category.
How well does Florida stack up compared to other states? Florida’s rank is worse than that of nearby states Georgia (ranks 14th), South Carolina (ranks 23rd), and Alabama (ranks 28th), as well as Texas (ranks 16th) and Pennsylvania (ranks 39th).
What can be done to improve the condition of Florida’s roads and reduce traffic fatalities? The Reason Foundation recommends lowering the cost of keeping its pavements in good condition by increasing the interval between repavings and reducing highway deaths by improving roadway design, specifically by more closely matching the roadway speed limit to roadway design speed. Increasing law enforcement efforts toward speeding drivers could also contribute to fewer accidents and highway fatalities, according to the Foundation.
What these statistics mean for you is that despite being a good driver or a careful pedestrian, you are at risk of being involved in an accident on Florida’s roads and will most likely at one point in time need the help of a Personal Injury Attorney and Car Accident Lawyer like David B. Datny in Boca Raton and Wellington, Florida. Protect yourself from zealous insurance companies and making mistakes after an accident that could prove costly to you or your loved one. The Datny Law Firm is available 24/7 to help injured accident victims at 561-221-7474. Consultations are FREE.