Florida is known for many things – beautiful beaches, constant sunshine, and plenty of wild swamp habitats. One thing it isn’t known for, though, is safe roadways. Just like the rest of the U.S., Florida’s accident statistics tell us that there’s a lot of room to improve; there are a few hundred thousand crashes each year. Not all of them are serious, of course, but many of them result in injuries, if not death. In some cases, the victims decide to hire a Florida car accident lawyer like Morgan & Morgan to get the compensation they deserve. Why are there so many car accidents in Florida, though? Explore the reasons why below.
Florida’s accident statistics
Just to give you a clearer picture, here’s an overview of 2021’s traffic accident statistics in Florida.
- In total, there were 401,068 crashes reported in 2021
- Those crashes caused 252,850 injuries
- They also resulted in 3,735 fatalities
- 109,512 of the crashes (over 25%) were hit-and-runs
- 9,549 of the traffic accidents involved pedestrians
- 8,631 involved motorcycles
- 6,398 involved bicycles
What are the main causes of traffic accidents in Florida?
Just like most other accidents, the root cause is negligence. From speeding, to driving under the influence, to merging lanes without checking the blind spots, there are all kinds of ways for a crash to happen.
That being said, it’s thought that the pandemic has actually contributed to the number of car crashes in the United States as a whole. For example, some people started speeding down the roadways to relieve their pent-up frustration after being quarantined indoors for weeks. Then there are the rising instances of drug and alcohol use, which have also led to more traffic accidents caused by impaired driving.
What should you do if you’re in a traffic accident in Florida?
After checking for injuries on both yourself and the occupants of the other vehicle, you should report the crash to the police if:
- The crash has resulted in injury or death
- The crash has caused damage to a vehicle or anything else that would cost $500 or more to repair
If you were gently bumped into by the car behind you at a stop light, the other person wouldn’t be legally required to report the crash to the police. However, no matter what the extent of the crash, you should still do the following:
- Take photos of the damage
- Get their insurance information
- Ask any bystanders if you could get their contact information (in case you need someone to back up your story later)
- Ask for documentation for any medical attention you receive for your injuries
If you ever incur serious injuries or expenses from a crash that wasn’t your fault, you might also want to get in touch with an experienced lawyer. The statute of limitations in Florida is four years for personal injury claims, but sooner is usually better. Even the most careful drivers could still get into a car crash, and in that case it’s always good to have a Plan B.