The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tallied 4,424 fatalities in Florida for 2012, the latest year for which it has complete records. The following are some specifics regarding the statistics with ways to avoid joining the numbers for the current year.
- Urban areas were more dangerous than rural. The former showed 1,551 fatalities while the latter had 870. Miami-Dade County had the most fatalities, followed by Broward, Hillsborough, Orange and Palm Beach. The reasons behind these high numbers are obvious. These areas had the highest populations driving the most cars, thereby increasing the chances of an accident. When the streets are more crowded, slow down and allow enough space between you and the next vehicle so that you can stop.
- Single vehicle crashes, which resulted in 1,376 fatalities, were the most common. About 919 involved leaving the roadway and 768 happened in an intersection. Two major factors can cause such accidents. The primary factor in most accidents is distraction, so avoid using your cellphone, eating, putting on makeup or doing anything that removes your focus from the road. The second is fatigue, which is more common after work and late at night. If you’re feeling to tired to drive, pull over to a safe spot and catch an hour or two of sleep. That should refresh you enough to continue safely on your way.
- About 37 percent of the fatalities showed a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08 percent or greater. This was close to the national figure of 35 percent. In other words, over a third of all fatal accidents could be avoided if drinking didn’t precede driving. If you’ve had one too many, don’t try to drive home. Instead, ask a sober friend. Remember that you can always return in the morning to retrieve your car. If you were drinking alone, call a cab. The expense does not compare to the time, money, and sorrow you’ll spend for a traffic accident.
The advice given here for avoiding accidents is neither new nor difficult to implement. But because people ignore them, accidents still happen. If you or someone you love become involved in one of these statistics for the year, please contact us right away.