If you live in the Tampa Bay area, or even anywhere in Florida for that matter, you don’t need anyone to tell you about our state’s reputation for bad drivers. The numbers on vehicle crashes and traffic fatalities only seem to confirm this stereotype. The Florida DMV shares some additional revealing statistics on car accidents in Tampa and Hillsborough County on the agency’s website.
In 2009, for example, most of the 6,778 car accidents that took place in Hillsborough county occurred in Tampa. Alcohol played a role in 480 of those car accidents. The city had third highest number of accidents in Florida for that year, behind Miami and Jacksonville.
When it comes to our state as a whole, the numbers are even more shocking. Florida drivers are among the most negligent motorists on the road, ranking second-worst in the country for being distracted while behind the wheel, according to a study of driving habits conducted in 2016. Florida’s score was 49th, ahead of only one other state in an analysis that indicated that 92 percent of U.S. drivers with cellphones use them while moving in a car. A previous study in 2013 found even more shocking results. The Sunshine State ranked 18th for drunk driving, 33rd for fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, 38th for failure to obey (traffic signals and seat belts), 48th for tickets, and 51st (aka the worst including D.C.) for careless driving.
In addition to all of this, a study from 2007 reported that approximately 23 percent of Florida drivers are uninsured, the fifth highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the nation. This means that approximately 1 in 5 drivers do not have the means to cover damage to your vehicle and medical expenses (unless your plan includes uninsured motorist coverage).
No one really knows why our state has a proclivity towards bad drivers and consistent crashes, but one thing is for sure: the road can be a dangerous place. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, whether as a pedestrian, driver or passenger in a motor vehicle, call The Law Offices of Christopher DeBari at (727) 656-7852 right away and begin protecting your rights.