Fatal motor vehicle accidents occur every day in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic accidents claimed the lives of 37,461 people in 2016. While there has been a downward trend in traffic deaths, 2016’s fatality count is 5.6 percent higher than 2015’s 35,485 traffic fatalities. With so many people losing their lives on the roadways, it is more important than ever to exercise responsible behavior behind the wheel.
How Many People Die Each Day in Florida Motor Vehicle Crashes?
In 2016, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) reported that 3,177 people perished in 2,936 fatal traffic accidents in Florida. These fatal crashes make up approximately 0.7 percent of Florida’s total number of accidents for 2016 (395,806). About 165,941 Florida crashes involved at least one injury and resulted in 254,163 accident-related injuries.
Based on these statistics, it appears that approximately 8.7 people died every day in Florida accidents in 2016.
Miami-Dade County reported the most 2016 fatalities in the state with 294 fatalities and 279 fatal crashes. Broward and Hillsborough counties follow closely behind with 229 and 207 fatal accidents and 245 and 228 fatalities, respectively.
Fatality Rates in the United States
The NHTSA calculated the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and determined that it was 1.18, an increase of 2.2 percent from the 2015 VMT. The fatality composition includes:
- 36 percent passenger car occupants
- 28 percent light-truck occupants
- 18 percent nonoccupants (e.g., pedestrians, bicyclists)
- 14 percent motorcyclists
- 4 percent large-truck, bus and other occupants
The NHTSA found that travelers in passenger vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) made up a 23,714 out of the 37,461 traffic fatalities that occurred in 2016. The passenger vehicle fatality count of 23,714 is the highest it has been since 2008.
Why Do Fatal Crashes Occur?
Fatal motor vehicle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Determining who is at fault for an accident is a challenging part of any accident-related claim, but figuring out why the accident occurred can get us one step closer to figuring out liability.
The decisions people make when they decide to operate a vehicle have a major impact on the outcome of the crash. Some of these decisions include:
- Restraint usage– Many accident fatalities would not occur if drivers and passengers used restraints while sitting in their vehicles. In 2016, 10,428 vehicle occupants who were not wearing seatbelts or other forms of restraint died in U.S. accidents. In Florida, 8,482 vehicle occupants died in 2015 because they were not wearing restraints.
- Alcohol impairment– Driving under the influence of alcohol can slow reaction times and impair judgment. Approximately 10,497 out of the 37,461 traffic deaths nationwide involved a driver impaired by alcohol. In Florida, alcohol-impaired driving factored into 508 out of 2,939 traffic fatalities in 2015.
- Drowsiness– Driving when you are physically too tired to focus on the road can cause serious accidents. In 2016, approximately 803 traffic deaths in the U.S. involved a drowsy driver.
- Distracted driving– Using a handheld electronic device, eating, reading or engaging in other distracting behaviors causes thousands of fatal accidents every year. About 3,450 traffic deaths in 2016 occurred in distracted driving accidents nationwide.
Florida drivers lose their lives every day in devastating motor vehicle accidents. At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, our attorneys understand that the death of a loved one can turn your world upside down. That is why we take responsibility for your claim and handle all the complex insurance and legal matters while you focus on your family. Call 800-747-3733 today.