According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), there were 395,813 collisions in Florida, 2,936 of which involved at least one fatality in 2016. That works out to 0.7 percent of all crashes for that year being fatal. While only a small percent of traffic collisions are deadly, they still kill many people; more than 3,000 Floridians lost their lives in traffic collisions in 2016.
If you look at state statistics from 2011 to 2016, you will see that the numbers for total accidents, fatal accidents, and traffic fatalities have increased each year. In fact, in 2011, there were only 2,218 fatal accidents out of 229,248 total accidents. This increase is concerning, as it could indicate that more drivers are acting negligently behind the wheel.
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Where do most Florida Fatal Accidents Occur?
In 2016, certain Florida counties experienced a greater number of fatal accidents and road fatalities than others. It should come as no surprise that the county with both the highest number of fatal accidents and traffic fatalities in 2016 is one of the largest counties in Florida: Miami-Dade. The top five Florida counties for fatal traffic collisions in 2016 include:
- Miami-Dade County– 279 fatal accidents (294 traffic fatalities)
- Broward County– 229 fatal accidents (245 traffic fatalities)
- Hillsborough County— 207 fatal accidents (228 traffic fatalities)
- Palm Beach County– 164 fatal accidents (181 traffic fatalities)
- Orange County– 161 fatal crashes and (171 traffic fatalities)
What Types of Injuries Cause Traffic Fatalities?
While only 0.7 percent of all Florida accidents in 2016 were fatal, there were still 3,177 lives lost in these fatal crashes. Many fatal accidents are head-on collisions where the front ends of two vehicles collide as the vehicles head towards each other. The strong impact can result in one or more of these life-ending injuries:
- Head or brain injuries – Many accident victims hit their heads on a hard surface (e.g., pavement, steering wheel), suffer a jolt to the head (e.g., whiplash) or experience other forms of head trauma, and are unable to recover from their traumatic brain injuries. Even if the victim survives, brain injuries can have lifelong consequences that affect a person’s ability to walk, communicate, or otherwise function.
- Chest injuries – If the victim receives a crush injury to the chest in a head-on collision or another type of crash, the victim may suffer internal bleeding and severe, irreparable damage to their internal organs
- Burns– In many accidents, vehicles catch on fire and victims are unable to recover from the severe burns all over their bodies.
- Neck and spinal cord injuries– If an accident victim breaks the spinal cord or neck due to the impact, their injuries may instantly result in death.
Why Do These Accidents Occur?
Fatal accidents occur for a multitude of reasons including:
- Driver Errors – When a driver engages in irresponsible behaviors behind the wheel (e.g., texting, driving drunk, driving recklessly), they are more likely to make a mistake that could cost someone their life. For example, a person driving recklessly may follow the vehicle in front of them too closely at high speed, so that when the vehicle stops, they are unable to brake in time and end up rear-ending the vehicle.
- Poor roadway maintenance– Debris, potholes, and other poor road conditions may cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and crash into other vehicles or barriers.
- Defective vehicles– Brake failure, steering mechanism failure, improperly treaded tires, and other defects may cause a serious accident, particularly if the vehicle is traveling at high speed.
At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, our goal is to fight for justice on behalf of accident victims and their families. Our personal injury attorneys can help handle your insurance company as well as the legal claim filing process. Call 800-747-3733 to find out how we can assist you.