Statistics bear out that Florida is home to some of the most treacherous roads in the nation. Florida vehicle accidents are on the rise, due to a “perfect storm” of unpredictable weather, congested roads, a rising population, and millions of visitors every day. Before you get behind the driver’s seat in the Sarasota and Bradenton area, here are a few things to keep in mind.
By the Numbers
Florida vehicle accidents have been steadily on the rise for years. The latest complete statistics we have from Florida Highway Safety (2016) indicate that in the prior year, both the number of accidents and the number of fatalities increased. (5.73% and 5.46%, respectively.) In fact, in nearly every metric, Florida vehicle accidents (automotive) are proving more problematic each year. Progress was made in one important category, however. Alcohol-related crashes and fatalities are both down approximately 10%, although these crashes still account for 15% of fatalities.
In 2016, 5% of accidents (nearly 22,000 of them) resulting in an injury which was defined as incapacitating. Victims of these accidents carry the physical burden of an accident with them for the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, Florida also has its fair share of motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accidents. In addition to the normal causes, such as blind spots, many attribute the high rate of these types of incidents in Florida to the rapid rise in population and tourism.
For instance, many new residents or visitors are not familiar with Sarasota laws requiring motorists to stop for pedestrians in many locations.
One of the best things about living in (and visiting) the Sarasota area, is that we have some of the most iconic vacation spots in the country within driving distance. Disney World is a day trip, and Key West is a weekend getaway, and many area residents think nothing of planning a last-minute vacation.
However, it is important to note that traveling to each of these destinations requires true diligence. Interstate 4, which leads directly to Disney from either coast, was named in 2017 as the deadliest interstate in America, with more fatalities per mile than any other major highway in America.
In fact, it has been on the list of the Top Ten most dangerous interstates for the past 6 years. Highway 1 to Key West is surrounded by crystal blue waters and should be the most relaxing way to travel – but an accident which involves a long bridge over deep water has more opportunity for danger. Although not in the top ten, this highway still makes the list of those roads to be extra vigilant.
If You Are in an Accident
Of course, it is the sincere wish of Probinsky, Chavez & Cole that you never need our legal assistance after an auto accident. However, should an accident occur, it is imperative that you call for legal assistance as soon as possible after an accident. (Read more about what to do immediately following an accident here.)
Many people unwittingly make their situation even worse by not understanding how to protect themselves after an accident. Our attorneys will be at your side quickly – gathering and securing evidence, speaking to insurance agencies, and making sure your medical needs will be taken care of now and in the future.
With the number of motorists on the road increasing every year, it is an unfortunate reality that we can expect more accidents as well. Now more than ever, it is important to stay alert and not distracted. But should you ever find yourself in need of an auto accident or personal injury lawyer, call Probinsky, Chavez & Cole. We are committed to helping you through this difficult and confusing time.