A recent survey from WalletHub analyzed just how safe every state is. For Florida residents, the numbers are sobering.
Florida was ranked 42nd in total safety based on the survey’s methodology. This ranking was based on 37 different safety indicators that can be grouped into five primary categories.
One of these categories that WalletHub looked at is “Road Safety.” When determining a state’s road safety, analysts looked at several factors, including the number of fatalities per 100 million miles traveled and overall road quality.
Florida was ranked 37th in road safety. While this is comparatively higher than our state’s overall ranking, there is still a lot of room for improvement. More than 12,000 people died on Florida roads from 2011-2015, according to Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP).
During the 5-year period that was reviewed by the SHSP, there were a number of factors that contributed to these fatal accidents. The three largest factors were:
- Lane departures (5,940 fatalities)
- Impaired driving (4,030 fatalities)
- Pedestrians and bicyclists (3,365 fatalities)
As part of the SHSP, they outlined what drivers can do to better avoid being involved in a car accident as a result of these three factors.
- Lane departure: Speeding and being distracted are two common reasons a driver may leave their lane. Slow down and remain focused on the road at all times. Take extra precaution if the roads are wet as it can be easier for drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
- Impaired driving: Impaired driving means driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drivers can also be impaired if they’re drowsy, whether due to prescription medication or from lack of sleep. If you’re tired or have used a substance that affects your ability to operate your car, you should avoid driving.
- Pedestrians and bicyclists: Both pedestrians and bikers are especially vulnerable to injury. Pay close attention to crosswalks and be extra vigilant when driving in locations with lots of foot traffic. If driving on a road with a bike lane, look carefully for bikers before turning or merging.
Greater highway safety is all of our responsibility. Taking the necessary precautions can help ensure you and your fellow drivers arrive to your destinations safely.