Florida’s House Transportation and Modals Subcommittee, in a panel discussion with state law enforcement, officials, and private sector representatives, noted an increase in aggressive, reckless, and distracted driving between 2020 and 2023, reporting that some drivers are approaching speeds above one hundred and fifty miles an hour.
Aggressive Driving Increased Sharply in 2021
Aggressive driving or “road rage” has increased across Florida by thirty percent between 2020 and 2022. In March, fifteen road rage-related fatalities have been reported. Nationwide, sixty-six percent of vehicle-related fatalities were attributed to road rage this year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles also reported a significant increase in aggressive driving since 2020, including 187 shootings on the interstate system during 2022 alone. Panter, Panter, and Sampedro’s blog post “2023 Safe Driving Resolution: Stay Calm, Drive On” provides simple tips for avoiding road rage.
What is reckless driving?
Although reckless driving fell by five percent in 2020, it sharply increased by 21.5% by 2021. According to the Florida Statutes, “any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving”. Reckless driving may include driving under the influence (DUI), excessive speeding or racing, passing blindly on curves, swerving or cutting in and out of lanes, going around railroad barriers, passing school buses when stop signs are activated, and running a red light or stop sign. Florida is one of three states with the highest number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the nation according to the NHTSA. In 2021, 43,787 Florida drivers received citations for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08% (Florida’s legal blood alcohol limit).
What is distracted driving?
The NHTSA defines distracted driving as anything that diverts the driver’s attention away from the task of driving. Distracted driving includes texting, eating, trying to manipulate the music or navigation system, and even talking to passengers. In 2021, 333 fatalities were attributed to distracted driving (the highest in eight years) spurring the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and its division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to launch a campaign to educate Florida drivers on the importance of avoiding distracted driving. Panter, Panter, and Sampedro’s blog post “2022 Safe Driving Resolution: Eyes Up, Phones Down” provides simple tips to avoid distracted driving.
Florida Driver Safety Law
Our personal injury law firm is dedicated to protecting Florida’s families. We strive to help keep our communities protected through safe driving resources like this. However, when the unexpected does occur, our car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping families through every step of the legal process. Speak to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys at (305) 662-6178.