In 2022, 3,489 individuals died as a result of a car accident in Florida. When compared to other states, Florida has the third-highest fatal car accidents per year, second only to Texas and California. To remedy this issue, the federal government has allocated $67 million to the state of Florida to develop the infrastructure needed to prevent deadly crashes.
The funds are part of the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program, an $800 million bipartisan endeavor that seeks to reduce roadway deaths by targeting “high-crash sites in cities and counties”. The grant, announced by United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, will be used to fund 511 projects throughout the U.S.
“Every year crashes cost tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to our economy; we face a national emergency on our roadways, and it demands urgent action. We are proud that these grants will directly support hundreds of communities as they prepare steps that are proven to make roadways safer and save lives,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
During the first round of funding, the U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding 474 action plan grants and 37 grants toward implementation projects. Hillsborough County, Florida is included in this first funding round. $19.7 million will be used by Hillsborough “to implement low-cost and proven safety measures including sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and speed management to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and drivers at approximately 22 locations in the county”.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, fatal accidents have been on the rise since 2018. The only exception was 2022 when deadly accidents decreased. As of May 2023, there have been 982 fatal accidents in Florida.
Why are Florida roads dangerous?
Florida has consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous states for drivers and pedestrians year after year. Several factors contribute to the high number of accidents and fatalities on Florida roads.
The state’s high population density results in heavy traffic congestion and increases the likelihood of accidents. Florida is the third most populous state in the U.S. with over 22 million residents. Florida also has a large number of tourists and retirees who may not be familiar with road and traffic laws, leading to confusion and accidents. The high number of elderly drivers who may have slower reaction times and impaired vision increases their risk of accidents.
Another contributing factor is the high rate of impaired driving. In 2019, there were 814 alcohol-related fatal accidents in Florida. Nationally, there were 10,412 alcohol-related fatal accidents that same year.
Weather conditions also contribute to making Florida roads more hazardous. Heavy rain, thunderstorms, and hurricanes can make driving conditions dangerous, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Poorly-maintained roads, inadequate signage, and high-speed highways that bisect communities also contribute to accidents.
Call an Automobile Accident Attorney
Due to Florida’s deadly roads, even the most cautious pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers can be involved in an accident. If you or a family member has been struck by a vehicle and was injured because of the negligent or reckless actions of another, the auto accident attorneys of Panter, Panter, and Sampedro can help. For over thirty years, our experienced legal team has been helping Florida’s families get the justice, recovery, and compensation they deserve. Call (305) 662-6178 and speak to an attorney today.