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The high rate of vehicle accidents and fatalities in Florida

Florida remains a challenging place to drive safely on its roads. With over 21 million residents, Florida ranks third in total population among U.S. states.

Heavily-traveled roads and a generally older demographic may contribute to the accident rate. Here are some statistics on Florida motor vehicle accidents and road conditions.

A high rate of fatalities

The National Highway Safety Administration provides a treasure trove of information on Florida driving outcomes. The information shows that the state has a high rate of accidents and fatalities. In 2018, Florida recorded 3,133 traffic-related fatalities, which came out to a rate of 1.41 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. This is significantly higher than the rate of 1.13 recorded by the U.S. as a whole. Florida experienced a similar elevated  trend of high traffic fatalities from 2015 to 2017.

When it came to alcohol-impaired fatalities, Florida’s fatality rate stayed above the national average, though not as pronounced. The state recorded a rate of .37 alcohol-related fatalities, while the U.S. as a whole recorded a rate of .32 in 2018.

A look at state infrastructure

A 2019 report by USA Today suggested that Florida’s road infrastructure received quite high marks. In fact, the state ranked the second highest in the nation when considering the following four metrics:

  1. Roads in poor condition
  2. Structurally deficient bridges
  3. State highway spending per driver
  4. Average commute time

Only 1.3% of Florida roads fell into the category of poor condition, the best score of any state. When it came to road spending, Florida, which has some of the nation’s highest gas taxes, ranked in the middle of the pack with $457 spent per driver. The article stated that well-maintained bridges and roads represent a small part of the equation for creating safe roads.

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