Florida leads nation in reduction in traffic fatalities; South Florida remains state’s most dangerous area for car accidents

While more Americans are “hitting the road” these days, in 2009 the number of fatal car accidents nationwide dropped to their lowest number since 1950. Injuries also fell their lowest rates ever recorded, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports.

But the real sunny spot across the nation is Florida, where the number of fatal Florida car accidents has dropped more than anywhere else in the country. From 2008 to 2009, the Sunshine State reported an astonishing 422 fewer fatalities. Throw alcohol into the mix, and again, numbers are down. Nationwide, alcohol-related fatal car accidents declined by 7.4 percent, claiming 872 fewer lives in 2009.

Our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers are hesitant to celebrate: Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties continued to report the most accidents in the state. And Florida ranked third, behind California and Texas, for the most traffic fatalities nationwide.

Still, we welcome the good news that fatal accidents are down across the board, whether riding in or driving a vehicle – four wheeled or two wheeled, motorized or not – even walking on or near roadways in the U.S. is the safest it has ever been, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports.

Among the findings:
Total Traffic-Fatalities: 33,808 (down 9.7 percent)
Total Traffic-Injuries: 2.217 million (down 5.5 percent)
Passenger Vehicles-Fatalities: 23,382 (down 8.2 percent)
Passenger Vehicles-Injuries: 1.976 million (down 4.6 percent)
Large Trucks-Fatalities: 503 (down 26 percent)
Large Trucks-Injuries: 17,000 (down 26 percent)
Motorcycles-Fatalities: 4,462 (down 16 percent)
Motorcycles-Injuries: 90,000 (down 6.3 percent)

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland credits seat belt use and aggressive anti-drunk driving enforcement campaigns for the downturn, but notes “we are still losing more than 30,000 lives a year on our highways, and about a third of these involve drunk driving.” And, despite the trend, for Americans aged 3-34, car accidents remain the leading cause of death.