Florida Drivers Rank in Top 5 for Poor Habits and Excessive Car Accidents in Boca Raton and Elsewhere

“The holidays are a time for celebration but we cannot forget safety behind the wheel,” said Col. David Brierton, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 2,500 car accidents in Boca Raton and elsewhere throughout Florida in 2009. Thirty percent of these accidents, or nearly 800 drivers, were legally drunk behind the wheel during the accident. To help reduce the risks of drunk driving accidents and other careless crashes on our roadways, law enforcement agencies will be covering our roadways through the holiday season and throughout the rest of the year. After all, Florida placed 4th on the list for having the worst drivers in the nation.

Our Boca Raton car accident attorneys understand that Florida officers issued more tickets than any other state in the country. According to CarInsuranceComparison.com, the state of Florida not only ranked in last place for ticket issued, but also in 40th out of all 50 states for having drivers who obey traffic devices. As if that isn’t bad enough, our state ranked in at second to last for having careless drivers, landing us with the 4th worst drivers in the U.S.

The study that ranked drivers around the country was conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the American Motorists Association (AMA). These organizations compared their accident statistics, including tickets issued, fatal accidents, DUI accidents, etc. States with poor driving records typically see more accidents and higher insurance rates.

As northern weather gets colder and colder, more people will make Florida their vacation destination. Vacationers and seasonal residents flock to the heated peninsula to escape the wicked winter weather. With more visitors, we see crowded roadways. With more crowded roadways, we see more serious accidents. Drivers are urged to be extremely cautious during their travels to help to avoid an accident.

The FHP will be using the holiday season to search for irresponsible drivers on our roadways.

“It’s obviously a time when most people are off and they’re going to be out partying and having fun over the holiday period,” said Capt. Tim Culhane. “We want everyone to get home and get home safely.”

According to FHP records, nearly 60 percent of fatal accidents that happened during the New Year’s holiday period in 2009 were alcohol related.

Drivers are urged to review and practice these safe driving tips from FHP:

-Get plenty of sleep before venturing out on a holiday road trip.

-Leave with plenty of time to spare to avoid aggression behind the wheel as well.

-Know the speed limit, seat belt and cell phone laws in the states that you’ll be visiting.

-Curb all distractions. This not only includes cell phones and text messaging devices, but eating, smoking and grooming behind the wheel.

-Perform a routine checkup on your vehicle before heading out.

-Never drink and drive.

-Make sure everyone in your vehicle is always buckled up. Drivers are responsible for buckling in those under the age of 18. Occupants 18 or older can be fined for not wearing a seat belt. Violations cost more than $100 in addition to various legal assessments.

Florida may not have the country’s best drivers, but with a conscious effort we can all do our part to turn these statistics around. Happy Holidays and safe travels!