According to the early estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 7,000 traffic accident fatalities during the first quarter of 2013. Although a decrease of about 4 percent from the same time from the year before, we have a ways to go before the end of the year, and that time includes our busy and deadly holiday/tourist season.
The NHTSA is continuing to gather data on crash fatalities for 2012 and 2013, using information from police accident reports and other sources. While it is too soon to speculate on the contributing factors or potential implications of any changes in deaths on our roadways, it should be noted that the historic downward trend in traffic fatalities in the past several years means any comparison will be to an unprecedented low baseline figure.
Our Cape Coral car accident lawyers understand that the most recent statistics we have available for the state of Florida are the 2012 numbers from Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES). In this system, Florida appears to have seen close to 281,500 traffic accidents, which serves as an increase in the number of accidents from the previous year. We saw an average of 770 accidents each and every day, a steep increase from the 625 average from 2011.
In these accidents, we saw more than 2,250 fatalities and another 200,000 injuries. An additional 150,000 accidents were property damage-only accidents.
So what does this all mean for us?
While the nation is seeing a decrease in the number of road fatalities, the state of Florida is not so fortunate. It’s now more important than ever that we pay attention behind the wheel and keep our skills sharp. This includes drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and all other travelers. We’re all in this together.
Throughout the rest of the year and the busy holiday tourist season, we need to pay extra attention. When in the driver’s seat or when navigating our roadway, make sure that all of your attention is on the road. Distractions should be halted until you come to a complete and safe stop. This also goes for all kinds of travelers.
This time of the year is also common for alcohol-related accidents. If you’re driving, walking or biking, make sure that alcohol is not on your agenda. These accidents are completely preventable and continue to take thousands of lives each and every year. Make sure you’ve got a designated driver or else call a cab, taxi, friend, family member or take the bus. NEVER get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
Before your head out on your holiday road trip, make sure you get enough sleep and eat something before you go. Highly caffeinated beverages are not necessarily the best way to stay awake while driving. While initially you will feel more alert, the effects can recede with time, and your attention may wander although you remain awake.
Stay safe out there and happy travels through the New Year. Be careful with the incoming tourist traffic and remain calm behind the wheel.
If you or someone in your family has been involved in a traffic accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.