More Drivers on Florida Roads — Accidents on the Rise

More than 36,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2012. According to the National Safety Council‘s (NSC) preliminary estimates, this is a 5 percent increase from the stats from 2011 and the first increase we’ve seen since 2005.

Accident injuries that required medical attention throughout year are also estimated to have increased by 5 percent.

OurFort Myers accident lawyers understand that the total number of miles driven across the country has been up since December of 2011. As the economy improves and more residents spend time behind the wheel, we see higher risks for accidents. With more people on the roadway, it’s just more dangerous. Officials believe that this is one of the most important factors in the reason for the recent increase in roadway fatalities.

“Although we have improved safety features in vehicles today, we also have new challenges…that need to be addressed on a national scale,” said the CEO and President of NSC, Janet Froetscher.

In addition to the heartache of human loss, traffic accidents come with a significant cost in medical expenses, employer costs, administrative expenses, lost wages and productivity and even property damage. Officials estimate that the cost of traffic accident injuries, fatalities and property damage last year was more than $275 billion. This also serves as a 5 percent hike from the year before.

The only way to help to get this number back down and to make our roadways safer for everyone is to follow some basic safety rules. We all know what they are and how to do it.

Traffic Safety Tips from the Florida Safety Council:

-Always wear your seat belt. This is your best defense against injury and death in the event of an accident.

-Keep distractions out of the driver’s seat. We’re especially talking about your cell phone. As a matter of fact, you are more likely to get into an accident when using a cell phone behind the wheel. You can’t have your eyes on your phone and the road at the same time.

-Never drink and drive. Each year, there are more than 10,000 people killed in alcohol-related accidents. There is never a good reason to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. It’s dangerous and it’s illegal.

-Obey the speed limit. These are limits that will help to keep you safe. They’re not posted to slow you down, but they’re posted to help to keep you alive.

-Keep an eye on your emotions. Avoid driving when you’re upset, angry or irritable. Under these conditions, you’re more likely to lose control behind the wheel. Take an extra second to calm down and to compose yourself before hoping behind the wheel — your safety relies on it.