Spike in Florida Traffic Deaths Prompts FHP Safety Campaign
Fatal car crashes in Orange County increased by 23 percent in 2016, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. In Volusia County, fatalities jumped from 92 in 2015 to 120 last year, an increase of 30 percent. In the seven counties of Central Florida, only Lake County saw a decrease, as fatal crashes declined 8 percent. If you think that’s cause for concern, you are not alone. Recently, the Orlando Sentinel reported that state troopers have joined sheriffs’ groups and police associations to launch a statewide “Arrive Alive” campaign.
The program, endorsed by Orange County sheriff Jerry Demings, president of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, is a “data-driven initiative…aimed at reducing the number of serious crashes and traffic fatalities in Florida.” Key features include “an increased law enforcement presence and road safety assessments in high-crime, high-crash areas.”
Nationally, traffic fatalities have been on a more-or-less steady decline from the early 1970s when deaths topped 54,000 per year. Several factors, such as the national 55 mile-per-hour speed limit, anti-drunk driving campaigns, improved automotive engineering, and highway improvements, have been credited with lowering annual death totals. The lowest total since 1950 was recorded in 2011, when 32,479 lives were lost.
However, many factors are now militating to raise traffic fatalities again. In many areas, Central Florida included, infrastructure has not kept pace with growth, so roadways are more crowded than ever. Devices such as smartphones take motorists’ attention off the task of driving. Congress repealed the 55 mile-per-hour speed limit in 1995, and limits have increased across the country. Finally, we have an aging population, so a large segment of the driving public operates with declining skills.
At Largey Law, we represent victims of traffic accidents whose lives have been changed forever. We’ve seen the carnage serious car crashes cause, so we applaud law enforcement’s efforts to improve traffic safety throughout Florida.
If have been injured in an auto accident, trust Largey Law to fight aggressively for justice. To schedule an appointment with an experienced auto accident lawyer at our firm, call 352.508.1485 or contact our office online.