The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles announced good news July 6: Fatal traffic accidents decreased by 6.21% in 2008. That statistic comes from the department’s annual report on traffic crashes (PDF), gathered from information from Florida’s own traffic crash database. According to the report, fatal crashes involving cars, pickups, SUVs and large trucks are down — but pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle crashes went up in 2008. According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, officials at the DHSMV attribute the change in part to the bad economy, which meant fewer tourists, less driving by Floridians and slower speeds when people do drive.
High gas prices might explain the rise in accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycles. Fatal accidents dropped in all of those areas, but injury accidents rose — most dramatically for motorcycle passengers, whose injury rate rose by 14.80%. Pedestrian injury accidents rose by 4.64%, bicyclists injured rose by 1.79% and motorcyclists injured rose by 4.07%. On the plus side, fatalities in Florida overall are down by 7.39%, alcohol-related fatalities are down by 6.03%, and drug-related fatalities are down by a staggering, and welcome, 32 7%. The department keeps separate statistics for teenagers, whose fatality rate dropped by 16.8% and whose overall crashes dropped by 11.1%. Perhaps most interesting to a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney, the study lists “careless driving” as the most common contributor to all crashes, followed by alcohol, failure to yield the right-of-way, speeding and crossing a center divide.
I am happy to say that here in Broward County, many of our accident statistics maintain that downward trend, though pedestrian and bicycle accidents continued to be an exception. However, one statistic particularly important to me as a Miramar motorcycle accident lawyer — motorcycle fatalities — has only now evened out. Over the five years between 2004 and 2008, our county saw a steady rise in fatal motorcycle crashes, reaching its peak in 2007 with 52 deaths. That number dropped to 37 this year, a trend I hope will continue. Overall, crashes, injuries and fatalities in Broward County are down, including alcohol-related injuries and deaths.
As a Pompano Beach car crash lawyer, I’m glad to see that fewer Floridians are getting involved in crashes, even if that means fewer people need my services. Serious auto accidents are catastrophic, life-changing events for many of our clients here at Cohn, Smith & Cohn. Accidents leave victims with internal damage, head injuries, broken bones and other injuries that require months and many thousands of dollars to fully treat. During that time, victims often cannot work, making it difficult to pay for all of this health care. In some cases, the situation is complicated by an insurance company’s refusal to provide the coverage victims have already bought and paid for, requiring a time-consuming and sometimes expensive legal battle to secure benefits.
If you or a loved one is in this kind of situation, and you believe the accident was someone else’s fault, you should call Cohn, Smith & Cohn for help. We have more than 25 years of experience helping Floridians and visitors recover the compensation they need after serious traffic accidents. Best of all, we offer free, confidential consultations, so there’s no risk in speaking to us about your case and your legal options. To set up a consultation, please contact us online or call us today at (954) 431-8100.