Florida traffic fatalities have increased all over the state this year. In Lee County, Florida, traffic accident fatalities are up 32% compared to this time last year. So far this year, there have been 43 people fatally injured in Lee County traffic accidents. Part of the increase in traffic deaths relates to the increase in population. But there are other factors involved. Many recent Florida fatal accidents have involved the following issues:
- Drivers operating vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Lack of helmet use by motorcyclists
- No seat belt use
Hit & Run Accidents on the Rise in Florida:
- Between 2013 and 2014, hit and run accidents in Florida increased by 23%. Under the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act:
- Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury to a person is a second-degree felony.
- A mandatory four-year prison term for a driver convicted of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a person's death.
- A minimum driver's license revocation period of at least three years and requirement of driver's education courses for leaving the scene of an accident.
Hit & Run Accident Facts:
- Between 2013 and 2014, hit and run accidents increased by 7%.
- Half of all Florida hit and run accident victims in 2014 were pedestrians, an increase of 17% from 2013.
- 25% of all Florida accidents are hit and run accidents.
Florida Pedestrian Accidents:
Florida has many arterial roads which are high-speed, high-traffic arteries that connect to other high-speed, high-traffic roads. These roads were designed for fast-moving heavy traffic and they are no match for pedestrians. Florida is also home to 4 of the 5 most deadly Interstates in the nation. They are I-75, I-4, I-10 and I-95. According to the Florida Department of Transportation:
- 40% of all pedestrian fatalities are alcohol-related
- 22.7% of all traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities involve pedestrians and bicyclists
- 43% of pedestrian traffic fatalities occur at night on roads that are not well lit
- 48% of pedestrian fatalities occur when the pedestrian crosses the street but does not cross at an intersection
Florida Motorcycle Accidents:
In 2000, Florida Governor Jeb Bush repealed Florida's helmet law. Anyone over the age of 21 can ride without a helmet. Since then, hospital admissions for head injuries have increased 82% and medical costs have nearly doubled. Even when wearing a helmet, motorcyclists are at an increased risk of catastrophic or fatal injuries for a variety of reasons. Often, motorcycles are not seen in drivers' blind spots. Florida accounts for 9% of all motorcyclist deaths nationwide. A study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health concluded that the repeal of Florida's motorcycle helmet law has resulted in an increase in fatalities from motorcycle accidents. Exempting motorcyclists from wearing helmets is counterproductive and increases insurance costs and medical expenses.
Florida Bicycle Accidents:
Florid has the second-highest rate of bicycle accident fatalities in the United States behind California.
Florida Bicycle Accident Facts:
- 84% of bicyclist accident fatalities in 2012 were adults 20 and over.
- 74% of bicyclists killed in 2012 were adult males.
- In 2012, two-thirds of fatally injured bicyclists were not wearing helmets.
- 28% of riders 16 and over were riding under the influence of alcohol.
Sarasota and Bradenton Accident Attorneys:
If you have sustained injuries in a Sarasota or Bradenton auto, pedestrian, bicycle or motorcycle accident, please contact Michael L. Morgan Law Group, P.A., at (941) 218-8220. We will work to obtain the best possible compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, future loss of income and pain and suffering. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no cost to you if we don't recover on your behalf. Please call us to schedule a free consultation.