Does Florida Have the Worst Drivers?
Florida again is one of the states with the worst drivers in the nation, according to a recent study done by SmartAsset. What earned Florida the one of the worst?
After considering that Florida, had 2.17 out of every 1,000 drivers arrested for DUI and only 73.3% were insured (one of the lowest in the US), Florida earned the number 8 spot. As a Tampa car accident attorney, I would agree with this study.
SmartAsset took a look at a total of four metrics:
- the percent of drivers with insurance;
- number of DUIs per driver;
- average number of deaths per miles driven; and
- how often residents google terms like traffic ticket or speeding ticket.
Check out our data and methodology below to see where we got our data and how we put it together to create the final ranking. For a further analysis, review SmartAsset’s second annual study on the states with the worst drivers. See the 2017 edition of the study here.
- The South has the worst drivers! – Five of the top 10 states with the worst drivers are in the South. Why? These states tended to have the highest fatality rates and lowest auto insurance rates.
- Fatality rates are on the rise – According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities and fatality rates are falling overall, but they went up from 2015 to 2016. In 1994 around 40,700 people were killed in auto accidents compared to 37,500 in 2016. However, there was a 5.6% increase from calendar year 2015 to 2016.
Meanwhile the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles has fallen by 32% over that same time period from 1994. Every state saw a decline in their fatality rates from 1994 to 2016.
NHTSA found that distracted driving and drowsy driving fatalities declined, while deaths related to other reckless behaviors – including speeding, alcohol impairment, and not wearing seatbelts – continued to increase. Motorcyclist and pedestrian deaths accounted for more than a third of the year-to-year increase.
The 2016 national data shows that:
- Distraction-related deaths (3,450 fatalities) decreased by 2.2 percent;
- Drowsy-driving deaths (803 fatalities) decreased by 3.5 percent;
- Drunk-driving deaths (10,497 fatalities) increased by 1.7 percent;
- Speeding-related deaths (10,111 fatalities) increased by 4.0 percent;
- Unbelted deaths (10,428 fatalities) increased by 4.6 percent;
- Motorcyclist deaths (5,286 fatalities – the largest number of motorcyclist fatalities since 2008) increased by 5.1 percent;
- Pedestrian deaths (5,987 fatalities – the highest number since 1990) increased by 9.0 percent; and
- Bicyclist deaths (840 fatalities – the highest number since 1991) increased by 1.3 percent.
What are the worst states to drive in?
- (tie) California
- (tie) Missouri
- (tie) New Mexico
- (tie) Texas
Florida dropped to eighth this year after coming in first last year. However, the state still has the lowest rate of insured drivers in the country at 73%. To go along with the drivers forgoing insurance, Florida has very high fatality rates. Florida comes in right behind Alabama with 1.47 fatalities per 100 million miles driven. Fortunately for Florida residents, that fatality rate has fallen by a third since 1994. That year, Florida had a fatality rate of 2.2 fatalities per 100 million miles driven. In total, Florida had nearly 3,200 fatalities in 2016.
Data and Methodology
In order to find the states with the worst drivers, SmartAsset looked at data on all 50 states. Specifically, they looked at data on the following four metrics:
- Fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven. Data comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is from 2016. The number of vehicle miles traveled on U.S. roads in 2016 increased by 2.2% and resulted in a fatality rate of 1.18 deaths per 100 million VMT – a 2.6-percent increase from the previous year.
- Arrests for driving under the influence per 1,000 drivers. Data on DUI arrests comes from the FBI and data on number of drivers comes from the Department of Transportation. Data is from 2015. Shockingly, DUI deaths increased 1.7% in 2016 over 2015 with a total of 10,497 lives taken by an impaired driver. Also, 290,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes according to MADD and NHTSA.
- Percent of drivers who are insured. Data comes from the Insurance Research Council and is from 2017. Read more about this on our previous article on Insurance coverage.
- Google Trends on driving tickets. This is how often residents in each state google speeding tickets and traffic tickets. To control for the number of drivers in each state, we compared speeding ticket and traffic ticket Google Trends data to gasoline Google Trends data. Data was pulled for the period between June 2017 and June 2018.
Tampa Attorney Martin J. Hernandez
Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Martin Hernandez PA are bilingual as well. Just call us at 813.755.9500 for your free consultation.
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