Many road safety experts say that a rise in reckless and dangerous behavior is behind an alarming increase in traffic accident deaths in Florida and around the country. Almost 43,000 people lost their lives on the nation’s roads in 2021 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and many of those road users were killed in crashes caused by drivers who were, speeding, distracted or impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Road deaths increase by 10.5%
Traffic accident fatalities rose by 10.5% in 2021, which is the largest year-over-year increase reported by NHTSA since 1975. A closer scrutiny of the traffic accident data reveals a worrying rise in reckless behavior. Speed and distracted driving-related deaths both rose sharply, and drunk driving fatalities increased by 14%. Cyclists and pedestrians were also killed in greater numbers in 2021. A NHTSA representative focused on distracted driving during a news conference held to announce the increase in accident deaths, which is widely considered to be an underreported road safety problem.
Florida traffic accident deaths
There were 401,540 motor vehicle accidents in Florida in 2021 that caused 3,741 deaths, more than 250,000 injuries and countless personal injury lawsuits. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the number of road users killed in accidents caused by impaired drivers in the Sunshine State rose by 16.7% to 383 in 2021, and the number pedestrians who lost their lives after being struck by motor vehicles increased by 16.8% to 835.
These sobering figures suggest that advances in automobile safety have not made the roads any less dangerous. Almost all motor vehicle accidents involve a human error of one sort or another, and that seems to be a problem that current technology cannot solve. Until self-driving cars become available and affordable, accident deaths will likely remain high.