As much as everyone wishes it wasn’t the case, car accidents are a common occurrence in most places in the United States. Every year, there are tens of thousands of fatal car crashes across the nation and Florida has more fatal crashes than average. Car accidents are more likely to happen at specific times of the day and during certain times of the year. Knowing when car accidents are most common can help people adjust their driving schedule or remind them of when to be extra careful.
Florida is a huge state, which means many residents and visitors rely on cars to get around. According to the most recent analysis from the IIHS, Florida is only behind California and Texas in the total number of miles driven every year. The report also showed that Florida had an average of 15.4 deaths per 100,000 people, which worked out to 1.44 deaths per 100,000 miles driven. This is higher than the national average of 11.6 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.16 deaths per 100,000 miles driven.
These numbers can be sobering, but Floridians can take solace that for the state with the third highest number of miles driven, we aren’t in the top 10 for highest death rates per population or miles driven. We have even seen a 4 percent decline in deaths per miles driven. Another piece of good news is that Florida has seen improvements in other areas, such as a 1.88 percent decrease in alcohol-related crashes and a 5.66 percent decrease in car accidents that cause incapacitating injuries. Â
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Fridays and Saturdays were the worst days for car accidents in Florida during 2017. The data also suggests that more fatal car crashes happen on Friday and Saturday night than during other parts of the week. For drivers during the week, they are more likely to get into an accident on their drive home than on their morning commute. There is an uptick in traffic accidents that starts around 6 a.m., but the rate holds steady until around 5 p.m. when there is a spike in accidents that lasts for several hours.
It’s easy to see the daily rise and flow in traffic since drivers experience them every day. It can be trickier to see changes that occur over longer periods. When researchers zoom out and look at the year by month other traffic accident patterns become visible. In Florida, accidents tend to be more frequent between March and May. Following a slow down in traffic accidents in January and February. In 2018, car accidents peaked between March and May, then dipped sharply during the summer months.
The dip in traffic accidents may seem counter-intuitive because there are far more tourists in Florida during the summer than other times of the year. However, the increase in the number of tourist drivers on the road is offset by summer vacation. Since students don’t need to be transported to school (by bus or by car) and most teachers are off, there is far less traffic on the road during rush hour. This explanation is further backed up by an annual uptick in car accidents that happens in August (i.e. when school starts back up).
Since car accidents are a common occurrence in the modern world, it’s important for drivers to have someone they can trust for legal advice if they are involved in a collision. The Law Firm of Steve Watrel, P.A. has decades of experience helping people with legal issues related to car accidents, such a determining who is truly at fault or getting insurance companies to pay out claims. Contact us if you have a question about a car accident.