Florida sees record low crash fatalities

The 2009 DHSMV report shows a 14% decrease in crash-related fatalities

News St. Petersburg Times July 13, 2010
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The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s (DHSMV) Traffic Crash Statistic Report 2009 showed the lowest number of crash fatalities on record, only 1.3 deaths per 100 million miles traveled.

Compared with 2008, overall crash fatalities are down 14%, motorcycle fatalities dropped 24%, teenage fatalities decreased 21%, bicyclist deaths are down 15% and alcohol-related fatalities decreased 14%.

“The report shows that we are moving toward the department’s vision of a safer Florida,” said DHSMV Executive Director Julie L. Jones. “While multiple factors influence the numbers, the declining trends are a testament to the emphasis that law enforcement agencies, safety advocates and business have placed on saving lives on our roadway,”

The report also showed a disproportionate number of male traffic fatalities. Although males make up only 50% of licensed drivers in Florida, they account for 76% of all accidents.

“Males tend to take more risks and be more aggressive,” University of South Florida psychology professor Paul Spector told the St. Petersburg Times.

Other contributing factors to male overrepresentation in these statistics include their higher percentage of motorcycle and bicycle use.

The report indicates that accidents on the road can be easily reduced by abstaining from driving under the influence, distracted driving and negligent driving, and following important safety procedures, such as wearing seat belts.

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