Why Florida's roads have never been safer

Florida's roads have never been safer.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 2009 saw the lowest number of deaths — 1.3 per 100 million miles traveled — recorded in four decades. Alcohol-related fatalities were down 14 percent; motorcycle fatalities dropped 24 percent; bicyclist deaths fell 15 percent; even 21 percent fewer teens died compared to 2008.

Then there's this fact: Men accounted for 76 percent of all traffic fatalities last year, even though women make up 50 percent of Florida's licensed drivers. More men ride motorcycles and bikes, yes, but there's also this: "Males tend to take more risks and be more aggressive," said University of South Florida psychology professor Paul Spector.

The state's annual traffic crash report shows just how preventable traffic deaths are. If people didn't drink and drive, if they wore their seat belts and avoided other driving mistakes, deaths would go down even more.

2009 FLORIDA CRASH FACTS

Source: The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle's Traffic Crash Statistics Report 2009.

The deadliest gender

In 2009, men were killed in 76 percent of traffic-related fatalities involving drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians in Florida (excluding passenger deaths).

2,073 total traffic-related deaths*

1,569 men killed

504 women killed

* Not including passenger deaths.

Drivers

1,119 total drivers killed

778 male drivers killed

341 female drivers killed

Motorcyclists

376 total motorcyclists killed

367 male motorcyclists killed

9 female motorcyclists killed

Bicyclists

99 total bicyclists killed

86 male bicyclists killed

13 female bicyclists killed

Pedestrians

479 total pedestrians killed

338 male pedestrians killed

141 female pedestrians killed

Unsafe use of safety equipment

59 percent (917 of 1,555) of drivers and passengers killed in seat belt equipped vehicles were not wearing them.

37 percent (148 of 402) of motorcyclists and their passengers killed were not wearing helmets.

88 percent (88 of 100) of bicyclists and their passengers killed were not wearing helmets.

50 percent (44 of 88) of children from birth to age 17 killed were not using child restraints or seat belts.

Holding back children

83 percent (37,760 of 45,375) of children from birth to age 17 who escaped injury in traffic crashes used child restraints/seat belts.

50 percent (44 of 88) of children from birth to age 17 who died in traffic crashes were unrestrained.

Top contributing causes of fatal crashes

25 percent: alcohol/drug use/DUI (483 of 1,964)

20 percent: careless driving (386 of 1,964)

10 percent:failed to yield right of way (205 of 1,964)

6 percent: exceeded safe speed (126 of 1,964)

5 percent: exceeded posted speed limit (106 of 1,964)

3 percent: drove left of center line (56 of 1,964)

3 percent: ignored traffic signal (56 of 1,964)

Drinking and dying

39 percent (1,004 of 2,563) of traffic-related fatalities were linked to drinking.

41 percent (195 of 482) of pedestrian fatalities were linked to drinking.

Alcohol/drug use in fatal crashes

77 percent: alcohol use/DUI (371 of 483)

13 percent: drug use/DUI (64 of 483)

10 percent: alcohol and drug use/DUI (48 of 483)

Don't blame it on the rain

85 percent (199,432 of 235,778) of traffic crashes took place on dry roads.

14 percent (32,573 of 235,778) of traffic crashes took place on wet roads.

0.004 percent (1,025 of 235,778) of traffic crashes took place on slippery roads.

Source: The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle's Traffic Crash Statistics Report 2009.

Drug use in traffic crashes

In 2009 drug-related traffic fatalities dropped, but drug-related injuries and crashes rose.

Category 2008 2009 +/-
Drug-related fatalities 136 113 -17%
Drug-related injuries 819 977 19%
Drug-related crashes 1,161 1,283 11%

Teenagers and pick-up beds don't mix

Teens ages 15-19 represent 56 percent of those killed and 29 percent of those injured while riding in the back of pickup trucks in 2009.

Ages fatalities injuries

Ages Fatalities Injuries
15-19 5 42
Rest 4 105
Total 9 147


Tampa Bay traffic trends: county by county
Total crashes
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Pasco 6,048 6,202 6,263 6,042 5,780
Pinellas 14,194 13,939 13,228 13,685 13,669
Hernando 1,592 1,758 1,698 1,493 1,424
Hillsborough 23,329 23,971 22,613 20,162 18,168
Alcohol-related crashes
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Pasco 588 593 555 544 477
Pinellas 1,631 1,533 1,443 1,390 1,223
Hernando 204 199 196 173 132
Hillsborough 1,939 1,937 1,925 1,788 1,422
Fatalities
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Pasco 83 96 99 88 79
Pinellas 107 120 114 114 104
Hernando 31 33 40 37 31
Hillsborough 207 191 183 182 141


Alcohol-related fatalities
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Pasco 30 38 40 36 28
Pinellas 39 48 40 51 45
Hernando 9 9 10 6 9
Hillsborough 59 60 87 77 62


Motorcycle injuries/fatalities
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Pasco 226/12 253/13 251/18 271/15 215/7
Pinellas 420/17 465/24 449/26 473/27 444/24
Hernando 71/4 100/4 99/8 122/7 113/1
Hillsborough 503/42 616/37 588/27 584/31 482/27


Bicycle injuries/fatalities
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Pasco 115/1 95/2 111/4 125/2 124/
Pinellas 404/7 402/5 430/4 450/10 449/
Hernando 15/1 24/0 28/1 23/2 14/
Hillsborough 418/10 365/7 367/6 321/4 346/


Pedestrian injuries
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Pasco 146/15 147/24 146/17 171/17 146/13
Pinellas 436/31 443/30 403/29 460/25 480/30
Hernando 52/3 58/3 36/2 44/4 42/4
Hillsborough 571/28 632/31 557/47 618/47 578/32
Florida cities crash rate (100,000-plus)
Rank/city crashes per 1,000 residents
1. Miami 9,590 22.97
2. Tallahassee 3,937 22.13
3. Orlando 4,876 20.92
4. St. Petersburg 5,111 20.55
5. Fort lauderdale 3,695 20.45
6. Tampa 6,788 20.00
7. Gainesville 2,494 19.81
8. Hollywood 2,664 18.77
9. Jacksonville 13,371 15.64
10. Hialeah 3,471 15.32
14. Clearwater 1,147 10.44

Why Florida's roads have never been safer 07/11/10 [Last modified: Sunday, July 11, 2010 10:03pm]

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