Traffic Deaths on the Rise
Despite educational campaigns and safety features like seat belts, rearview cameras, and collision avoidance systems, car accidents and death rates have taken a sharp increase.
The National Safety Council (NSC) is reporting that motor vehicle deaths are up 6% in 2016. That means an estimated 40,200 people died in accidents involving motor vehicles. According to a NSC press release, "Our complacency is killing us. Americans believe there is nothing we can do to stop crashes from happening, but that isn't true," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "The U.S. lags the rest of the developed world in addressing highway fatalities. We know what needs to be done; we just haven't done it."
Safety advocates and government officials says leading causes are an improving economy with more miles being driven, an increase in distracted driving, lenient enforcement of current laws (seatbelt usage, drunk driving and speeding), and a lack of new laws by law makers to protect motorists and pedestrians.
Florida and South Florida have the distinction of:
- The top state with the worst drivers in the nation.
- Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties ranked in the top 5 in the nation for Drowsy Driving Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties continue to have the highest pedestrian and bicycle crashes – fatalities and injuries in the state.
- Palm Beach County is the third word in hit-and-run crashes in Florida.
- In 2015, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties lead the state with 290 wrong way Crashes. As part of a statewide initiative Palm Beach County is painting new features with the highway direction on some of the entrance ramps to I-95.
- Florida and Texas lead the nation in vehicle-related road debris. There is about one crash a day in Florida involving road debris. Palm Beach County collects more than 175 tons of road debris annually along I-95 alone.
Some of the life-saving options that NSC is recommending includes mandatory ignition interlocks for convicted DUI drivers, automated enforcement techniques to capture speeders, stricter seatbelt and cell phone usage laws, improved pedestrian safety and education, mandatory motorcycle helmet laws, and more.