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Florida is Third in the U.S. for Costs Associated with Fatal Car Accidents

Posted on May 23, 2011

The Palm Beach Post reports on a dubious distinction – Florida is ranked No. 3 in the nation in costs associated with fatal car crashes. As a remedy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has suggested four ways to increase safety and cut costs, but Florida has turned to only one of the solutions.

The CDC now finds the cost of failing to protect the public — $3.16 billion in costs for emergency medical care, lost income and benefits from a traffic fatality, especially among young people who had a lifetime of earnings ahead of them. The data was based on road fatalities in Florida from 2005. Since then there has been a drop in highway deaths. The last figures from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles note from 2008 to 2009 there was a 14 percent drop in Florida highway fatalities from 2,983 deaths to 2,563. This marked the fourth year of consecutive decreases. In Florida, 3,533 people died on roads in 2005.

The only CDC-recommended remedy that has been made law was sponsored by Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, whose daughter, Dori, died in a wreck and was not wearing her safety belt. He pushed for the primary seat belt law in Florida which became a reality in June 2009.

Other safety measures Florida has yet to adopt include:

  • Booster seats for children who have aged out of child safety seats, usually between the ages of 3 to 12
  • Driver license laws that place further restrictions on carrying other teen passengers and on the hours teens can drive
  • Requiring a universal motorcycle helmet law

Traffic safety is not a priority of the Florida Legislature, said the co-sponsor of this year’s booster seat requirement, Rep. Lori Berman, D-Delray Beach. The Palm Beach Post reports when New York added a booster seat requirement, injuries to young passengers dropped by 18 percent.

While better law enforcement and better built cars are helping to improve the road fatality picture in Florida, the Lake City car accident attorneys at the Farah & Farah law firm encourage our lawmakers to make safety a priority. And remember, if you are injured on our Florida roadways and don’t know where to turn during this confusing time, schedule a complimentary appointment with one of our lawyers. We have been helping injured motorists since 1979 seek justice from the at-fault drivers who share our roadways. There is no obligation and no cost to you if we decide to pursue your case.