Traffic Deaths Show Startling Spike Second Year in a Row
The traffic accident statistics for 2016 were just released, and they are dismal: According to the report, 40,200 people died in auto accidents in 2016 alone, making 2016 the first year—since 2007—to see more than 40,000 people die in auto accidents, and making the recent two-year increase (14 percent) the largest in more than half a century.
According to safety advocates, more people driving on the road cannot possibly account for this level of increase. Most believe that the uptick can only be explained by distracted driving, which has reached a new crisis level beyond the issue of cell phone use.
Others contend that the increase is due to more lenient enforcement when it comes to cracking down on seatbelt requirements, drunk driving, and speeding restrictions. Only 18 states have laws requiring seat belts for all occupants, and in 15 states, failing to wear your seatbelt only constitutes a secondary offense (i.e. a driver cannot be pulled over for it unless they are doing something else wrong). According to the report, about half of all traffic fatalities involve unbelted occupants, and a third involve drivers under the influence.
The Law in Florida
In Florida, the law states that only the front seat passengers must wear seatbelts, as well as any passenger under the age of 18. Radar detectors are legal to use in standard passenger vehicles, and a police officer can only give you a ticket if you violate traffic control signs on public—not private—property; however, that does not mean that, should violating one of these signs on private property lead to an accident, you cannot still be held liable for any injuries and damage associated with being at fault in that accident.
Florida Is No Exception
Automobile accidents are still a leading cause of injury in Florida. Every year, roughly 200,000 people are injured and over 2,000 more are killed in crashes throughout the state. The state of Florida could likely reduce traffic deaths simply by requiring rear-seated occupants to also wear seatbelts, as well as installing more speed cameras and tightening regulations on trucks. The National Safety Council is also calling on all states to ban the use of smartphones by drivers, regardless of whether they are in hands-free mode.
If you’ve been in an auto accident, the Boca Raton car accident attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. can help you and your family. With over 180 years of combined personal injury litigation experience, we work aggressively to ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation applicable to your case, including ensuring that your medical bills are paid and justice is done in terms of obtaining lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.