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Which Florida Cities have the most Car Accidents?

florida, car accidents, crashes, GOLDLAW, legal rights, FLHSMV, FDOT, Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, injuries, fatalities, distracted driving, speeding, reckless driving, weather conditions, road infrastructure

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 394,865 motor vehicle crashes in Florida in 2023, resulting in 252,240 injuries and 3.405 fatalities. While the numbers are disturbing, they are not shocking. Florida generally ranks at the top of total car accidents and fatalities resulting from crashes each year in the United States, usually only behind California and Texas.

Why so many Accidents, Injuries, and Fatalities?

A variety of factors contribute to Florida’s high number of car accidents and fatalities. Here’s a look at some of the top factors:

1. Large Population and Tourist Influx

Florida’s population grows every year. Check these numbers:

  • Current Population in 2024: 22,975,931.

  • #3 in the U.S. behind only California and Texas.

  • Population grew 1.55% over 2023.

  • Since 2020, population has grown 6.41%, highest in the nation.

Combined with the millions of tourists who visit the state each year, this influx leads to more cars on the road, especially in popular tourist areas like Orlando, Miami, and coastal regions. This increased traffic density raises the probability of accidents, as there’s less margin for error, and more potential for collisions.

2. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is at an all-time high, due to the pervasive use of smartphones. Texting, talking on the phone, and using apps divert a driver’s attention from the road. According to the FLHSMV, a crash occurs every 44 seconds in Florida, and one in seven crashes involve distracted drivers.

3. Speeding and Reckless Driving

Florida’s highways often see drivers exceeding the speed limit. In addition, aggressive driving behaviors like tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, and failing to yield contribute to a higher risk of accidents. According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), over the last two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of ALL motor vehicle fatalities.

4. Weather Conditions

The state’s subtropical climate brings heavy rainfall and storms, especially during the summer months. Rain reduces visibility, makes roads slick, and increases the risk of hydroplaning.

5. Road Infrastructure

Florida’s vast network of roads and highways feature many that are outdated or poorly maintained. Narrow lanes, inadequate signage, potholes, and poor markings all contribute to accidents, especially in areas with high traffic volumes.

Other factors that contribute to Florida’s high incidence of crashes, fatalities, and injuries include:

  • Driving Under the Influence

  • Elderly Drivers

  • Young and Inexperienced Drivers

  • Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Cities where the Most Accidents Occur

The Top Florida cities with the most car accidents vary depending on the data source and year of analysis. However, based on recent reports from agencies like FLHSMV and FDOT and available data, here is a list of cities frequently cited as having high numbers of accidents:

1. Jacksonville

As the most populous city in Florida, and because it is the largest in the state area wise, Jacksonville consistently ranks high in terms of the total number of accidents. In 2023 in Duval County, where Jacksonville is located, there were 23,963 crashes per the FLHSMV.

2. Miami

With its bustling urban environment and high tourist activity, Miami always has a high accident rate. In 2021, it led the state in accidents, with Miami-Dade County accounting for a substantial portion of the state’s total.

3. Tampa

In 2023, there were over 27,000 accidents resulting in 235 fatalities in Hillsborough County, according to the FLHSMV. Due to overwhelming traffic congestion and distracted driving among other factors, the Tampa area always ranks high with respect to vehicle crashes in Florida.

4. Orlando

Because it’s home to numerous theme parks and tourist attractions and is the 4th most populous city in the state behind Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa, Orlando regularly ranks high in the number of car accidents. There were 26,242 crashes resulting in 168 fatalities in Orange County in 2023.

5. Ft. Lauderdale

Known for its beaches and nightlife, the hub of Broward County always ranks high in the state for the number of car accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Other Florida cities with high accident rates include St. Petersburgh, Hialeah, Tallahassee, Cape Coral, and Port St. Lucie.

While the state has been proactive in making changes to make Florida roadways safer for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, there’s still a lot of room for work to be done.

“Florida’s roads are becoming increasingly congested, and with that comes an increase in crashes,” said Terry L. Rhodes, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, from 2012-2022. “We need to focus on educating drivers about the importance of safe driving practices and enforcing traffic laws.”

Have you been in a car accident and have questions about your situation or what you legal options may be? Count on the car accident experts at GOLDLAW to guide you through the process and answer ALL of your questions. To get started, “Choose the 2’s” and call (561) 222-2222 for your FREE case evaluation, or click any of these links:

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