Out of the top ten states with the worst drivers, four were in the southeast and Florida was ranked number one, according to a recent study. Researchers looked at DUIs, deaths, tickets and the percentage of people with auto insurance in order to determine the country’s most dangerous states for driving. Florida ranked first, followed closely by Mississippi, Oklahoma and New Jersey.
What Makes Florida Number One in Dangerous Drivers?
Experts cite a number of reasons why Florida earned the worst drivers designation. Florida has a high number of drunk driving arrests as well as distracted driving crashes each year. In addition, Florida currently allows ticketing for cell phone use only as a secondary offense, while other states allow law enforcement officers to cite drivers for misuse of hand-held devices as a primary offense. The state has also taken a relatively soft stance on monitoring the cognitive and physical skills of older drivers, perhaps due to the fact that legislators are worried about alienating a large voting block.
One of the primary reasons Florida had such a high score, however, has to do with the number of uninsured motorists on the roads. Currently, the state is second in the nation in sheer volume of uninsured drivers. Many of these uninsured drivers are laborers in the agricultural and manufacturing fields, and legislators have been reluctant to take measures to get them off the road if it means alienating leaders of the powerful agricultural industry.
Finally, many tourists and retirees are on the roads in Florida, not all of them native to the state. Many residents believe that their presence represents a genuine problem for everyone as Florida’s highways become more and more crowded. These drivers may pose a real risk due to traveling too fast, too slow, driving drunk or driving without insurance.
What Does This Report Mean for Floridians?
Although Floridians may not care so much about the worst drivers label, they should be concerned about the realities this study exposes relating to the danger of driving on Florida roads. For example, the number of uninsured motorists on the road are a real problem for Florida residents whose insurance premiums keep rising each year and who may be the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
Because Florida is a no-fault insurance state, residents are forced to carry expensive PIP coverage on their automobiles as well as uninsured motorist policies to pay for damages when these drivers cause an accident. In addition, the victim of such an accident may end up in a battle with his or her own insurance company to collect compensation for injuries and expenses, including medical bill payment, lost wages, pain and suffering and other costs.
If you’ve been a victim of a “bad” or negligent driver, an accident attorney at David & Philpot, P.L. may be able to help. We’ve been helping victims of Florida car accidents recover the money the need and deserve for over 20 years. Contact one of our accident lawyers today at 800.360.7015 for a free, no obligation consultation. You pay nothing until we win your case.