Our Miami personal injury blog has highlighted in previous posts the importance of careful driving in order to prevent serious or fatal car crashes from occurring on our Florida roads. But should the state also be doing more in order to decrease the number of lives that are lost each year in car accidents and other motor vehicle collisions?
Earlier this month, federal officials reported that costs incurred from fatal collisions are third highest in the state of Florida. According to data from 2005, more than 3,500 people were killed on Florida’s roads that year. The total costs for emergency medical care and the estimated amount of lifetime income and benefits lost after each individual’s death from an accident totaled $3.6 billion. Nationally, costs incurred from fatal motor vehicle accidents during 2005 totaled $41 billion.
In response to the startling figures, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered several suggestions for reducing the costs of fatal collisions and to increase the safety of Florida motorists. However, Florida has been slow to adopt the CDC’s recommendations in the past.
One state representative commented that it took him nearly eight years to push for a primary seat belt law in Florida. “It’s like I’m involved in ground warfare…Things take three, four, five years to get done,” said the representative. The primary seat belt law allows officers to pull a driver over if the driver is not wearing a seatbelt. The CDC-recommended traffic law is the only recommended law that Florida has chosen to adopt.
We will revisit this topic next week focusing on some other recommendations the CDC has suggested that Florida considers in order to reduce the number and costs of fatal accidents on our state’s roads.
Source:Sun Sentinel: “Florida third in U.S. in costs from fatal car crashes, CDC says,” Sonja Isger, 21 May 2011