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Why FL Ranked Among Worst States for Road Safety—And Here’s What Needs to Change

Road safety

If you thought Florida's roads were unsafe, you’re on to something. On Tuesday, January 22, the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety released their annual report on road safety laws. This report gauges how laws are passed and enforced in each of the 50 states and D.C.

The result? Florida is among the worst states, according to the 16th edition of the report. The Sunshine State is infamous for its bad drivers and accident rates, so this comes as no surprise. 

But this report aims to call out legislators, not drivers. “It’s time for state and federal lawmakers to prioritize safety,” said Advocates’ president, Cathy Chase. She also noted that vehicle crashes kill thousands of people, injure millions and cost society billions each year.

Founded in 1989 the Advocates seek to have federal and state laws, policies and programs adopted to decrease vehicle crashes, injuries and accident-related deaths. The alliance works together with consumer, medical, public health, safety groups and insurance companies to make roads safer in America.

Colonel James J. Mendoca, Chief of the Central Falls Police Department in Rhode Island, sums up the main cause of accidents in one word: recklessness.

“Be it speed, lack of seat belt and motorcycle helmet use, and impaired or distracted driving. These are some repeated, yet entirely preventable, factors leading to motor vehicle crashes on our nation’s highways and byways,” he said.

His home state made the top of the list with the most laws enacted for driver safety. However, Florida only enforced 5 of the 16 optimal laws recommended by the Advocates.

According to the report, Florida needs to work on:

  • rear primary enforcement seat belt law,
  • all-rider motorcycle helmet law,
  • rear facing through age 2 law,
  • booster seat law,
  • minimum age 16 for a learner’s permit,
  • nighttime and passenger restrictions and age 18 for unrestricted license for teen drivers,
  • ignition interlocks for all offenders,
  • all-driver text messaging restriction and
  • GDL cell phone restriction.

Other states deemed “dangerous” with fewer than 7 laws, without both primary enforcement front and rear seat belt laws: South Dakota, Wyoming, Arizona, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Virginia.

Our lawyers are familiar with the many types of injuries that a car, motorcycle or truck accident can cause. We know that any injury, large or small, can have a serious impact on your quality of life. As experienced Florida accident attorneys our number one goal is to bring you justice. 

We understand how a vehicle accident changes your life, and we will fight to protect your interests and get you the reparations you deserve. Rubenstein Law is a personal injury firm with offices in Broward, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, St Petersburg, Tampa and West Palm Beach. We are available 24/7, including nights and weekends. 

Call us today at 1-800-FL-LEGAL, or visit one of our office locations across Florida.


NOTE: the content above is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as legal advice nor replace legal counsel in the case of an incident. Readers should not act upon blog information, or decide not to act based upon this information, without first seeking appropriate professional counsel from an attorney licensed in the appropriate jurisdiction. If you are in need of legal assistance due to an accident, please contact Rubenstein Law at 1-800-FL-LEGAL. ​