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Tampa, Florida

Florida Gets Poor Grade in Study of Driving Safety Laws

a smashed up black car positioned sideways across lanes of a highway following a car accident

A Tampa car accident lawyer breaks down the reasons why

Every year, people suffer serious injuries from car accidents in Tampa, across Hillsborough County, and throughout Florida. Many times, those injuries are fatal. A car crash can have a life-changing impact on victims and their families. That’s why state governments and advocacy groups continually work to make changes to decrease fatalities and serious injuries on the road.

There are many ways to help keep roads safe. Responsible driving plays a big role, as do awareness campaigns that bring attention to dangerous driving behaviors. State laws are also an important factor. And a report from the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety concludes that when it comes to Florida’s driving laws, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.

In its 2022 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws, the group takes a close look at traffic deaths across the country and proposes laws that could help address the problem. It examined statistical data on traffic deaths from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and reviewed traffic laws for each state.

Report lists recommended improvements

The group cites 16 optimal laws it believes are needed to be a part of a comprehensive safety program in every state. These laws cover issues such as child passenger safety, occupant protection, graduated driver licensing (GDL) for teen and young adult drivers, distracted driving, and impaired driving.

Florida was graded “red,” meaning that in the group’s view, it is “dangerously behind” in the adoption of these recommended laws.

The report concludes that the state needs to enact:

  • A Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (rear seat passengers)
  • An All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law
  • A Rear Facing Through Age 2 Law (for child passengers)
  • A Booster Seat Law
  • GDL – Minimum Age 16 for Learner’s Permit
  • GDL – Stronger Nighttime Restriction
  • GDL – Passenger Restriction
  • GDL – Age 18 for Unrestricted License
  • GDL Cell Phone Restriction
  • Ignition Interlocks for All Offenders (impaired driving)

The report found that in 2019, Florida had 3,183 traffic fatalities. The 10-year fatality total for the state was 27,720. The annual economic cost for the state due to motor vehicle crashes is $12.977 billion, the report estimates.

“With no state achieving a ‘perfect score’ of enactment of all 16 and with overwhelming public sentiment that not enough is being done to reduce dangerous driving behavior, every state legislator should be motivated and energized to make positive, lifesaving changes this year,” said Catherine Chase, president of Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety.

Founded in 1989, Advocates For Highway & Auto Safety is an alliance of groups from the fields of public health, law enforcement, health care, safety, and consumer advocacy, as well as insurance companies. Its mission is to improve road safety through state and federal laws, policies, and programs.

A car accident attorney can help when you've been injured

At Armando Personal Injury Law in Tampa, our experienced car accident lawyers believe that reckless drivers need to be held accountable when they hurt others. Our legal team investigates accidents, gathers evidence, and builds strong cases. Our attorneys fight back against insurance company attempts to minimize injuries to help our clients recover the financial compensation they need and deserve.

If you or a loved one was injured in a Tampa car crash, contact us today to schedule a free consultation so we can go over your legal rights and options.

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