If you drive very much in the state of Florida, you’ll be somewhat surprised – in fact, you’ll be quite shocked – to learn that drivers in Florida are among the safest drivers in the country and that only the drivers in the state of Rhode Island are safer. That’s according to QuoteWizard.com’s recently published survey of drivers in all fifty states. Especially if you drive in the Orlando area, you’ll also be shocked to learn that the safe driving habits of Orlando-area drivers are what put Florida so close to the top in the QuoteWizard rankings.
Clearly, the QuoteWizard survey results are wrong, and for several reasons. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that Orlando has the highest fatality rate for bicycle riders and is the most dangerous city for pedestrians in the U.S. In fact, Orlando recently received a Florida Department of Transportation grant for the third year in a row to make the city’s streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. And while QuoteWizard focuses on the relatively low number of traffic citations issued in Florida, that statistic may only mean that fewer police officers – rather than more safe drivers – are on Florida’s streets and highways.
ARE FLORIDA DRIVERS SECOND-BEST – OR SECOND-WORST?
A similar survey posted in December 2016 and conducted by Bankrate.com found that drivers in Florida are forty-second in the United States – rather than second – in terms of driving safety. And in October 2016, EverQuote.com ranked Florida’s drivers as the “second-worst” in the nation in terms of distracted driving. EverQuote “found that Florida drivers use their phone on average 1.4 phone uses per trip and the state ranks 2nd worst nationally for phone use while driving.” EverQuote also found that Interstate 4 is the most hazardous highway in the nation.
Previous research also offers findings diametrically opposed to QuoteWizard’s survey results. How did drivers in Florida do so well on the QuoteWizard survey when so much evidence disputes the idea that Florida’s motorists are predominantly “safe” drivers? QuoteWizard’s survey takers confessed, “Of course, had we also considered the percentage of drivers operating their vehicles without car insurance, Florida wouldn’t be anywhere close to their spot in second.”
HOW CAN ORLANDO MOTORISTS DRIVE MORE SAFELY?
Motorists who drive in Florida every day are fully aware that their fellow Florida drivers do not always put safety first. Particularly during the holiday and winter seasons, the traffic in this state can be terrifying. As you drive this season on Interstate 4, Interstate 95, or anywhere else in the state of Florida, the best way to ensure that your vehicle is safe is to keep up with routine maintenance. From oil changes to tire rotations, keeping your car properly maintained is imperative for staying safe, but it’s only half of the safe driving equation.
The other half of the safety equation is you. Whether it’s winter, summer, spring, or fall, a trip to the corner or across the country, buckle your safety belt for every trip. It’s your most effective protection. Of course, you also need to avoid distractions and concentrate on the road. Don’t eat, text, or groom as you drive. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t take any drugs that impair driving, even if they’re legal prescriptions. Don’t let yourself be distracted by pets, children, or the radio. Focus only the road, the traffic, and your driving.
Don’t tailgate or speed when you drive. Florida drivers sometimes stop for what seems to be no reason at all. Always allow a full car length between your own vehicle and the one in front of you for every ten miles per hour, and add a bit more space just to be cautious. Everywhere, speeding is a leading cause of fatal traffic accidents. The risk simply is not worth the few minutes you might save.
It’s also imperative – and especially on Florida’s interstate highways – to drive slow and cautiously in highway construction zones, which seem to be everywhere now in this state. According to Colonel David Brierton, the ex-director of the Florida Highway Patrol, “Construction crews face difficult conditions every day while they work to improve our highways and make them safer. And those conditions are made even more difficult when you factor in the daily flow of traffic they must work around.” Santa Rosa personal injury attorney Jeffrey Nadrich suggests that often times the combination of factors are simply too overwhelming to avoid a roadway accident.
It’s also vital these days for every driver to stay abreast of defective vehicles and vehicle part recalls. Automobile makers recalled a record-setting 50 million-plus vehicles in 2014, and then they topped that record in 2015 with 51 million-plus vehicles recalled, according to The Wall Street Journal. The previous record had been 30.8 million vehicles recalled in 2004. You’ll need to act at once if your vehicle is recalled for any reason; take it to a dealer promptly after a recall for a replacement part or a repair.
DO YOU CARRY ADEQUATE AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE?
And no matter what state you live in or how safe or unsafe the drivers are there, every motorist must carry adequate automobile insurance. If you don’t already carry uninsured motorist coverage, speak about it right away with your automobile insurance agent. It’s estimated that almost one in four Florida motorists – 24 percent – are uninsured or underinsured, and if one of them injures you, and if you do not carry uninsured motorist coverage, there may be no way to compensate you for your injuries.
Still, if you are injured by a negligent driver in Central Florida, you’ll need to discuss your situation immediately with an experienced Orlando auto accident lawyer. Anyone who is injured by a negligent driver in this state has the right to full compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, and all other related expenses – but if that injury victim is you, you’ll need an attorney’s help to win the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.
An Orlando auto accident attorney can explain your rights and options after a traffic collision and offer you frank advice and reliable legal insights. As for “online surveys” about driving, they are seldom reliable, and they don’t really contribute anything to make driving safer. Most online surveys are really just marketing tools. You can ignore them, because it’s much more important to keep up with vehicle recalls, to keep your own vehicle in good condition, and to concentrate – when you drive – only on driving.