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Are Floridians Bad Drivers? - Jones Law Group

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Are Floridians Bad Drivers?


  • Florida has an unfortunate reputation for bad drivers, consistently ranking near the top of lists of the most dangerous states in the US to drive.
  • Impaired driving, distractions, and reckless driving are among the most common causes of car accidents.
  • Taking the necessary steps after a car accident can protect your health and strengthen your case.
  • There are several ways you can improve your driving skills.
  • Car accident victims can pursue damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and others.

Floridians have a reputation for being bad drivers. Out-of-town tourists are especially critical. Unfortunately, it appears that that reputation is well earned. Florida routinely ranks near the top in many categories – all of them bad – that relate to driving. Far too many people in Florida are injured or killed in car accidents every year, and negligent driving is one of the most common reasons.

If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed due to the negligence of another motorist, turn to the Jones Law Group. We have passionate, skilled attorneys who will work extremely hard to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. If you would like a free case review, please use our online contact form or give us a call at (727) 571-1333.

Is Florida Considered a Safe Place to Drive, Walk, and Bike?

The statistics show that Florida is actually one of the most unsafe places in the nation to not only drive a car but also to even take a walk or go out for a leisurely bike ride.

In 2019, more than 3,000 people died in car accidents in Florida alone. That’s a death rate of nearly 15 per 100,000 people. For every 100 million miles people drove in Florida that year, 1.41 people died. When you compare those numbers to the rest of the United States, the picture is far from pretty. The national death rate was 11 per 100,000 people and 1.11 per 100 million vehicle miles driven across the country.

Feel like taking a walk? You have to be careful no matter where in the U.S. you decide to take a stroll, but you have to be extra careful in Florida. Between 2010-2019, more than 5,800 pedestrians were struck and killed. Alabama came in second on that list – with 936 fatalities. So that means it’s at least six times more dangerous to be a pedestrian in Florida than it is in any other state in the country.

The numbers are just as bad when it comes to riding a bicycle. Florida averages nearly 6 deaths among cyclists per 1 million residents – the worst ranking in the U.S. There are a lot of reasons bicycling is so dangerous in Florida. There are far too many streets that lack bicycle lanes whatsoever, forcing cyclists to be in close proximity to motorists.

How Do Florida Drivers Rank When Compared to Other States?

When you look at just about any list ranking the worst drivers in America, Florida consistently ranks at or near the bottom.

According to one study, Florida ranked 10th in 2020 among the worst drivers in the country. This took into account factors including not only fatalities but also uninsured motorists and DUIs.

Floridians also appear to be the angriest drivers in the U.S. Autowise.com, an automobile insurance website, published an article stating that the highest number of angry tweets regarding driving came from Florida. The site went so far as to state that Florida is the “official home of the horrible driver.”

Is Bad Driving the Most Common Cause of Florida Car Accidents?

But bad driving is anything but a laughing matter. There are a lot of different types of negligent driving, and they can lead to catastrophic injuries as well as fatalities. Here are just a few typical examples of how negligent driving occurs.

  • Intoxicated driving – Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is obviously against the law. But that doesn’t stop people throughout the state from doing just that. Impaired motorists will usually exhibit risky behavior behind the wheel, such as running red lights and speeding.
  • Dangerous intersections – While this isn’t just a Florida problem, the state seems to have more than its fair share of accidents at intersections. Side-impact accidents occur far too often due to someone running a red light or a stop sign. These collisions often have devastating consequences.
  • Recklessness – A lot of people make dangerous maneuvers, such as illegal U-turns, because they figure they can get away with them. A lot of times, this can lead to a potentially catastrophic collision, with not only another vehicle but also a pedestrian or bicyclist the driver doesn’t see.

Injuries Caused by Car Accidents in Florida

There are many types of serious injuries people suffer in car accidents. While it might not be fatal, an injury such as a slipped or herniated disc can be incredibly painful. For some, the pain is so excruciating they find it almost impossible to perform even the most basic of everyday tasks.

Another common injury, one that typically occurs in rear-end collisions, is whiplash. When a driver’s car is hit from behind, the driver and any passengers in the vehicle move forward extremely quickly. This leads to the head being violently slung backward or “whipped.” This puts an incredible amount of pressure on the lower jaw muscles, leading to severe facial injuries. Whiplash also damages the muscles in the back and neck.

What to do When You’re Involved in an Accident With a Bad Driver

Any kind of car accident can be traumatic, even if no one is hurt. If you were injured, it would be natural for you to panic. But if you can, you need to try to keep your head. Here are some of the things you should try to remember to do if you’re ever involved in a wreck.

  • Check to see if you’ve been hurt. If possible, check on the other drivers and motorists involved in the accident to see if they’re OK. If you have any reason to believe you’ve suffered an injury, don’t hesitate to get medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Call the police so they can make out an accident report, and then take pictures and/or videos if you can. The report, as well as the photos/videos, can provide the powerful evidence you need to prove you deserve compensation.
  • Get the contact information of the other driver or drivers, and then notify your insurance company.
  • After you’ve done all of the above, get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible.

How to Become a Better Driver in Florida

Becoming a better driver means cultivating safe habits and taking a proactively approach to road safety. Here are a few tips to help improve your driving skills and promote a safer driving experience for you and everyone who shares the road.

  • Keep up with traffic laws: Familiarize yourself with speed limits, road signs, and how to navigate intersections safely.
  • Avoid distractions: Never talk and text when driving. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, distracted driving caused 54,887 accidents in our state in 2022. These accidents led to 283 deaths and 2,655 severe injuries.
  • Drive defensively: Defensive driving means always being aware of your surroundings, anticipating potential hazards, and being prepared to react to the unexpected. Always keep a safe following distance, take precautions at intersections, and use your mirrors – especially when turning or changing lanes. 
  • Adapt to changing weather: If you’ve lived in Florida for a while, you know we have unpredictable weather. You never know when a thunderstorm will arrive during spring and summer. Always be extra cautious during bad weather. Don’t make any sudden moves, and turn on your headlights.
  • Keep your car maintained: Regular maintenance is critical to safe driving. Check your tires, lights, brakes, and fluid levels routinely to ensure your vehicle is in top condition. 

Damages You Can Recover After a Bad Driver Causes an Accident

If you suffer an injury due to another driver’s negligence, you’ll likely be eligible to pursue compensation for your accident-related expenses, also known as damages. These are just a few examples.

Recovering your damages typically involves filing a car accident claim and working with insurance companies. Unfortunately, insurers typically refuse to offer fair settlements. If that happens to you, a skilled car accident attorney can help you get the money you deserve.

Contact a Florida Attorney If You’ve Been Injured Because of Someone Else’s Negligence

Why is it so important to get in touch with a skilled lawyer as fast as you can? The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner they can get to work gathering the evidence needed to prove your case. An accident scene can quickly change due to weather conditions, unscrupulous insurance companies, and others. You need proof that you’re not to blame for the accident that occurred.

You’ll also want an experienced attorney to negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies. They’re going to do everything they can to pay you as little as possible or not to pay you at all.

Jones Law Group has a team of experienced car accident attorneys and an impressive track record of success. Take advantage of both by calling (727) 571-1333 or contacting us online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to hire a car accident lawyer?

You’ll need legal help to have the best chance of obtaining fair compensation for your damages. An attorney knows how to investigate to determine fault, negotiate with insurance companies, and handle all of the other complexities involved in your case.

How long do I have to file a car accident claim in Florida?

Florida’s statute of limitations is two years. If you don’t take legal action within two years of the accident date, you’ll lose your opportunity to obtain compensation. You must contact an attorney immediately so they can protect your rights.

How much money will I receive for my car accident settlement?

Many factors will determine your compensation. These include the cost of your medical treatment, the severity of your injury, your lost wages, and many others. An experienced lawyer can evaluate the details of your case and estimate how much money you could receive.

Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio