For Release August 25, 2005:
Tallahassee--The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) released its final 2004 Florida Crash Statistics Report today. This report contains traffic crash data compiled from traffic crash reports completed by law enforcement agencies statewide.
The number of vehicle miles driven on Florida’s highways increased from 2003 to 2004 by approximately 11 billion miles. Registered vehicles increased nearly half a million and there were over 160,000 more licensed drivers in 2004 than in 2003. While the actual number of fatalities and fatal crashes increased in 2004, the fatality rate on Florida’s highways fell to an historic low of 1.66 deaths per 100 million miles of travel, down from 1.71 in 2003. Alcohol-related fatalities in relation to total traffic fatalities also decreased.
DHSMV Executive Director Fred Dickinson stated, “Our mission is to make Florida’s highways safe for our residents and visitors. Even with the impact of four major hurricanes, 2004 was a busy year on Florida’s highways.” “We are pleased that the fatality rate on Florida’s highways fell to an historic low of 1.66 deaths per 100 million miles of travel, down from 1.71 in 2003. However, it's easy to forget that dry statistics represent real people and real lives. The report provides compelling reasons to change old habits. We need people to make buckling up a habit, not drink and drive, and to drive in a prudent manner,” said Christopher A. Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol.
Tragically, 3,257 lives were lost as a result of traffic crashes during 2004. Thirty-four percent of traffic fatalities were alcohol-related, and 62 percent of drivers and passengers killed in vehicles equipped with seat belts were not wearing them. Drivers aged 15 to 19 had the highest rate of crashes, including fatal crashes. Motorcycle deaths also increased in 2004.
“Sadly, too many people died on our roads and highways. Traffic crashes remain the leading cause of death for our children, and motorcycle fatalities increased for the fifth straight year. We remain committed to finding ways to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on Florida’s highways,” said Dickinson.
A complete copy of the 2004 Florida Crash Statistics Report can be found at www.flhsmv.gov or by contacting the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Office of Management Research & Development.