FLORIDA SEES IMPROVEMENT IN HIGHWAY SAFETY
State Crash Records Show Decline in Crashes and Fatalities
CONTACT For DHSMV:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 20, 2007
Tallahassee - The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) released its final 2006 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 traffic crashes, persons injured and persons killed decreased and the fatality rate on Florida's highways fell to a historic low of 1.65 deaths per 100 million miles of travel, down from 1.76 in 2005. Alcohol-related fatalities, in relation to total traffic fatalities, also decreased. The statistics also show that fewer people were killed while not wearing their seat belts.
However, not all statistics decreased. There were increases in the number of deaths among bicyclists, motorcyclists and children age 10 to 15. Additionally, the number of children under age 18 killed while not using safety equipment increased to 72 percent, up from 57 percent in 2005.
DHSMV Executive Director Electra Bustle stated, "For the first time in more than 10 years, total traffic fatalities in Florida have decreased from the previous year. This is a positive reflection on the commitment of all of our highway safety partners, especially our law enforcement community, to improve highway safety statewide. We look at statistics and forget that they represent people, and that even one injury or fatality is one too many. We remain committed to finding ways to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on Florida's highways and encourage everyone to drive safer and drive smarter."
"We are pleased that Florida experienced a significant reduction in traffic-related deaths in 2006. This drop included an 11.3 percent reduction in driving-under-the-influence (DUI) fatalities. Despite this trend, alcohol-involved driving remains a critical and preventable public health problem. Moreover, it is important to note that many of the crashes were preventable. Thus, it is necessary for those driving in the state of Florida to obey all traffic laws, reduce or eliminate distractions, avoid drinking and to always buckle up. Additionally, parents must provide close guidance to young drivers who remain the age group most vulnerable to traffic crashes," said Major Ernesto Duarte, Chief Public Information Officer for the Florida Highway Patrol.
Tragically, 3,365 lives were lost as a result of traffic crashes during 2006. Thirty-three 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 age 15 to 19 had the highest rate of crashes, with drivers age 20 to 24 having the highest fatality crash involvement rate. Motorcycle deaths rose for the seventh consecutive year.
A complete copy of the 2006 Florida Crash Statistics Report is available at www.flhsmv.gov under Statistics, Studies, and Publications.
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