Florida had 17,500 fewer motor vehicle accidents in April than it did during
the same month last year, according to the Florida Department of Highway
Safety and Motor Vehicles. Crash numbers were down up to 50% in most cities
across the state, including in Tampa Bay.
Interestingly, at the start of 2020 car accident numbers were projected
to be higher than last year’s. The Tampa Bay Times
spoke to Gena Torres, the transportation project manager for the Hillsborough Metropolitan
Planning Organization, who noted that crash data for January and February
of this year showed a 6% increase over previous years. “We were
in for a really bad year, I thought," she said.
For better or worse, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent
stay-at-home orders statewide promptly put a halt to that trend. Even
in March, which typically exhibits a bump in car accident reports that
coincide with spring break and other warm-weather travel, motor vehicle
crashes were down 25%.
Why Fewer Accidents Doesn’t Mean Safer Roads
Before you are lured into a false sense of security, it is important to
remember that the leading factor in the decreased number of crashes is
that there are fewer cars on the road. That’s it. Florida road safety
has not significantly improved in any way recently, so it would be best
to continue to exercise caution while driving—especially as
social distancing restrictions are relaxed.
Here are some defensive driving tips you should follow every time you get
behind the wheel:
Always follow other cars at a safe distance (try the
- Slow down—the faster you drive, the longer it takes to stop
- Yield to other cars when in doubt about who has the right of way
- Use your blinkers when you turn or change lanes
- Assume that other drivers will make mistakes
- Remove distractions such as your phone
- Don’t give in to road rage
As life slowly returns to normal, cars are returning to the roads, and
it won’t be long before the crash data starts to look more like
that of previous years. By driving carefully and defensively, we hope
to see fewer crashes become the norm.
Injured in a Tampa Bay car crash? If you or someone you know has been hurt
due to the negligence of another driver, you may be able to receive compensation.
Tampa Bay car accident attorney using
our online form to schedule your free, confidential consultation.