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As a personal injury attorney based in Melbourne, Florida, it is an important part of my job to keep up with the latest data that comes out from authoritative sources. As it might be of use when handling personal injury or wrongful death cases for my clients.

I was recently studying two such cases that just happened to come in at about the same time and noticed an interesting correlation between the two. I’m sorry to say that neither of these reports contained good news for Florida drivers or the visitors to our state. However, they do contain valuable information that you might want to keep in mind when taking to the streets.

I-4 Deadliest Road in America

The first, coming to us from the U.S. Department of Transportation was a study to determine the most dangerous roads in the United States. It was sad enough to find that based on fatalities per mile, three Florida Intestates made the top ten list of 70 most lethal roads in America, but it was very shocking to find that I-4 that runs from just North of my Melbourne home into Tampa, topped the list as the country’s most deadly road with 1.4 deaths per mile so far in 2016.

The other two roads of infamy in our state are:

  • #5- I-95 from Miami to Houlton, Maine with 0.89 fatalities per mile
  • #7- I-10 from Jacksonville to Santa Monica, California with 0.85 deaths per mile

Even scarier is the fact that combined these three roads are seeing a consistent rise in fatalities each year at about 2% per year.

Chief Cause is of Traffic Deaths is Distracted Driving

In a related report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, we find that the number one cause of traffic fatalities in the U.S. is distracted driving. In fact, over 30 percent of traffic deaths can be, at least partially, attributed to a driver being distracted in some way. In the State of Florida alone in excess of 45,000 traffic accidents were attributed to distracted driving last year and contributed a death a day to the fatality total in the state.

Many attribute these terrible statistics to the prevalent use of cell phones, due to lax laws, while behind the wheel, in our state. Unfortunately, while Florida State Statute 316.305 prohibits texting while driving, it is only considered a secondary offense and is not a cause for stopping a motorist in unto itself. There is presently no law against using any devices for verbal communication while driving.

When you consider that horrendous personal toll that these distracted driving incidences take on the personal lives of both their victims and their victims’ families, it has to be questioned as to why more stringent laws are not in place. This isn’t a political commentary, though.

The purpose of this article is simply to make you aware of how prevalent this issue is in the State of Florida and to caution you to always use your best defensive driving practices, especially when traveling on the Interstates mentioned at the top of this article.

Always be aware of the drivers around you and what they are doing both on the road and in their vehicles. If they don’t seem to be paying proper attention to what should be their primary concern, driving safely, then give them a wide berth and do your best to stay distanced from them.

If you should be unfortunate and become involved in an accident that you believe may have been caused by a distracted driver then, please contact Sinclair Law. You are going to need an attorney to gain access to the records that will prove that the guilty party, was at fault.