This sponsored guest article has been written by Michael Davis and is intended for our US audience

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The state of Florida has a population of 21.3 million people and over 17 million are licensed drivers. With all those drivers, are Florida roads more dangerous than other states? And which counties have the highest accident rates?

car accidents floridaDrivers need to be careful and alert wherever they go, but there are definitely places within the state of Florida where an extra modicum of vigilance is warranted.

The Six Biggest Accident Counties in Florida

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles publishes an annual traffic crash report with a county-by-county breakdown of different crash categories. The following table shows the counties with the highest number of crashes in the state of Florida (based on the 2017 data).

RankCounty# of Crashes# of Injuries# FatalitiesPrinciple Cities
1Miami-Dade65,98632,389285City of Miami
2Broward41,33724,762225Fort Lauderdale
3Orange31,00421,646188Orlando
4Hillsborough27,90920,682190Tampa, St. Petersburg
5Palm Beach27,27315,912162West Palm Beach
6Duval24,73414,850151Jacksonville

It probably would surprise no one to learn that these are six of the seven most populous counties in the state of Florida. Here are a few other factors that these high-accident counties have in common:

  • Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties are contiguous and comprise a region in South Florida known as the Tri-county area.
  • With the exception of Orange County, all of the high-accident counties are coastal and have seaports, which means increased commercial truck traffic.
  • All six counties are considered tourist destinations, so it can be assumed that the roadways are filled with unfamiliar drivers.
  • With 8.2 million combined residents, 38.5% of the state’s population live in these six counties.

Although it appears that there is probably a correlation between the busier, more congested areas and the larger number of crashes, car accidents can occur anywhere.

Five Top Driver Actions that Cause Car Accidents

The following table shows the driver actions that most frequently cause car accidents (based on the 2017 data).

RankDriver Action# with No Injuries# with Injuries*# with Fatalities
1Careless/Negligent Driving64,69962,270765
2Failed to Yield Right of Way24,49030,308559
3Other Contributing Action18,83714,421350
4Followed too Closely10,72811,74314
5Failed to Maintain Lane8,3344700205

* Also includes possible injuries

Here are a few of our takeaways from this data:

Speeding is not among the highest driver causes of accidents. Driving too fast for conditions was a category in the DHSMV data, but it only accounted for 7,042 total accidents. Speeding may, however, have made accidents caused by other driver actions worse.

Accidents with possible injuries are combined with known injuries. According to 1800-Injured – a car accident attorney and medical referral service that assists accident injury victims throughout the state of Florida – even if you have possible injuries, you should seek medical help immediately and talk to a car accident lawyer at your earliest convenience. Certain symptoms take a while to manifest, so it’s better to play it safe.

Stay Safe on the Florida Roads, Drive Defensively

You may not be able to avoid driving in the city you live in or be able to control anyone else’s driving actions, but there are things you can do to mitigate the risks. Here are a few common-sense practices that will make you and your passengers much safer.

  • Avoid distracted driving – Use the handsfree feature on your cell phone and refrain from reading and answering messages.
  • Drive at safe speeds – By reducing your speed during inclement weather or while driving in unsafe conditions, you give yourself more time to react to danger.
  • Pre-plan your route – Either determine how you’re going to get to your destination or program your GPS before you put your car in drive.
  • Maintain your vehicle – Check your tires and brakes periodically. Improperly maintained vehicles sometimes take longer to stop.

Stay alert and drive defensively.