Florida Sees Impaired Driving Fatalities Go Down in 2020
Each year the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or FLHSMV, releases car accident data for the previous year. Often, data shows that car accident numbers remained steady, or increased. However, this year there is some good news. In 2020, Florida saw a decrease in impaired driving fatalities, as well as impaired driving accidents and injuries.
A decline in accident fatalities is positive news for the community. However, drivers in Daytona Beach, FL, Palm Coast, FL, and surrounding areas should also consider why the numbers were down. Here, car accident lawyers from Chanfrau & Chanfrau discuss the number of impaired driving fatalities in 2020, why those numbers are likely to have decreased, and what is being done to promote a continual decline in impaired driving fatalities.
Significant Decrease in Impaired Driving Accidents, Injuries, and Fatalities
It is not unusual for car accident numbers to fluctuate from year to year, either increasing or decreasing slightly. However, when comparing the number of impaired driving fatalities in 2020 to those in 2019, the difference is significant. Not only did impaired driving fatalities drop markedly, but so did impaired driving accidents and impaired driving injuries.
The FLHSMV reports there were 746 fatalities stemming from car accidents involving alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both, in Florida in 2020. This represents a decrease of more than 33 percent from 2019. Furthermore, accident data for 2020 shows that the total number of car accidents involving drugs, alcohol, or both decreased by more than 16 percent compared to 2019, and the number of people injured in car accidents involving impaired driving decreased by more than 26 percent.
What Caused the Decrease in Impaired Driving Fatalities?
It would be nice to think that the significant decrease in impaired driving fatalities was the result of heightened awareness regarding the dangers of driving under the influence. However, the FLHSMV estimates that reduced accidents, injuries, and fatalities are more likely the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many stay-at-home orders and various restrictions on businesses. These orders, along with the personal precautions taken by many, resulted in fewer people on the road and an overall change in driving habits.
One significant change that likely affected the decrease in impaired driving accidents and fatalities in particular was a decrease in tourism and travel. The month of March tends to be an especially busy month for tourists and visitors in Florida, due to spring break. Last year fewer people traveled for spring break, which resulted in less drivers on our Daytona Beach roads, and fewer people driving after partying with drugs or alcohol.
Steps to Prevent Impaired Driving Fatalities Moving Forward
With COVID-19 restrictions lifting and more travelers enjoying their spring break in Florida in 2021, FLHSMV and the Florida Highway Patrol are focusing on keeping impaired driving accidents and fatalities low moving forward. To educate drivers about the dangers of impaired driving, they have launched the Never Drive Impaired campaign. The campaign focuses on messaging intended to dismiss common rationalizations for impaired driving, and urge drivers to stop making excuses for driving under the influence.
Contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau
Impaired driving accidents can result in catastrophic injuries or death. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident caused by impaired driving, the lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help you pursue financial compensation for your losses. To discuss your accident with our lawyers, contact us online at your earliest convenience, or call (866) 794-0970.