TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — When it comes to safe drivers, Florida does not make the cut, according to a new study from SmartAsset. The company ranked Florida has having the 10th most irresponsible drivers out of all 50 states. However, the Sunshine State is tied with Colorado.
Not only is Florida the most expensive state to buy car insurance in America, but it also has a high portion of drivers who just aren’t insured. Pricing for insurance was analyzed by Bankrate earlier this year.
20.4% of Florida’s drivers do not have insurance, according to SmartAsset.
“Florida is tied with Colorado as the 10th-worst driving state in the country. More than 20% of drivers in the Sunshine State do not have auto insurance, sixth highest across our study,” SmartAsset reported. “Florida also has the ninth-most traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven.”
The company listed lack of insurance as one of the reasons Florida was among the top 10 worst states, when it comes to driver quality. Here are the other states with the worst drivers in the U.S.
- South Carolina
Florida also has 1.85 reported arrests for driving under the influence per 1,000 drivers. SmartAsset put its study together using a combination of data sources, ranging from DUI records shared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to fatal accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety administration.
Across the United States, NHTSA reported 42,915 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2021, compared to the 38,824 in 2020. Of that increase, 985 deaths were bicycle riders hit in traffic accidents. NHTSA said it was a 5% annual increase.
The NHTSA stats show overall, the U.S. saw a 10.5% increase in traffic deaths. That data also showed an increase of 12.7% in Florida alone for fatal accidents. While those numbers are preliminary, NHTSA said in its report that as more analysis concluded, the full data set would likely show even higher increases.
A state-operated crash dashboard run by the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department showed there have already been 1,621 fatal crashes this year, as of June 23. Statewide, there were 181,310 crashes. Almost 50,000 of those accidents were hit and runs.
“Hit-and-run crashes and fatalities are tragically on the rise in our state – causing devastation to Florida’s families and communities,” Terry L. Rhodes, FLHSMV Executive Director said previously. “Drivers who choose to flee after being involved in a crash that results in property damage, injury, or death are not just breaking the law – they are displaying a blatant disregard for the life and property of others.”
Non-profit organization GHSA, the Governors Highway Safety Association, reported pedestrian deaths were on the rise too. In 2021, GHSA said 899 pedestrians died in Florida, a 25% increase from 2020.
“This is heartbreaking and unacceptable. The pandemic has caused so much death and damage, it’s frustrating to see even more lives needlessly taken due to dangerous driving,” GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins said. The organization reported it was the largest number of pedestrian deaths in one year in the past 40.