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Florida Traffic Fatalities Have Increased 43% Over the Past Decade

Steve -

Florida - Tuesday July 2, 2024: From 2013 to 2023 Florida’s number of traffic fatalities increased 43 percent and it’s fatality rate increased 18 percent, according to a report released today by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit.

Based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) traffic crash cost methodology, TRIP estimates that fatal and serious traffic crashes in Florida in 2023 caused a total of $103.8 billion in the value of societal harm, which includes $25.8 billion in economic costs and $78.1 billion in quality-of-life costs.

The increased fatality rate comes despite recent progress. From 2021 to 2023 in Florida the number of traffic fatalities decreased eight percent and the fatality rate per 100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) decreased 15 percent.  

Click here for the report appendix.


U.S. traffic fatalities fell in 2023 for the second straight year, three years after traffic fatalities surged in 2020 and 2021 as the nation grappled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite the modest decrease in traffic fatalities over the past two years, traffic fatalities in 2023 remained significantly higher than a decade ago.

The number and rate of U.S. traffic fatalities increased dramatically in 2020 and 2021, as driver behavior and travel patterns changed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. However, following the sharp increase during the pandemic, U.S. fatalities have fallen in 2022 and 2023. Despite progress in recent years, in the decade from 2013 to 2023, U.S. traffic fatalities are up 25 percent and the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel (VMT) has increased 15 percent.

“We are experiencing what can only be described as a crisis on our roadways as it relates to safety, and it is imperative that transportation agencies address this crisis using all means and methods at our disposal,” said Craig Thompson, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). “AASHTO is a firm supporter of USDOT's National Roadway Safety Strategy and believes we all play a role in eliminating fatalities on our nation’s roadways," said Thompson.

Bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities, which accounted for 21 percent of all U.S. traffic fatalities in 2023, increased 18 percent from 2018 to 2023. From 2018 to 2023, the number of pedestrians killed increased 16 percent (from 6,482 to 7,522) and the number of bicyclists killed increased 29 percent (from 859 to 1,105).

The report Appendix includes the number of fatalities and the fatality rate per 100 million VMT in every state and the District of Columbia for 2013 and 2018- 2023.

National Roadway Safety Strategy
To combat the increase in fatalities, in early 2022 the U.S. Department of Transportation adopted a comprehensive National Roadway Safety Strategy, a roadmap for addressing the nation’s roadway safety crisis based on a Safe System approach, which is also being adopted by state and local transportation agencies. The objectives and elements of the approach include the following:

Safer People: Encourage safe, responsible behavior through education on speeding, impaired driving, safe pedestrian and bicycling behavior; extension of safety belt laws and enforcement; and enhanced enforcement and penalties for speeding and impaired, aggressive or distracted driving.

Safer Roads: Design roadway environments to mitigate human mistakes, account for injury tolerances, encourage safer behaviors, and facilitate safe travel by the most vulnerable users.

Safer Vehicles: Expand the availability of vehicle systems and features that help to prevent crashes and minimize the impact of crashes on both occupants and non-occupants. Support the development, testing and deployment of connected and autonomous vehicle technology such as collision avoidance, lane departure avoidance systems and turning detection systems.

Safer Speeds: Where appropriate, provide roadway features to encourage safer speeds, including traffic roundabouts and curb extensions; improved signage and dynamic speed signing at high-risk locations; education on the consequences of speeding; and increased speeding enforcement, particularly at high-risk locations.

Post-Crash Care: Enhance the survivability of crashes through expedient access to emergency medical care, create a safe working environment for vital first responders by preventing secondary crashes through robust traffic incident management practices, increase access to level one or two trauma centers for seriously injured crash victims.