The rankings were determined using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Factors included:
- Fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled
- Failure to obey (percentage of fatal crashes that involved traffic signals, not wearing seat belts, and driving with an invalid driver’s license)
- Drunk driving (percentage of fatal crashes that involved alcohol)
- Speeding (percentage of driving fatalities that were speed-related)
- Careless driving (pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities per 100,000 population)
The more telling data is where Florida ranks in the individual categories.
Florida is first overall for careless driving, which includes pedestrian and bicycling fatalities. This finding supports a 2014 analysis from the League of American Bikers that dubbed Florida one of the most dangerous places for bicyclists in America. Seventeen percent of all bike fatalities in America happened in Florida. There were 21.7 deaths for every 10,000 people who regularly commute by bike in the state.
Last year, Smart Growth America also found that four of the top five most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians in America were in Florida. In order, they included Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa Bay, and Miami.
So, sadly, no surprise there.
Florida is also 41st for fatalities caused by drunk driving. The Sunshine State is ranked about average, at 29th, for fatalities that involved failure to obey
The overall takeaway is that there's still a lot of driving-related deaths in Florida, but far too many of the victims are the ones who aren't driving the cars.