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Florida Leads Nation in Collision Drownings

A car accident that results in one or more vehicles being submerged in water can be terrifying for victims, and deadly. According to recent reports, Florida has the highest rate of car accident drowning deaths in the nation. Even in a minor accident, a passenger may struggle inside the vehicle to escape and thereby drown. In an Orlando case this year, witnesses saw a woman alive in her car as it sank in a lake. Authorities were not able to find the vehicle for weeks, despite witnesses who reported where it went down. This is only one example of a real threat in Florida — as the state that leads the nation in the number of individuals who drown in their cars every year.

According to reports, there were 49 victims of crash drowning in Florida between 2008 and 2012. Texas, holding the number two spot for fatality rates, had 18 crash drownings reported during the same period of time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that these numbers may actually understate the reality of the problem. According to the NHTSA, Florida had an average of 57 deaths per year, and a total of 384 nationwide. The federal studies have a higher number of incidences reported because they also incorporate death certificates in addition to crash record. The federal agency incorporates death records that are not on public record. According to an analysis of all the documentation, Florida is leading the nation in car accident drownings, and most of the deaths are concentrated in the South Florida region. The highest rate of accidents occurred in Palm Beach County, Broward and Miami-Dade.

There are a number of reasons why Florida has the highest rate of car accident drownings. For one, the state has hundreds more mile of roads with water frontage than in other states. This includes natural waters, such as lakes, as well as man-made retention ponds that road builders are required to dig in accordance with state and local environmental laws. Experts who have studied the high rate of crash drowning accidents blame the Florida roadside canals. Critics and safety advocates also suggest that there aren’t enough guard rails and that state highways are not build to federal safety standards.

In a recent case a 27-year-old woman drowned when her car plowed into a retention pond. Many times, a driver is not able to open the door because the force of the water is too strong. If a driver cannot open the door or escape from the window, they only have mere minutes, even seconds before the vehicle is totally submerged. Every year, there are 1,200 to 1,500 vehicles that end up in the water. For victims, the fight to escape is terrifying and tragic. Our Miami car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping victims and their families after an accident. We will review the facts of your case, identify responsible individuals and entities, and aggressively pursue your rights to just compensation.

Contact Freeman Injury Law for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Speed Blamed for Fatal Coral Springs Traffic Collision, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, January 4, 2014

South Florida Brain Injuries: Concussions No Minor Matter, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, December 13, 2013


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