We have good news for our fellow Floridians. We are no longer the worst drivers in the nation! Unfortunately, Florida drivers still rank very near the bottom of a new survey of states that graded them on the safety of their drivers.
As reported by the Sun Sentinel, Florida ranked eighth in this survey—a minor improvement over the previous year, when Florida was ranked as the worst state. Although we applaud the baby steps, there is plenty of room to increase driver safety.
Financial website SmartAsset looked at all 50 states and graded them according to four metrics:
- The percentage of drivers lacking insurance
- The number of DUI arrests per driver
- The number of fatalities per mile driven
- The number of time state residents searched Google for speeding and traffic tickets
We’re not sure these are the best metrics for ranking driver safety, but these are the ones chosen by SmartAsset. In any event, Florida’s numbers are not great—which should not surprise anyone given that we still ranked worse than 42 other states.
According to Smart Asset, only 73% of Florida drivers have insurance, meaning over one quarter of our state’s motorists are on the road without insurance. Seeing that insurance is required to register a vehicle, this is surprising news.
Also, Florida had around 2 DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers—again, not terrific.
Florida managed to edge ahead of Mississippi, Tennessee, California, Missouri, New Mexico, and Texas in this survey—so be sure to brag the next time you visit one of those states. Massachusetts, however, ranked as the best state, with about 94% of its drivers insured. We guess they need something to be proud of given their terrible weather.
What this Means for You
Given the high number of uninsured vehicles, Florida motorists should make smart decisions when purchasing insurance. In particular, you should buy uninsured motorist coverage, which will kick in if an uninsured driver hits you. Throw in underinsured motorist coverage as well, which you can tap if you exhaust the insurance benefits of the driver at fault for the accident.
If you do not have this coverage, then chances are you will lack sufficient resources if you get into a crash. There will be no insurance policy to cover lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Also consider buying “stackable” UM coverage, which will increase the amount of compensation available. For example, if you have three vehicles under one UM police for $25,000, you can stack them and immediately have $75,000 available in the event of a crash.
Arrested for DUI? Call Us Today
As a leading Florida criminal defense firm, Moses & Rooth is well acquainted with Florida’s driving under the influence laws. Our attorneys are former prosecutors who have handled countless DUI cases and can pinpoint weaknesses in the state’s case that might allow you to receive a favorable plea or beat the charges altogether.
To schedule a free initial consultation with an Orlando criminal defense lawyer, please call 407-377-0150 or contact us online.