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Study: Fatal Car Accident Statistics in Florida

— November 3, 2023

Car accident fatality rates throughout Florida remain a pertinent and crucial issue across the state.

Florida is regarded as one of the most popular states for tourists in the U.S., and it is no surprise why. Filled with luscious palm trees, a cool breeze, and year-round sunshine, Florida truly is the place to be. Despite the glamorous side of Florida that people often associate with the state, there are some not so glamorous statistics when it comes to fatal car accidents. 

Vanguard Attorneys recently conducted a study that combined five years of crash data to determine the total number of fatal car accidents in Florida. In this study, it was found that, in 2021 alone, 3,738 people were killed on Florida roads. This is an astounding 20% increase in car accident fatalities from 2017. While it is not abundantly clear why Florida has been seeing an increasing number of fatal car accidents, it is important to be aware of which counties have the highest fatalities rates and what you can do to minimize your risk of getting into an accident.

Counties With the Highest Total Traffic Deaths

In looking at which Florida counties had the greatest number of total traffic deaths, the most populous counties were, unsurprisingly, at the top of the list. The top five deadliest counties included:

  • Miami-Dade County with 1,541 fatalities
  • Broward County with 1,224 fatalities
  • Hillsborough County with 1,067 fatalities
  • Orange County with 929 fatalities
  • Palm Beach County with 918 fatalities

Counties With the Highest Fatality Crash Rates

If you adjust the car accident fatalities based on population size, the Florida counties with the highest fatality crash rates differ. In looking at the fatality rates per 100,000 people, these counties had the highest rates:

  • Glades County with a fatality rate of 70.66%
  • Hamilton County with a fatality rate of 51.45% 
  • Hardee County with a fatality rate of 45.23%
  • Putnam County with a fatality rate of 41.48%
  • Okeechobee County with a fatality rate of 39.59%

Counties With the Largest Increase in Traffic Deaths

When looking at the counties with the largest increase in traffic deaths from 2017 to 2021, these five counties were at the top of the list:

  • Calhoun County increased by 800%
  • Madison County increased by 150%
  • Union County increased by 150%
  • Hendry County increased by 144%
  • Highlands County increased by 128%

How to Reduce the Risk of Getting in a Car Accident

Tired driver; image by Johan Funke, via
Tired driver; image by Johan Funke, via

Given the high number and increasing rates of car accident fatalities across Florida, it is critical that drivers do all they can to ensure safety for, not only themselves, but all drivers on the road. Here are some key precautionary measures you can take to reduce your risk of getting into a fatal car accident:

  • Keep your seatbelt fastened at all times.
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Obey speed limits.
  • Do not drive if you are sleepy or drowsy.
  • Be extremely cautious or avoid driving during extreme weather conditions.
  • Do not text or use your cell phone while driving. 
  • Follow traffic signals. 
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.


Car accident fatality rates throughout Florida remain a pertinent and crucial issue across the state. While not every single county in Florida has seen an increase in car accident fatality rates over the last five years, the great majority of them have seen an alarming increase. Therefore, next time you visit the lovely Sunshine State of Florida, be careful on the road. The last thing you want is for you or a loved one to become a new statistic on this study. Drive safely!

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