Pinellas County Crash Statistics Wildly Inconsistent in 2017
Pinellas County boasts some of the best beaches and nightlife in Florida, and here on the Gulf Coast, it’s clear that St. Pete and Clearwater are popular destinations for tourists and Floridians alike. Despite the heavy traffic congestion and increased vehicle use countywide, the county’s auto accident rates appear to be going down. By some estimates, 2017 marked a 3-year low in traffic crashes in Pinellas County. Yet by other estimates, the number has gone up by as much as 25 percent. Here’s why the data is so inconsistent.
Forward Pinellas recently released its Countywide Trends and Conditions Report, which gathered crash data based on information collected from reported collisions throughout the county last year. The report also details efforts to expand public transportation and reduce pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities.
In the report, Forward Pinellas suggests that there were 25,578 crashes in the county in 2017. If true, this would be an enormous increase from prior years. The report goes on to explain a few other crucial details about Pinellas County traffic accidents. For instance:
- 4,338 injuries
- 101 traffic-related fatalities
- 20% of the crashes were caused by lane departures
- 31% were due to aggressive driving
- 34% involved impaired driving
- 9% involved excessive speeds
- 6% were caused by ignoring traffic controls
- 1 in 4 deaths were motorcyclists
- 1 in 3 deaths were pedestrians
Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES)
While the numbers from Forward Pinellas are indeed troubling, it’s important to look at the information gathered historically through the state’s exchange service, FIRES. The system gathers crash data from all collisions reported to the police during a given year. Arguably, this is the same raw data that is collected by Forward Pinellas in creating its report.
FIRES reports the following statistics for years 2015 through 2017:
- 19,064 traffic accidents
- 10,987 total injuries
- 103 fatalities
- 35 pedestrian fatalities
- 6 bicycle fatalities
- 19,098 traffic accidents
- 11,718 total injuries
- 127 fatalities
- 44 pedestrians
- 2 bicyclists
- 17,955 traffic accidents
- 11,106 total injuries
- 114 fatalities
- 36 pedestrians
- 4 bicyclists
As should be clear from the data, 2017 marked a significant drop in not only total crashes, but also fatalities. Still, even these lower numbers still show a remarkably high number of accidents for a county of our size.
Pedestrian Deaths Over One-Third of Fatalities
While the two reports seem to differ in a large way (total number of crashes), there are definitely consistencies that need to be addressed. For one, pedestrians really do account for about one-third of all traffic deaths in the county. They were about 33% in 2015, 34% in 2016, and roughly 31% in 2017.
Injured in a Pinellas County Auto Accident?
If you have been seriously injured in a car crash or pedestrian accident in Pinellas County, don’t rely on the insurance company to take care of you. Chances are, the insurance company will look for ways to avoid paying. They often look for obscure ways to deny responsibility and avoid paying claims. Before you speak to the adjuster, call Roman & Roman, P.A. For more than 100 years, our team has helped injured Floridians throughout the Tampa / St. Pete region, and we want to help you. Call for a free consultation today.