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Traffic Crashes Drop in Pinellas County

Pinellas County saw an decrease in collisions in 2011, and so did the rest of Florida, according to a new state report. We want to hear from you, Largo, on what roads worry you the most.

The number of traffic crashes in Pinellas County dropped by 19 percent last year, from 13,450 in 2010 to 10,882 in 2011.

A total of three teen drivers or their passengers, ages 15 to 19, were killed in motor vehicle accidents in Pinellas in 2011. Ten bicyclists were killed while trying to navigate Pinellas roadways.

These are just a few of the numbers released in the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles' "2011 Florida Crash Statistics Report." The report was just released this week by the state and includes a variety of information related to roadway safety throughout Florida and in Pinellas County.

While Pinellas saw a big drop in its crash numbers, the state also witnessed a decline in fatalities, the report says. In fact, the drop between 2010 and 2011 in fatalities was 2 percent. Over the past six years, fatalities have dropped every year. In 2005, there were 3,533 fatalities on Florida’s roads. In 2011, that number dropped to 2,400, a state media release says.

The report isn’t all good news though. Fatalities among teen drivers increased by 7 percent statewide between 2010 and 2011, rising from 144 to 154. Also, bicyclist fatalities increased year over year from 76 to 230, which is a rise of 58 percent.

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State officials are pleased with the drop in overall numbers, but would like to see continued improvements.

“Traffic crashes are largely avoidable, and so I would urge drivers to give their full attention to the road when they are behind the wheel,” said Julie L. Jones, the department of highway safety’s executive director. “The Department strives to change driving behaviors and save lives.”

Other Pinellas Traffic Crash Statistics

  • Alcohol Related Crashes dropped from 1,198 in 2010 to 1,114 in 2011
  • Fatalities rose from 96 in 2010 to 112 in 2011
  • Alcohol related fatalities rose from 42 in 2010 to 51 in 2011
  • Motorcycle fatalities rose from 24 in 2010 to 26 in 2011

To view the full report, visit the department’s website and look under “Traffic Crash Facts.”

What roads in the Largo area worry you the most? What would you like to see the county or state do to improve safety? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Patrick Potter December 06, 2012 at 06:34 PM
No one mentions crashes / collisions created by drivers following too closely. It seems law enforcement has let that slide. I am tailgated regularly by other drivers, often to the point where I have to pull into a turning lane or turn into a street to avoid getting hit from behind. I never see these tailgaters getting pulled over for following too closely. I drive West Bay Drive and Indian Rocks Road primarily, BUT it doesn't matter where I go, there will be a driver right up on my bumper. The law, as I recall it, states that for every ten miles per hour, there should be one car length between cars. Therefore, a 35 mph zone should have cars three and a half car lengths apart from one another. Driving up on someone's bumper is NOT three and a half car lengths. People are rear-ended, resulting in injuries such as bulging and herniated discs, head trauma and more -- yes, even wearing a seat belt! Where is the police when this poor driving behavior is going on? I drive the speed limit, I keep distance from other drivers, and consider myself a good defensive and courteous driver, mindful of others' safety. I'd like to see other drivers be as conscientious.

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