In 2020, the number of crashes on Florida roads saw a sharp decrease, according to data released by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
A state dashboard shows that in 2020, there were 336,062 crashes across the entire state. Of those, 3,156 were deadly.
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In Central Florida, there were 74,764 crashes, with 785 resulting in fatalities.
The data from the state shows a big improvement in the number of overall crashes when compared to 2019.
In that year, the state reports 401,883 total crashes resulting in 3,189 deaths. In Central Florida, the data shows 91,230 crashes with 817 deaths.
Across the state, that is a difference of 65,821 for overall crashes, but only 33 fewer deaths, year-over-year.
Looking at Central Florida, there were 16,466 fewer crashes and 32 fewer deaths, year-over-year.
The pandemic could be the reason for the decrease in crashes.
The state’s data shows there was a sharp decline in crashes between February and March, with that trend bottoming out in April before slowly increasing through October.
March and April saw Gov. Ron DeSantis issue a stay-at-home order across the state, which caused many businesses to close and forced some Floridians to work from home. The governor called for road projects to be accelerated during those lockdowns, calling it a “golden time” to take advantage of the decreased traffic.
News 6 contacted the Florida Highway Patrol to see if it could attribute the decrease in crashes to the pandemic. This story will be updated when and if a reply is received.