Drunk drivers are a safety problem everywhere in Florida. But some parts of the state are especially notorious for the number of drunk drivers who cause fatal car accidents. Unfortunately, according to a 2019 study by insurance website Value Penguin, Pensacola is one of those cities.
The ‘top five’ cities for DUI fatalities
The site used accident data from between 2015 and 2017 to calculate which Florida cities had the most DUI fatalities per capita in those years. Pensacola came in fifth place with 4.49 DUI-related deaths per 100,000 residents. The top four were:
- Sarasota (12.2 DUI deaths per 100,000 residents)
- Lakeland (6.5 deaths/100,000 residents)
- Jacksonville (5.6 deaths/100,000 residents)
- St. Petersburg (4.63 deaths/100,000 residents)
You probably noticed that Sarasota’s per-capita DUI fatality rate was much higher than any other city’s. This may be due to a short-term jump; the DUI rate there jumped 73 percent during the 2015-17 period, compared with the previous three years. But it might also be part of a longer, dangerous trend.
Meanwhile, Pensacola appears to be trending in the right direction. While 4.49 fatalities per 100,000 residents is a bad rate, it is better than what happened during 2012-14, when the rate was 5.14/100,000.
Drunk driving affects smaller communities too
Larger cities are not the only parts of the state where drunk drivers are a serious problem. In fact, Florida counties with lower populations had many more deadly drunk driving crashes per capita. For example, living in Hamilton County (population 14,799) meant you were 21 times more likely to be hit and killed by a drunk driver than if you were a resident of Miami-Dade County, where nearly 2.5 million people live.
One death in a drunk-driving wreck is one too many. A fatal DUI accident robs an innocent person of their future potential. It may also take away a spouse, parent and child from their family. Financial compensation cannot change this fact, but it can help keep a grieving family from suffering hardship due to someone’s decision to drink and drive.