Last week, we reported that Tampa Bay's roads were among the most congested in the country. But new numbers suggest bay-area traffic is more than just inconvenient. It's also abnormally fatal.
In 2009, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater saw 358 traffic deaths--12.6 fatalities per 100,000 people--according to this table from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That rate is among the highest in the country, exceeding metro areas like New York (5.1), Los Angeles (6.6) and Dallas (9.8).
Other Florida cities also had higher-than-average rates of vehicle crash deaths:
- Jacksonville: 13.3
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach: 11.1
- Orlando-Kissimmee: 11.3
"The vast majority of traffic crashes are the result of driver error, carelessness, inattention or illegal behavior such as DUI and aggressive driving," Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins told the Tampa Tribune.
Among the nation's 50 biggest cities, Alabama's Birmingham-Hoover metro area had the highest rate of crash deaths, with 15.4.
In every city studied, rates were even higher among 15-to-24-year-olds, for whom traffic accidents were the leading cause of death.