Personal Injury Lawyer West Palm Beach & South Florida

How Often Do Unlicensed Drivers Cause Fatal Florida Car Crashes?

Recently, a California Department of Motor Vehicle study made headlines around the country. The study found that drivers who are unlicensed or driving on a revoked or suspended license are about three times more likely than licensed drivers to cause a fatal crash.

The California study was a follow-up on a series of studies completed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Their 2011 study found that nearly one out of every five fatal crashes involves an unlicensed driver or a driver with an invalid license.

The AAA research team used the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database of fatal crashes that occurred between 2007 and 2009. First they looked at the driver's license status of drivers involved in fatal crashes:

  • Valid driver's licenses: 87%
  • Revoked or suspended license: 7%
  • No license: 5%
  • License expired, cancelled, or denied: 1%

They found that 18.2 percent of fatal crashes in the study period involved unlicensed or invalidly licensed drivers. These accounted for 18,462 accidents and 21,049 deaths.

Then they looked at the types of accidents that involved unlicensed/improperly licensed drivers:

  • In about half the accidents, the unlicensed/invalidly licensed driver had some alcohol in his system.
  • In 43% of the accidents, the unlicensed/invalidly licensed driver was legally impaired with a BAC greater than .08.
  • In one-third of the accidents, the unlicensed/invalidly licensed driver left the scene.

That brought up some questions. How many drunk driving car crashes involve an unlicensed driver? The data showed that unlicensed or improperly licensed drives account for 25% of fatal DUI crashes.

How many hit-and-run accidents involved an unlicensed driver? About half of fatal hit-and-run accidents involved an unlicensed or invalidly licensed driver.

If you are injured by an unlicensed driver in Florida, you deserve justice. But you may have to fight for fair compensation.  A Boca Raton accident injury lawyer can help. For more information, contact David Glatthorn at 866-413-5525 and ask to schedule a free consultation.

Have questions about a Florida injury claim? Request a free copy of Boca Raton injury lawyer David Glatthorn's book, The Florida Accident Workbook: Tools, Tips & Tactics to Resolve Your Injury Claim.


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Since 1980, Attorney David Glatthorn has been serving the residents of West Palm Beach. He works in many areas of personal injury law, including car accidents, slip and fall injuries, workplace injuries and many others. Attorney Glatthorn is known for his dedication and experience. If you were injured due to another person's negligence, call David Glatthorn Law today.

David J. Glatthorn, P.A.
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