Our latest statistics were updated to include January 2014 thru June 2014, and we incorporated them into July thru December 2013. Much to no one’s surprise, Florida suffers the most storefront crashes of any state in America. And not by a little margin -- by as much as four times the expected rate!
By way of comparison, California suffers a little over 10% of the reported crashes which is not too far out of line with population figures (California with 36 million people is 11% of the US population.) But Florida suffers about 17% of all reported crashes — 70% more than California — but it does so with just half the population. WHAT IS GOING ON?
America usually thinks of Florida as a state filled to overflowing with retired folks, and of course that has some truth to it. But consider — California has 400,000 MORE drivers over the age of 65 than Florida does, yet the Golden State experiences far fewer vehicle-into-building crashes than the Sunshine State does. As the chart along side shows, if age of driver was the sole determining factor for storefront crashes, California would experience far more accidents than Florida, instead of the reverse.
Another part of the puzzle – the states with the highest number of drivers 65 and older DO lead the nation in storefront crashes — the Top Ten states for older drivers are all in the Top 12 states for vehicle-into-building crashes nationally. The chart at bottom of this page lines up states by number of licensed drivers and by percentage of crashes. As you can see there is good correlation between the number of licensed drivers in a given state and the number of storefront accidents in that state, and drawing on the chart above, states with the highest number of drivers 65 years and older also seem to have the highest numbers of accidents.
Except Florida. Florida is the exception. Far more accidents than can be explained simply by age of driver. And Florida is alone of all the states in that the number of accidents (as a percentage of all such accidents in the United States) substantially exceeds the percentage of licensed drivers versus all drivers in the United States.
A note about our accident numbers: Our research turns up crashes (limited to commercial or public buildings, transit stops, public areas, and other non-residential structures) using anecdotal and media reports, court records, and published studies. These are then analyzed for details such as cause, age of driver, type of building and other information, and then this is added into our growing database.
So what is going on in Florida? We’ll keep working on collecting data and we will keep investigating with various third parties to get more answers. When we do, we will let you know.