How Will More People Moving To Florida Affect Traffic & Car Accidents?

Why would a personal injury law firm be interested in the latest migration trend of people moving to Florida? Because it changes everything.

Though much of the evidence is still in its very fresh, you cannot call it anecdotal anymore. People are moving to Florida, now more than ever. Over the past year, the migration to the sunshine state has increased dramatically to an astounding 1,000 people per day. And so with that kind of influx, of people moving into Florida, many Floridians have been left wondering what kind of effect all these new people will have on our way of life.

There are some obvious, short-term effects (housing costs increase, rent inflation, more people on the roads) and some obvious long-term effects (increased car accidents, inflation, drastic changes in employment opportunities). But these effects can seem obvious, and yet speculative. Will more people moving to Florida affect traffic and cause more car accidents? Of course, for a Florida car accident lawyers, this is an interesting question. Not because we want more accidents, but because we study the effects that car accidents have on our communities.

But before we can delve into some of the major details, let’s discuss the finer points.

Wign on the highway welcoming drivers to Florida the Sunshine State

Why Are So Many People Moving to Florida?

Most analysts seem to agree that the pandemic has caused a surge in migration to Florida. People from all over the United States seem to be moving to Florida for many reasons.

And there are a number of reasons:

  • Florida offers a very attractive homestead exemption of up to $50,000 for primary residence and a 3 percent cap on home assessment annually.2
  • Most people are coming from states with much higher taxes. (Florida has no income tax).
  • Florida has always been one of the most desirable places to live in terms of weather, and some say the pandemic accelerated the recognition of those advantages unique to Florida

And what has that meant for the Florida economy?

  • Home values have increased 4.1% over the past year and will likely increase by another 3.6 this year.3
  • The inventory of homes decreased by 79% as of October 2020.4

And it’s not just Florida. There’s also the great exodus to Texas that has also taken the U.S. by storm over the past few months. As many Americans on the West Coast move to Texas, it seems East Coasters are moving to Florida.

The latest data from the Florida Highway Safety a Motor Vehicles puts the total number of vehicle registration renewals in 2020 at 8,248,861.6 This means that the number of cars on the road has increased by 300,000 in just 3 years. And that figure shows no signs of slowing down. And it’s a mindset. Even the New York Times is reporting headlines like ‘I’d Much Rather Be in Florida’.6

So, there is clearly an increase in people moving to Florida and it has an impact on the Florida economy. How will this affect Florida traffic and car accidents?

Number of Cars on the Roads in Florida

According to a survey by Statista, there were 7,966,091 registered automobiles in Florida in 2018.7Florida was the third most trafficked state in the country, behind California and then Texas. And those numbers are drastically increasing, as the number of people moving to Florida. The number of cars on roads in Florida in 2021 is going to be drastically increased. Though many will still be working from home, the roads in Florida are getting busier.

Florida Crash Statistics 2020

All data according to Florida Highway Safety Motor Vehicles crash dashboard.

Total crashes in the state of Florida: 403, 626.

  • Bicycle accidents: 6,590
  • Motor vehicle accidents: 9,143
  • Pedestrian accidents: 9,456

But when we compare crash statistics from 2019 to 2020, we get misleading data. Because of course, The country was in lockdown for a part of 2020, and even after lockdown was lifted in July, there were far fewer cars on the road.

Final Thoughts

The higher influx of people moving to Florida from all over the U.S. are going to increase the number of cars on the roads. Florida has some public transportation in the form of Tri Rial and bud systems and although almost 84% of the population of Florida live within urban areas where public transportation is accessible, most people in Florida use their own cars to get around.8

Which means that the increase of people moving to Florida will indirectly lead to move accidents. Our advice is to drive safely and be as courteous as you can be to our new neighbors. I guess we’ll find out once and for all if Florida really does have the worst drivers. And if you do find yourself in an accident, be sure to learn how to get the most for your injuries.


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About The Author

Michael Steinger

Michael Steinger

The Florida BarFlorida Bar Young Lawyers DivisionMillion Dollar Advocates ForumMillion Dollar Advocates ForumBest Workers Compensation Attorneys in MiamiBest Car Accident Lawyers in MiamiLawyers of distinction

MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.