Orlando Road Safety Overview
While Orlando’s population is only approximately 316,000, the city hosts about 74 million tourists annually due to its notable theme parks and attractions. This massive influx of people is crucial for Orlando’s economy, but it can also create an increased risk of injury for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists who use the city’s roadways.
No matter how you choose to travel the Orlando roads and highways, understanding the risks you face empowers you to take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. Doing so can help prevent and avoid life-altering car accidents in Orlando and other incidents throughout Florida.
General Orlando and Orange County Traffic Accident Data
Orlando sits within Orange County, whose population is estimated to be 1.45 million as of 2022. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recorded 24,447 total accidents in Orange County from January 1, 2023, through December 16, 2023. Of these, 146 involved one or more fatalities, and 11,543 resulted in at least one person being injured.
Between January 1, 2023, and October 28, 2023, there were 17,674 accidents in Orlando alone. This means that Orlando was the site of more than 72% of Orange County’s accidents. A total of 33 fatalities were recorded in Orlando, and 356 individuals were seriously injured over the same reporting period.
Current and Historical Traffic Trends in Orlando, FL
Looking back over the previous ten years, the total number of serious injuries and fatalities peaked in 2015, according to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard. That year, 2,142 individuals were seriously injured in car accidents, and 102 individuals were killed.
Since then, the number of both individuals killed and seriously hurt in accidents has trended downwards to reach their present-day numbers. For example, last year, there were 782 people seriously injured in an Orlando car wreck, and 54 people lost their lives.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, July saw the greatest number of injury accidents in Orlando. This month saw 53 serious injuries, or about one-seventh of the year’s total. The months with the lowest numbers of serious injuries were March, August, and September. Only 32 serious injuries were reported in each of those months.
The number of fatalities each month from January 2023 to October 2023 ranged from a low of one to a high of six. March, April, and July were the three months of 2023 with the most reported fatalities.
Contributing Factors Leading To Orlando Auto Accidents
Data also identified some of the factors that contributed to traffic crashes in Orlando. Most serious injury accidents occurred at intersections, where cars from different directions of travel converged at a single point. One-third of all serious injuries occurred in collisions that took place at intersections.
Lane departures were also identified as having contributed to a significant number of serious injury incidents. Approximately one-third of severe injuries in Orlando happened because at least one vehicle involved in the crash left its lane of travel. This could involve vehicles that entered an adjacent lane of travel, an opposing lane of travel, or that left the roadway entirely.
Additionally, both intersections and lane departures featured approximately the same number of fatalities. Lane departures played a role in ten fatalities, while intersections were a factor in eight.
The Role of Distracted Driving and Other Factors
Another significant factor in serious injury crashes was distracted driving. Given Orlando’s proximity to numerous theme parks and tourist attractions, this fact might not be surprising.
Drivers who are unfamiliar with navigating Orlando’s highways may get distracted by vehicle navigation systems, passengers trying to help them watch for unexpected turns, or other similar complications.
Other factors in serious injury and fatality crashes during 2023 included:
- Rail crossings
- Work zones or construction zones
- Speeding and aggressive driving behaviors
- Impaired drivers
- Driving while drowsy or ill
Only a small number of individuals who were wearing a seat belt or other restraint were injured or killed. The dashboard reports that through October 2023, less than one out of ten fatalities occurred to someone who was wearing a safety belt or other protective restraint.
Common Locations of Car Accidents in Orlando and Orange County
In general, data shows a greater concentration of motor vehicle accidents in the northern part of Orlando, west of the Orlando Executive Airport. A significant number of crashes occurred near the I-4 interstate. The dashboard also revealed a notable concentration of accidents directly east of the airport, just outside the Orange County line.
In general, the southern parts of Orange County did not have concentrations of car accidents as high as the northern parts of the county. The exception to this general observation was found in the far southwest corner of the county. There, concentrations of crashes were seen near State Road 435 and State Road 482.
Miscellaneous Orlando Car Accident Statistics
Available traffic data showed that individuals aged between 25 and 34 years old suffered the greatest number of serious injuries, as well as fatalities. Conversely, children under 15 years of age experienced the fewest numbers of both severe injuries and fatalities. The group with the second-highest number of serious injuries was the 35 to 44 age group.
While Fridays saw the greatest number of serious injuries — followed by Sundays — the fewest number of serious injuries happened on Thursdays. During the average day, the risk of a severe injury accident reached a peak at around 8:00 a.m. before dropping to a low in the early afternoon. The risk rose again near 8:00 p.m. and then dropped afterward.
Staying Safe on Orlando, Florida’s Roads
Road safety is a vital consideration in any city — especially one that experiences substantial tourist traffic. While you should always be alert for careless drivers in Orlando, FL, it is especially important to keep your eyes on the road and stay aware of other traffic at intersections. Use caution along major roads like Interstate 4, as well as when driving in the morning and evening.
By knowing the risk factors for serious injury accidents and where such accidents are likely to occur, you can better plan your activities in Orlando and keep your family safe on the road.