Palm Beach Gardens Road Safety Overview
Overall, Palm Beach Gardens has relatively safe roads. This small community has its share of crashes, but the city is slightly safer than Palm Beach County as a whole. The crashes that happen usually do not kill anyone.
But it still has its problems. Its aging population causes car accidents in Palm Beach Gardens every year. And many of the city’s most vulnerable road users suffer the worst consequences of these crashes.
Palm Beach Gardens Car Accident Statistics
Florida releases car accident statistics on a city level on its Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard. Palm Beach Gardens had just over 900 traffic accidents in 2022. Those accidents affected 1,812 vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
This total was roughly the same as 2021’s total, but it represented an increase from 2019’s number. Accidents in Palm Beach Gardens peaked in 2015 and hit a low in 2019 before trending upward in the last three years.
The most likely age group to get into a Palm Beach Gardens crash was adults over 55 years old. Older drivers may face difficulties that make it more likely they will get into an accident, such as:
Fall and winter are the most likely times for traffic accidents. Crashes peak in October and January and decrease in the summer months when traffic congestion drops.
The most dangerous times to drive are in the evenings and on weekends. Specifically, Friday and Saturday evenings between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. have higher accident numbers than other days and times. The safest times to drive are in the mornings on weekdays.
Palm Beach Gardens has a fairly high seat belt usage rate. Out of 1,812 accident victims in 2022, only 33 were not wearing seat belts. None of these people died, and only one suffered a serious injury.
Injuries and Deaths from Motor-Vehicle Accidents
Crashes in Palm Beach Gardens caused three fatal injuries and dozens of non-fatal injuries in 2022, according to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard. One of the fatalities was a motorcyclist. The other two were motorists.
The non-fatal injuries included 13 serious injuries. These injuries incapacitated the crash victims to the point that they could not transport themselves from the accident scene. Examples of serious injuries include:
- Severe lacerations
- Third-degree burns
- Major bone fractures
- Brain injuries that cause unconsciousness
The remaining accident victims suffered minor or suspected injuries. Minor injuries describe visible injuries that are non-incapacitating. Some common minor injuries include:
Suspected injuries appear on an accident report when the accident victim experiences symptoms like nausea or pain but has no visible wound. Suspected injuries are not necessarily mild. They can include severe injuries like:
Palm Beach Gardens has a population of roughly 60,000 people. This means that the city has a fatality rate of roughly five deaths per 100,000 residents. This fatality rate is lower than the statewide traffic fatality rate of over 15 deaths per 100,000 residents.
Causes of Crashes in Palm Beach Gardens
The small number of crashes in Palm Beach Gardens makes it difficult to identify any broad trends. But a few issues stand out.
According to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard, half of the people who suffered fatal or serious injuries in 2022 were over 65 years old. Older accident victims are particularly susceptible to traffic accidents because crash injuries can exacerbate existing health conditions.
Aggressive driving was identified as a cause of about one-third of fatal and serious injury accidents. In Florida, aggressive driving means the driver committed two aggressive acts simultaneously or in succession. Under Florida law, aggressive acts include:
- Failure to yield
- Unsafe lane changes
- Cutting off another driver
- Running a red light or stop sign
Distracted driving is also a problem in Palm Beach Gardens. Distracted driving happens when drivers use their hands, eyes, or minds to perform a non-driving activity like texting, eating, or talking. Roughly one-third of serious and fatal accidents in the city resulted from distracted driving.
Vulnerable Road Users
Palm Beach Gardens had 42 pedestrian accidents in 2022, according to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard. These accidents caused five serious injuries but no fatalities. Pedestrian accidents happened all through the day but were most likely to happen at night, between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Locations of Car Accidents in Palm Beach Gardens
Half of the crashes that caused serious injuries or death in 2022 happened at intersections. More significantly, all three of the fatal crashes in Palm Beach Gardens happened at an intersection.
Intersection crashes usually happen when a driver fails to yield the right of way. Common crash scenarios at intersections include:
- Unsafe turning
- Red light or stop sign running
- Going through the intersection out of turn
- Entering the intersection before cross-traffic has cleared
Intersection crashes often cause serious injuries. In a side-impact or T-bone collision, one vehicle gets hit on its door. The door is often the weakest point of the vehicle, and an impact there can crush the vehicle’s occupants.
According to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard, the most dangerous intersections in Palm Beach Gardens include:
- PGA Boulevard and Fairchild Gardens Avenue
- PGA Boulevard and Ellison Wilson Road
- FL-A1A and Burns Road
Intersections are also the most likely places for pedestrian accidents. According to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard, PGA Boulevard was particularly dangerous for pedestrians in 2022.
Navigating Palm Beach Gardens Safely
Palm Beach Gardens has beautiful weather, famous golf courses, and popular beaches. The next time you visit, drive carefully to reduce your chances of a crash.
Exercise caution at intersections. Florida drivers can get careless and fail to spot oncoming cars or pedestrians in the crosswalks.
Watch for aggressive drivers. Driving in heavy traffic can get frustrating, and aggressive drivers can make these traffic conditions downright dangerous.
Palm Beach Gardens is reasonably safe for road users. By exercising caution and common sense, you can make your next trip through Palm Beach Gardens even safer.