‘We have got to do something’: More than 3,700 died in crashes across Florida in 2021

ORLANDO, Fla. — New data shows more than 3,700 people died in crashes across Florida last year.


It was one of the deadliest years on record.

Now, nearly six months into the year, the disturbing trend continues in our state.

Every day, there are hundreds of crashes in our state and a handful of them are deadly.

“In Central Florida, we have about two a day. In the state of Florida, we lose eight people in our crashes every day,” said Loreen Bobo with the Florida Department of Transportation.

READ: Wrong-way detection systems heading to I-4 express lanes

It’s a harsh reality, but traffic agencies say those stats are unacceptable.

“We have got to do something to make sure everybody gets home,” Bobo said.

FDOT is pushing its Vision Zero efforts.

Bobo said the goal is “getting to zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways.”

It’s a massive undertaking but it starts with us.

“(In) 94% of crashes, a contributing factor is human behavior,” Bobo said.

So officials are ramping up their education campaigns and reminding people to slow down and not drive distracted. Agencies are doing their part too, with all their projects.

READ: Study raises red flags about driving assistance features in certain cars

“We’re looking at them and understanding what can we put into that project to make it as safe as possible,” Bobo said.

That includes lighting, crosswalks and more.

“My goal and mission is to keep our streets safe,” said Tanya Wilder.

Wilder is the transportation director for the city of Orlando.

Orlando was the only Florida city to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for its Target Zero program. It will put that money toward street design improvements, bike trails, crosswalks and more leading pedestrian intervals.

“The pedestrian has five seconds more time to walk across the street within an intersection,” Wilder said.

One of the leading pedestrian intervals is up and running at Rosalind Avenue and Robinson Street, where red lights last longer for drivers to keep those walking and biking safe.

READ: Safety improvements coming to Orange County intersection where 5 people were killed

“We all are trying to get to our destination and we all need to be mindful of each other,” Wilder said.

All with the vision of zero fatalities on our roadways.

Some European countries have reduced their traffic fatalities by 50% to 60% under the Vision Zero program.

Hoboken, New Jersey hasn’t seen a single traffic-related death in four years under its Vision Zero strategy.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.