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Florida Ranks Poorly in National Safety Assessment

Florida: Where seniors go to retire, snowbirds escape frigid winters, and kids' dreams come true. Residents enjoy some of the world's most beautiful beaches and a climate that many people envy. But when it comes to personal safety, the Sunshine State isn't quite paradise. In a recent study of car wrecks, assaults and murders, Florida ranks among the least-safe states in the nation.

Florida may be the #1 state for higher education, but it has recently been named among the most dangerous. Ranked as #42 by a WalletHub study, the state has some serious issues with safety including fatal occupational injuries, fatal vehicle accidents, and number of sex offenders.

Basic survival needs are food, air, water, shelter, and clothing. Beyond that, humans need safety to thrive. It’s the instinct for security and stability that make us feel uncomfortable when we hear about incidents such as school shootings, terrorist attacks, gang violence, and hate crimes. Even nature itself can be frighteningly violent.

Of course, the concept of safety is somewhat subjective. Based on information from several sources, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Census Bureau, a recent study by WalletHub attempted to quantify safety in each state. The analysts looked at a wide range of factors in five categories: personal and residential safety, financial safety, road safety, workplace safety, and emergency preparedness. Each of those categories was then evaluated using 37 relevant metrics, and each of the metrics was graded on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being the lowest level of safety and 100 being the highest.

For example, in the personal and residential safety category, there were 11 measurable metrics, such as law enforcement employees per capita, suicide rate, bullying incidence rate, active fire fighters per capita, forcible rapes per capita, and share of elder abuse complaints. The total scores for each state were calculated based on their weighted average across all the metrics. Out of the 50 states, Florida came in at #42. That’s right . . . only 8 states in the country ranked worse than our own.

Florida scored best in the personal and residential safety category at #36 and worst in the emergency preparedness category at #43. Several metrics contributed to the state’s low overall ranking:

  • Share of population without health insurance -- #47
  • Sex offenders per capita -- #43
  • Total loss amounts from climate disasters per capita -- #42
  • Fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles -- #42
  • Assaults per capita -- #40
  • Fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time workers -- #21.

Mississippi currently has the dubious honor of being ranked as the least safe state, followed closely by Louisiana. Four out of five of the safest states are located in New England, with the top spot belonging to Vermont. While it can certainly be argued that even the “worst” areas of the U.S. are safer than many other parts of the world, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be concern. Car crashes, dangerous workplaces, identity theft and the like are hazards that can change lives.

If you have any questions about this topic or believe that someone else’s negligence or recklessness is responsible for your injuries, the attorneys at Stabinski & Funt, P.A. can help. For 45 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless personal injury victims and their families throughout South Florida. We offer risk-free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf. Contact us today by calling 305-964-8644 or filling out a free case evaluation form to find out how we can help you.

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