This year is proving to be much more dangerous than last year, in Palm Beach County and Broward County at least. We’ve seen years of declines in the number of fatal car accidents, until 2012.
As of the end of July, we had already seen nearly 90 traffic fatalities in Palm Beach County. During the same time in 2011, we had seen less than 80, according to News Channel 5.
Palm Beach County didn’t do any better. During that time, there were nearly 110 fatalities, compared to the 77 in 2011.
If these numbers keep going the way that they are, both counties will surpass the number of traffic fatalities that they had in 2011; 100 in Palm Beach and 133 in Broward. It’s not too late though. There are small changes that we can all make behind the wheel to help to keep this number from climbing.
Our Palm Beach car accident attorneys understand that there are a number of reasons why these numbers may be increasing. Some say that it’s from the improving economy, encouraging more driving, while others are saying it’s all the fault of distracted drivers. Regardless of the cause of the increase, drivers are asked to be cautious, alert and defensive behind the wheel.
“I know for a fact distractions play a large role in traffic crashes,” said Lt. Tim Frith with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). “We need to attack driver distraction like we did with DUI and seat belts.”
One of the biggest problems that we have in the state of Florida is that there are no laws prohibiting drivers from talking on a phone or using a text messaging device at the wheel. Most other states have these laws and have strict fines and penalties to back them up. In Florida, you can’t give a driver a ticket for distracted driving, according to state Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton.
Slosberg has proposed a number of distracted driving laws ever since his 14-year-old was killed in one of these accidents back in 1996.
From 2006 to 2010, the number of traffic accidents dropped about 30 percent in Broward County and more than 40 percent in Palm Beach County. Now, with the economy recovering, the number of fatalities has once again begun to increase.
Others are saying that we’re not seeing enough enforcement efforts from police officers and state troopers.
What it all comes down to, according to Frith, is that drivers need to be better educated about road laws, safe driving habits and wearing a seat belt. It’s the responsibility of drivers to exercise these safe habits behind the wheel to help to make the roads safer for all travelers, including pedestrians, and bicyclists. He says that this effort needs to be focused on the younger drivers though, as they’re less likely to comply than other group of drivers.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the injury lawyers of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a free consultation to discuss your case. Call 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
FHP Pushes Red-Light Running Campaign to Help Reduce Risks of Accidents, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, August 4, 2012
States Amp Up Distracted Driving Laws – Florida a Holdout, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, August 2, 2012