Traffic deaths in South Florida rise; is texting ban the answer?

January 10th, 2013 - by DKRPA

South Florida roads have become more dangerous in the past year, a fact that came out from car accident data comparing 2011 and 2012. According to the statistics, there was an 11 percent increase in the number of car accident-related fatalities from 2011 to 2012 in Broward County; and in our home county of Palm Beach, the fatality rate jumped by 17 percent.

This data is mirrored by the national rate of traffic-related deaths, which rose 7.1 percent.
So what is going on, and how does it affect you? Well, some are theorizing that the sudden increase is a by-product of more people out on the road and more people travelling to work. This, the theory suggests, is because of an improving job market.

While this seems like a possible cause, driving mileage in Broward and Palm Beach has remained fairly constant. It would appear that another factor is at play in this sudden increase in fatal South Florida accidents — and many are blaming distracted drivers.

The state of Florida remains one of only a handful of states that do not have a texting while driving ban. Many local lawmakers insist that 2013 could be the year that a ban is finalized, but we have been down this road before. It may get done; but more than likely, given recent history, it will not.

Florida motorists should not fret though. Simply because a ban is yet to be on the books does not mean distracted drivers can run rampant on local streets with their reckless behavior. Texting drivers can still earn a traffic violation for distracted driving, which could be used as evidence in a civil lawsuit brought by an accident victim adversely affected by a texting driver.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Palm Beach County traffic death statistics: South Florida traffic deaths jump in 2012,” Angel Streeter, Jan. 7, 2013