Drivers in Broward County and Palm Beach County should proceed with extra care. Numbers from the Florida Highway Patrol state that traffic deaths in both counties have increased over the past year. This increase appears to be on trend with the nationwide statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

For the first time since 2006, Broward and Palm Beach counties have seen a jump in traffic fatalities. Recent news reports indicate that the number of traffic fatalities rose by 11 percent in Broward County and 17 percent in Palm Beach County. Last year, there were 171 traffic deaths in Broward County, compared to 154 in 2011. Likewise, Palm Beach County marked 136 traffic deaths in 2012, compared to 116 in 2011. Additional news reports also suggest that this increase is attributed to distracted driving.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, drivers who text behind the wheel displays the same type of driving behaviors as those who drive drunk. These behaviors include driving slower and frequently using the brakes.

On their website, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles published some tips on regarding cellphone use behind the wheel.

These tips include:

  1. Make safe driving your priority- If you’re behind the wheel and get a call, let it go to voicemail. If someone needs to reach you, they will leave a message. If you must take a call, pull over and stop.
  2. Keep your eyes on the road- If you are expecting a call, use a hands free car kit. If you need to make a call, use speed dial if possible.
  3. Limit Conversation- Only use your cellphone in emergency situations while driving. Make sure to avoid emotional or stressful conversations are you drive, as those may be especially distracting.
  4. Use common sense- Avoid using your cellphone entirely in hazardous driving conditions, such as heavy traffic or severe weather.

Florida is not the only state to suffer an increase in driving fatalities. As we reported last month, distracted driving deaths are on the rise across the country. NHTSA reports that the number of people killed in distracted-related crashes rose from 3,267 in 2010 to 3,331 in 2011, an increase of 1.9 percent.

The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, urges all Florida drivers to pay attention behind the wheel.

If a distracted driver injures you or someone you love in Florida, you may need an experienced Florida accident attorney. Call us today at (800) 299-8878 or fill out our convenient online contact form for a free consultation.

The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, concentrates on helping accident victims in Stuart, Jupiter, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Fort Pierce, Palm Beach and Vero Beach.