West Palm Beach Accident Risks Increase Significantly in 2012

More people are dying on Palm Beach County and Broward County roads. As of the end of July, there were close to 90 people who died in car accidents in just Palm Beach County.

During that same time period in 2011, there were 75 accident fatalities, according to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). Broward County was no better off. The county saw nearly 100 traffic fatalities through July 2012, compared to 85 during the same time in 2011.

According to News Channel 5, if these numbers keep increasing at the current pace, both counties will exceed the number of fatalities reported last year, with about 100 in Palm Beach County and more than 130 in Broward County.

Our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys understand that the numbers are only expected to get worse. Federal officials are expecting an increase with the tourist season and with the improvement of the economy. Safe driving advocates also credit the lack of distracted driving laws in the state of Florida for so many car accident fatalities.

“We need to attack driver distraction like we did with DUI and seat belts,” said Lt. Tim Frith with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP).

In the state of Florida, drivers can use their cell phones and other electronic devices while driving and not worry about getting a traffic ticket. Numerous officials have tried to get these kinds of laws passed, but thus far without success. One of the most recent attempts was from state Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, who lost his 14-year-old daughter in one of these accidents back in ’96.

From 2006 through 2010, the number of traffic accident fatalities in Broward County dropped by about 30 percent, falling from more than 250 to just below 180. The number of these fatalities in Palm Beach County dropped by more than 40 percent as well — from over 210 to less than 125.

As gas prices drop and the economy improves, more residents are hitting the road. According to Trenda McPherson, a manager in the Florida Department of Transportation’s Safety Office, people weren’t driving as much through the economic downturn.

The number of vehicle miles traveled actually declined from 2007 on, until we hit 2010, when they jumped from about 43,260,000 miles to more than 43,290,000 in Broward County. That’s a lot more miles, a lot more risks and a lot more accidents.