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Traffic Accidents Resulting in Death — Crashes Increase in Palm Beach County


It can happen to any one of us, almost anywhere and usually it is over within seconds. We sometimes have no control over it and it can cause us and our loved ones untold injury.

It is an automobile accident and the incidences of them in Palm Beach County are back on the rise after years of decline.

Between 2006 and 2011, deaths from traffic crashes had declined by 46%, falling from 212 to 123. In 2012, however, Palm beach County saw 136 vehicle accident related deaths; an increase of 17% over 2011.

Is it because people in Palm Beach County were out and about more in 2012 than in 2011? The statistics say no.

Lt. Tim Frith, with the Florida Highway Patrol, offered an explanation born from thousands of miles travelled on Palm Beach County roads:

“We see distracted driving changing people’s driving habits,” he said. “It’s prevalent during the day and it has the characteristics of a DUI driver — driving a lot slower, tapping the breaks. When we pull alongside them, they are trying to text or talking on the cell phone.”

Based on scientific studies, we know the human brain cannot multi-task and too many multiple functions are required just to drive your car down the street. Add to those responsibilities texting while driving and the many other distractions we have all witnessed at one time or another:

  • Speaking to or taking care of other passengers in the car
  • Internal distractions such as retrieving dropped objects
  • Manipulating radios and dashboard controls.
  • Personal hygiene activities best left in the bathroom (shaving with a razor, applying makeup or other personal hygiene-related actions)
  • Eating or drinking while driving.
  • Rubbernecking, sightseeing or taking your eyes off the road to watch someone or something else.
  • Singing, dancing, air guitar or aerobics.
  • Smoking
  • Distracting thoughts or daydreaming.

We also know, as Lt. Frith pointed out, that texting while driving is the equivalent of drunk driving or driving wearing a blind fold.


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