There are over 20,000 car accidents in Florida every year. Preliminary counts of South Florida traffic deaths in 2015 suggest a sharp increase. In Palm Beach County, for example, The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles counted a 29 percent increase in the first six months of the years to the first six months of 2014 – 102 deaths versus 79 deaths. Motor vehicle fatalities in Florida were also up 29 percent and nationally, up 14 percent.
There is of course the growing element of distraction now that most every driver has access to their own person computer at all times via their smart phone. But there is something else going on, researchers say.
We are now at the tail end of what has been one of the longest roads to economic recovery since the end of WW II. The labor market has improved. Unemployment is down. So are gas prices. This has meant people have more money in their pocket. More freedom to take a trip. More incentive to take a private vehicle rather than opt for public transportation or bicycling. In turn, there are more vehicles on the road and a higher likelihood of traffic deaths. Continue reading