Risk of holiday traffic fatalities begins winter driving season in South Florida

Fifty-six people were killed in Florida car accidents over the holidays, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys frequently report on the high risk of car accidents faced by South Florida motorists. Florida joins Texas and California as the states with the most fatal traffic accidents each year. And Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are the most dangerous areas in the state.

Reducing the risk of drunk driving accidents in West Palm Beach and elsewhere in South Florida remained a priority through the holidays. The Florida Highway Patrol reported arresting 474 people on drunk driving charges. In all, the patrol issued 40,677 citations through the 19-day holiday enforcement period.

“Our troopers worked hard to help our residents and visitors have a safe and enjoyable holiday period,” said Col. John Czernis. “Motorists who operate their vehicles in an unsafe fashion are a danger that puts innocent lives at risk. The men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol did their part to identify the unsafe drivers and take the steps necessary to decrease that risk.”

But the holiday driving season often just signals the beginning of the risk for Florida motorists. While we do not have to deal with the winter weather gripping most of the rest of the nation, the increased traffic wrought by tourists and winter residents is challenge enough to increase the risk of being involved in a serious or fatal car accident.

In fact, state accident statistics in 2009 show that the number of crashes in Florida peaked at 21,599 in March. April and May contained the next-highest number of crashes. Fatalities also peaked in March, at 224.

The patrol is also reminding motorists of the state’s Move Over law, which requires vehicles to slow down and/or move over when approaching stopped emergency vehicles with activated flashing lights.

Aggressive drivers or suspected drunk drivers can be reported to the patrol by calling *FHP (*347) on your cell phone.