FHP works to curb rise of traffic fatalities in Central Florida

By Bailey Myers, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, January 11, 2018, 5:26 PM EST

There were at least three fatal crashes in Central Florida last night. Now the Florida Highway Patrol is worried this could be a continuation of a trend seen in 2017, a year which saw the most fatal crashes in over a decade.

  • Spike in fatal crashes in 2017, FHP says
  • 11 fatal crashes in Orlando area so far in 2018
  • Bad weather, speed, alcohol factors in crashes, says Sgt. Montes

"We saw a huge spike in 2017. Especially in unincorporated Orange County. FHP investigated 127 fatal crashes. We haven't seen numbers that high since 2004," said Sgt. Kim Montes with the Florida Highway Patrol.

While the spike of deadly crashes last year was alarming, the numbers in 2018 aren't much better.

So far, in the first 11 days of this year, there have been 11 fatal crashes investigated in our area. That's up from eight during the same time period last year.

Now the Florida Highway Patrol is looking for ways to stop the rising trend.

"We are evaluating our crashes from 2017 to try to see where we are going to focus our enforcement efforts in 2018 to try and decrease some of those crashes," Montes explained.

Montes said bad weather, increased speed and alcohol are all common factors in crashes.

However, last year they saw a major uptick in pedestrian fatalities. Preliminary data shows there were 59 fatal crashes involving pedestrians in 2017, up from 49 in 2016.

"We lose several hundred people here to traffic crashes. If we had murders at those rates I think people would be outraged,” Montes said. “We need to wake up every day and realize that we could be involved in a crash and someone could die and we need to take that more seriously."

Courtesy: Florida Highway Patrol