Distracted driving blamed for rise in traffic deaths, injuries

Florida sees 9.1 percent increase in collisions

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Transportation Department has released new data, showing an increase in the number of  traffic deaths in the United States.

Authorities said the deaths from traffic collisions spiked 10.4 percent in the first six months of this year.

Auto insurers believe drivers who text behind the wheel or use smartphone apps are a big factor in the increase.

According to the Transportation Department, collisions rose 9.1 percent in Florida from 2014 to 2016.

Experts said other factors have also lead to the boost in traffic deaths, including failure to wear seat belts and drunken drivers.

Anchor Matt Austin recently required 10 staples in his head after being hit by a distracted driver, and now News 6 is fighting to get tougher distracted-driving laws enacted. Read more about that effort here