March is deadliest month for drivers, data shows

Jacksonville tops list for deadly crashes statewide

Distracted driving is a never-ending issue nationwide, and incidents in Florida continue to rise.

New data shows that March is the deadliest month to drive in the Sunshine State, and Jacksonville tops the list of deadly crashes statewide.

The number of deadly crashes in Jacksonville surpasses Miami and Tampa, which round out the top three on the list.

News4JAX looked at the state’s nearly 9,000 deadly crashes from 2018 to 2020, which is the most recent data available on the website Money Geek.

Distracted driving was involved in 726 of the total deadly car crashes in Florida during that time period.

In Duval County, 80 deaths were from distracted driving.

Analysts saw a 14% rise in distracted driving statewide in 2020 from 2019.

The total number of deaths from car crashes in Duval County is also the highest in the state. A total of 488 people died from 2018 to 2020.

Analysts believe more people moving to Florida could be one of the reasons for the uptick in crashes.

“Florida is experiencing a huge population boom,” Melody Kasulis, a data analyst for Money Geek, said. “It is the fastest growing state in terms of population in the country. You can see practically why distracted driving might be more of an issue. We got more folks on the road. More people are moving here. The prevalence of cellphone usage while driving. I think that probably paints the picture about why distracted driving is on the rise.”

To lower these numbers, Florida enacted a hands-free law in 2019, citing and arresting drivers caught texting behind the wheel. The law went into effect in 2020.

About the Authors:

Amanda DeVoe joined the News4JAX team in March 2022 as a morning news and traffic anchor

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.