Lethal month for SWFL drivers with nine lives lost on the roadways

Reporter: Anika Henanger
It has been a deadly December on the road. Photo via WINK News.
It has been a deadly December on the road. Photo via WINK News.

Nine crashes have claimed the lives of Southwest Florida drivers this month.

“That’s super scary for me,” Tonya Laster said.

December turned downright dangerous and we still have several days left.

“There’s a couple people that I have known that have been in accidents,” Tonya said. “They’ve been fatal.”

That is why Tonya and her dad, James, took a break from the road Thursday just as the nasty weather rolled in.

“It’s been really crazy,” Tonya said. “I can feel my car moving in the win. I’m kind of moving in the wind just walking.”

Pedestrians are not immune. Just Tuesday night, a bicyclist was struck and killed in Cape Coral.

“We also need to be the eyes for other people, bicyclists, pedestrians,” Stephen Emerson said, an owner of a driving school.

The number of deaths this year is alarming.

“I make sure I’m paying attention that I don’t get distracted,” James Laster said.

And playing defense.

“You have to be sort of like a defensive driver,” James said.

What James said he is putting practice as southwest Florida’s population and traffic seem to grow.

“We’ve been here all our lives, so we noticed a change,” James said. “Noticed a change with the traffic, plus the city’s growing.”

Stephen said the lethal crashes should not grow with it.

But some peak holiday driving times, from December 23rd to the day after new years, is fast approaching.

Lee County saw 290 crashes from 2014 to 2017, during those peak times.

“People are visiting from all over the world,” Stephen said. “They’re not familiar with the roads; they’re relying on GPS’es and/or they’re distracted.”

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