Distracted driving is being blamed.
Palm Beach County traffic deaths went up for the first time since 2006.
New numbers from the Florida Highway Patrol show deaths went up from 116 in 2011 to 136 last year. That's a 17 percent increase, and state troopers say distracted driving is a big reason.
FHP reports that folks who are texting behind the wheel, or engaging in some other type of distraction behind the wheel display some of the same characteristics of a drunk driver. This includes driving slower and tapping the brakes frequently.
The increase in traffic deaths is also becoming a trend across the state. Troopers say part of the problem is that there are no laws against distracted driving on the books in Florida, though we have reported on at least three texting and driving bills that are waiting to be heard by the Florida legislature.