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Crashes up 23% in Palm Beach County from 2020

'Nobody has any patience anymore,' says driving instructor
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 20:59:27-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — When driving school instructor Frank Cantor steps outside his office on Lantana Drive, he sees drivers who seem careless about safety or courtesy.  

He pointed out to Contact 5 the violations he sees by the cars used for student drivers.  

“No turn signal right here, that guy,” he said pointing out a speeding driver switching lanes. “People tailgate, that car right here.”  

And he’s not surprised crashes are up.  

“On this road? I’ve seen them go 70,” said Cantor noting the speed limit is 45.  

In the first year of the pandemic in Palm Beach County, traffic deaths were up 14% over pre-pandemic levels.  

Traffic fatalities dropped in 2021, but overall crashes were up 23% over 2020.  

“Nobody has any patience anymore,” Cantor noted. “And they show it out on the road. And especially with COVID, we’re living in a tough world.”  

Cars, pickups, and SUVs may be made tougher than ever.  

But Cantor said crash deaths are too frequent because drivers are more aggressive and careless.  

As a result, he’s added these bright yellow warning signs that read “Keep Back,” on the trunks of his fleet of driver’s education cars.  

“Because people were tailgating, and not expecting the kid to hit the brake as often. And every vehicle I had this put on,” Cantor said pointing to the “Keep Back” sign, “Because that, [the sign that reads ‘Student Driver’] wasn’t enough.”  

Cantor said we are driving on roads that are more dangerous, and he has this advice:  

  • Drive defensively  
  • Be ready to react quickly to drivers who might cut us off  
  • Let aggressive speeders pass
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