PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Master Sergeant Ron Livingston with Florida Highway Patrol joined News 13’s Kimber Collins for a talk about traffic control on Memorial Day Weekend across the Panhandle.
Livingston spoke on the most common accidents that occur during a busy holiday weekend.
“The majority of it is either distracted driving speed, people not taking the time to the extra time allotted that they need to get to their destinations,” said Livingston.
Livingston said they have more than 6,400 accidents each year on Memorial Day weekend.
“That’s statewide, you know, a variety with serious bodily injuries, some with death involved, some with just minor injuries. So our focus is trying to get those numbers down,” said Livingston.
FHP is working this weekend to lower DUIs in the area.
“We have a mass focus on trying to make sure that we can deter as much DUI as possible out here. We ask people to use other alternatives to get home or get to their destination. Whether that’s Lyft, Uber, a taxi, or whatever that you can use to get out here and get to your destination without driving,” said Livingston.
Livingston said they have as many patrol units on the roads this Memorial Weekend as they can.
“Obviously we have a mass influx of crashes, so you know, we try to put as much focus as we can out here to try to deter distracted driving,” said Livingston.
We’ve already seen road rage this weekend in Panama City. Livingston gave steps or tips drivers should take if they find themselves in an irritated driving situation.
“Stay calm and take the first exit you can. Pull into a parking lot somewhere that’s highly occupied. Get on the phone and call 911 but do not get entangled in an argument with another driver. It’s going to go South either way, Try to keep as calm as possible and try to get off the road or pull off onto another Street, let that person go, and then get back on your way,” said Livingston.
Regardless of your destination, the roads will be paved. Livingston said to plan for extra time when driving.
“Leave earlier, make sure that you have plenty of time to get to your destination. That way you’re not stuck in traffic too long and you’re not having to speed to get to where you need to go, Please put your cell phone down and don’t text and drive. But the biggest thing is to make sure you have allotted enough time to get to your destination,” said Livingston.