ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A new study out by Quote Wizard says traffic fatalities in New York State are up 11% so far in 2022. News 8 spoke with the Sheriff’s Office and AAA on what’s behind this, and they agree that much of it comes down to driver inattention.

Post-pandemic, more Americans are hitting the roadways and making up for the lost time. Lt. Peter Zambuto with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says the more traffic, the more accidents.

On top of that, everyone seems to be in a rush. 

“We live in a world where everything has to be done right now. I think we’re losing a little bit of patience. People just need to slow down, and plan a bit ahead,” Zambuto said.

And it can be a distracted hurry at that. “Don’t use your cell phones while driving. You see people driving down the road shaving or putting on lipstick,” he said.

Mike Formanowicz, a AAA Driver Training Manager, agrees. “The number one cause of crashes — it’s been this way for years, is driver inattention,” he said.

Formanowicz says driving is a full-time task. “Any attention you take away from the process of driving, is going to cause distractions.”

“He was an honor student, just an easy kid to raise and a blessing to us,” said Irondequoit resident Patrick Lynch of his late son, Michael.

In 2017, Michael was walking to school and tried to cross the street. He was struck by a car and later died. He’s making a plea for all motorists to obey posted speed limits.

Patrick Lynch talks to News 8 about the day his son was struck. (News 8 WROC Photo / Christian Garzone)

“This road is posted now during school commute times down to 20 (MPH), which still gives somebody being hit a fighting chance of survival. The day Michael was hit, it was 35 all day every day,” he said.

Zambuto says to please look out for youngsters as they head back to the classroom, and watch for those school buses. “And again watch for those kids crossing the roads in front,” he said.