Officials warn of distracted drivers during peak holiday travel time

Police say you shouldn’t just be worried about drunk drivers during peak holiday travel time, people on their phones also pose a threat.

"People need to realize how dangerous this is, this is just as bad as driving impaired," said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes.

Officials say Orange County leads the state in distracted driving crashes with just over 5,500 in 2015. More than 3,000 of those left someone hurt and in 12 crashes there was a death.

"We know that of the crashes that are occurring, many more are occurring because somebody is distracted and usually that has to do with somebody using a phone," Montes explained.

For troopers, what you see isn't always enough evidence to make a case. We all see plenty of drivers looking away from the road for a bit, but there's no way to be sure of what they're doing. Texting or typing is cause for a citation but only if the driver's already been pulled over for something else. An attempt to change that in the legislature was defeated.

Troopers will still be looking for those who break the law this week and your phone could become evidence if something bad happens.

"Drivers need to remember that they are responsible for driving their car and we can subpoena their cell phone and that just helps us build a case," Montes said.

Nationwide, traffic fatalities spiked in the first six months of 2016.