Summer is just around the corner, which means Florida families will get in the car soon for road trips to explore their beautiful state.
They will also be planning visits to see extended family and friends both near and far from home. The troubling part of this is that according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Summer is the deadliest season to be on U.S. roadways.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that June, July, and August have almost 30% more deaths than the standard Winter driving months of December-February.
That is a significant number considering most people associate poor weather conditions to more car crashes. The data proves, however, that Summer driving sees younger (inexperienced) drivers on the road and more miles traveled. This is what the NHTSA believes leads to those higher statistical rates.
Staying home all Summer long for fear of a car accident isn’t realistic, so the best way to prevent a roadway accident is to take your own precautions. Part of these precautions is knowing what roadways have notoriously lead to traffic crashes, and how you can either avoid them or plan to tackle those roads with extra care and attention.
Most Dangerous Roadways in and Around Tampa Bay and Clearwater
Interstate 4 – This highway is the thoroughfare between Daytona Beach and Tampa. According to data analysis by EverQuote, Interstate 4 is the most dangerous of all the roadways in our area. This result was concluded by the number of crashes and fatalities per mile on this stretch of road. The study uncovered that over a 6-year period, there were 1.41 fatalities per mile on this highway which connects from I-275 in Tampa to the Daytona Beach I-95. This 132-miles of roadway has been named in the top 10 of the most dangerous highways in the country, for the past 8 years.
Brandon Boulevard – From Falkenburg Road to approximately the intersection of Dover Road, you’ll find the most crash-worthy section of roadway in Tampa. According to “Vision Zero” a campaign for safer driving, this 7-mile stretch has an average of 25 crashes per mile.
Gibsonton Drive – From Boyette Road and Interstate 75 to Balm Riverview Road, tends to be the most dangerous for those on motorcycles or who make left turns. Visual obstructions, high speeds, and aggressive driving have been linked to this area in particular.
Hillsborough Avenue – This stretch of road that runs to Longboat Boulevard and Florida Avenue has been linked to 19.8 crashes per mile. Just one more area you’ll want to pay more attention to when cruising that portion of highway.
Fletcher Avenue – From Armenia Avenue to 50th Street, this area is known for more pedestrian-related accidents due to new crosswalks that aren’t ideal. Accidents aren’t always with other vehicles but can often be with those walking or biking. In fact, central Florida was named one of the deadliest places to be a pedestrian.
Dale Mabry Highway – In the section between Hillsborough Avenue to Bearss Avenue you’ll find pedestrian issues, lack of bike lanes and a lot of turning crash incidents. Chances are, a lack of proper signaling and fast speeds are attributed to many of these accidents.
What About The Worst Roads in Florida?
If you’re traveling outside of Tampa, this Summer you’ll want to pay close attention to some of these roads when exploring your state.
Interstate 95 – This may not come as a shock to you if you’ve been on the roadway near Miami. This stretch of road actually runs from Miami to Houlton Maine and is over 1,90 miles. According to data, there are .89 fatalities per stretch of road, which might not seem high, but given it’s over 1,000-miles, it ranks the 5th deadliest in the country.
Interstate 10 – In Florida, you’ll find this roadway running through the Panhandle to Jacksonville. However, did you know that this stretch of road runs all the way to Santa Monica California? There are 2,460 miles of road on Interstate 10 and .85 crashes on it per mile, making it the 7th most dangerous road in America.
You can read more about the rest of the list by heading to the Tampa Bay Times website, which has even more roadway dangers you will want to be aware of this Summer.
How to Avoid Car Accidents this Summer
Before we give you our top tips for avoiding a car accident this Summer, we feel compelled to offer the number one tip for saving your life while on the road. It’s the advice you’ve heard over and over again, but worth stating again. Wear your seat belt. 47% of accident victims in 2017, died because they weren’t properly restrained. And 87% of accident victims in 2018, were saved because they were wearing a seat belt.
- Pause on a Green Light – Before you press your gas pedal, pause before you head into the intersection. Red light runners can cause devastating damage to you and your vehicle which could impact you for years. Take a moment to look at all directions of the intersection before making your way across the road.
- Avoid the Fast Lane – Most car accidents happen in the far left lane of highways, partially due to speed and also because there are fewer ways to escape a potential problem. Use the lane to pass, but otherwise, stay in the center or right lanes to avoid car accidents. On the upside, you’ll be less of a target for the highway patrol.
- Scan Your Driving Bubble – We often hear, “keep your eyes on the road,” but that is really only part of the task of driving safely. You will want to check well ahead of you as well as scan your mirrors and blind spots often, to avoid being the victim of someone else’s carelessness.
- Get in Race car Driver Position – Have you ever noticed how race car drivers sit close to the steering wheel of their cars? Have you ever wondered or considered why? Race Car drivers sit close to their steering wheels because they have more control of their vehicles and can make faster movements with better reaction times. Also, they experience less fatigue when they can rest their arms closer to the wheel rather than holding them in an extended position.
- Understand Your Vehicle’s Capabilities and Limits – You and your car need to have a bit of a ‘relationship’ to ensure your safety on the road. This means you’ll want to know both the limitations and capabilities of your vehicle to avoid potential roadway incidents. If your car is older and might have some mechanical issues, you might opt to rent a car for your next road trip. On the other side, if you have a higher performing vehicle knowing how it accelerates, brakes and maneuvers will be helpful as you navigate busy Summer traffic.
- Opt for Daylight – While traveling at night might mean less traffic and a shorter trip, we suggest traveling during the day. There are more accident hazards at night, and people tend to be more fatigued in general. If anything, wake up earlier to get in several hours before a good substantial lunch break. Also, make frequent rest stops to stretch and get your blood pumping to ward off exhaustion and boredom.
If you have experienced a car accident recently and think you may need legal guidance, call the Law Office of Michael R. Herron to learn more about your legal rights. You can call or connect with us online to set up a free evaluation of your case.