Why is Tampa Bay a Hot Spot for Car Accidents?

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By Marcus Fernandez

The Tampa Bay area has once again been ranked as one of the fastest growing places to live in the United States. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay, Florida, also ranks as the seventh deadliest metropolitan area in the nation in terms of pedestrian fatalities; and the city of Tampa took 31st place on a list of cities with the worst drivers.

The city also ranked in fourth place when compared to other cities in terms of the number of accidents. Here is a closer look at the report and how you can avoid injury to yourself and others.

How did Tampa make the list of cities with the worst drivers?

A popular insurance comparison platform publishes the results of an annual analysis it conducts of insurance quotes for drivers in 70 U.S. cities. It compared drivers in each city based on the following factors: 

  • Accidents. 
  • Speeding violations. 
  • Driving under the influence. 
  • Other traffic violations. 

Tampa with its overall rank of 31 out of 35 cities scored as follows in each of the four factors used to compare motorists: 

  • Accident Rank: Fourth place. 
  • DUI Rank: 37th place. 
  • Speeding Rank: 46th place. 
  • Other Violations Rank: 44th place. 

By comparison, Miami, Florida, with an overall rank of 32 out of 35 as far as having the worst drivers in the country, had the following rankings for each of the four factors: 

  • Accident Rank: Third place. 
  • DUI Rank: 58th place. 
  • Speeding Rank: Ninth place. 
  • Other Violations Rank: 64th place. 

The report refers to nationwide data that an insurance company compiled about accident frequency. It concluded that on average, drivers in the U.S. stay accident free for 10 years. Tampa drivers appear to be less safety conscious with a collision every 8.5 years on average. This put the city at 105 out of 200 cities in the country in terms of accident frequency.

Officials create plans to reduce accidents and fatalities

Officials in Hillsborough County created a Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities on roadways throughout the county. Tampa officials have a similar initiative underway that targets roads and traffic accidents within the city.

The county, which is further along with its Vision Zero initiative, identified local road improvement projects to make streets safer for motorists, bikers and pedestrians. The projects at roads throughout the Tampa Bay region and the rest of the county include installation of crosswalks, improved traffic control devices and additional street lighting.

Proactive law enforcement is featured in both the city and county initiatives. The goal is to have all police agencies engage in high visibility enforcement targeting offenses affecting road safety, including DUI and speeding.

Make yourself a better driver

You can do your part to make Tampa Bay safer by improving your driving behavior. Start with by making the following tips part of your driving routine: 

  • Avoid distractions. Instead of multitasking, make driving your only task when behind the wheel and on the road. Put your cellphone away when you get into your car until you reach your destination or park. According to the NHTSA, it takes only 1.5 seconds for your car to travel 121feet when driving at 55 mph. Glancing at your cellphone or turning to scold your child seated behind you takes your eyes and attention off the road long enough to cause an accident. 
  • Slow down. When you drive faster than the posted speed limit, you have less time to react to other vehicles, pedestrians and road hazards. 
  • Drive defensively. Be aware of where you are in relation to other vehicles and try to anticipate the actions of other drivers. Following other vehicles too closely, commonly referred to as “tailgating,” leaves little to no time to react to a sudden stop or other maneuver by the car in front of you. 
  • Plan trips. Leave enough time to get to your destination to avoid feeling as though you must drive faster to get there on time. Allow time on longer trips for frequent stops that allow you to take a break from driving. 
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. Driving while impaired is not only illegal, but it is a contributing factor to causing accidents on Florida roads. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, of the 239,026 crashes so far this year, 2,896 of them involved the use of alcohol. Drugs were the cause of 208 accidents, and a combination of drugs and alcohol led to 94 of the crashes. 

You cannot control the actions of other motorists. However, improving your own driving behavior makes you a better and safer driver.

Contact us when you need a personal injury lawyer

Your best efforts to be a safe and courteous driver may not be enough to avoid injury. A consultation with a Tampa car accident lawyer at Kinney, Fernandez, and Boire provides sound legal advice and practical options. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.