Just a few years ago, the 382-mile stretch of Interstate 95 located in Florida was rated as the deadliest highway in the country. Using data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, investigators determined that, between 2004 and 2008, the Florida span of I-95 had 1.73 fatal accidents per mile. To the west, the 1.7 miles of the Palmetto Expressway between 41st Street and the Dolphin Expressway was identified last year by the American Highway Users Alliance as the 20th worst bottleneck in the nation, resulting in 1.4 million hours lost annually to “delay.” Such congestion is often accompanied by high crash rates due to impatient or reckless drivers.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Help yourself on Florida’s roadways by:
- Staying focused – pay attention to your driving.
- Staying alert – don’t drive while drowsy or under the influence of alcohol.
- Driving defensively – be aware of other drivers and try to anticipate their decisions to reduce your crash risk.
- Not speeding – higher speeds make it harder to control your vehicle.
- Maintaining a safe following distance – the three- to four-second rule works well in good weather and normal traffic. Increase for other conditions.
Another bit of road in Miami-Dade County has earned some unflattering nicknames stemming from its reputation for fatal accidents. Dangerous drivers seem to flock to the narrow, poorly lit Krome Avenue – better known as “Killer Krome” or “Deadly Krome” – while more cautious drivers have been known to go out of their way to avoid the road whenever possible. As if that isn’t bad enough, the intersection of Flamingo Road and Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines once had the dubious distinction of being named the most dangerous intersection in the United States. A juncture in Pennsylvania was rated first in a newer study of dangerous intersections due to seven fatal crashes over a decade. Although there were 11 runners-up that had experienced six fatal incidents over the same 10-year period, only Florida had multiple runners-up, taking five spots with intersections in Astor, Orlando, Kissimmee, Frostproof, and Hialeah Gardens.
These studies and statistics barely scratch the complicated surface behind vehicle accidents in South Florida. For one, the large number of tourists navigating unfamiliar roads combine with increasing populations to generate traffic congestion that can bring out the worst in people. Aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating, speeding, lane weaving, ignoring traffic control devices, and failing to use directional lights contribute to an unsafe atmosphere and can result in accidents. Drivers also have been known to make bad decisions by choosing to get behind the wheel when they are tired, intoxicated, or distracted. In other situations, drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists find themselves at the mercy of poor road design such as at intersections that have complicated layouts, lack signs, have discontinuous sidewalks, or are not adequately lit.
Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System reports that Miami-Dade had the highest county crash rate in 2015, with 63,450 traffic crashes injuring 32,742 people and killing 339. Broward County saw the second highest number of incidents, with 38,409 crashes that injured 16,072 people and killed 221. Within the state, there were approximately 374,340 crashes last year, resulting in 243,316 people injured and 2,939 fatalities.
Whether you were a motorist, passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist, if you have been hurt in a vehicle accident, the attorneys at Stabinski & Funt, P.A. can help. For 45 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless traffic collision victims, and we are highly experienced in handling a wide range of auto and truck accident cases throughout South Florida. We also work on a contingency basis, which means that if there is no recovery, there is no fee or cost to you. If you wish to learn more about how our firm can be of assistance to you, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation by calling 305-643-3100 or filling out a case evaluation form.