We have all seen the nightmare images of backed-up traffic in Los Angeles. It is no wonder, then, that L.A. leads the nation in stressed drivers. A new survey, however, indicates that the city with the second most stressed drivers is right here in South Florida. A recent survey commissioned by Robert Half says that next to Los Angeles, Miami has the most stressed drivers in the country. If you have spent any time on the roads and freeways around the Miami area, this may not be a surprise to you.
Miami drivers are some of the most stressed in the nation. How does our infrastructure contribute to our woes, and what are the implications of driver aggression for all motorists?
Why are we so stressed on the roads here, and how are stressed drivers impacting the safety of our roads? What can we do about these aggressive drivers, and what is our recourse should we be injured in an accident due to the actions of an overly stressed driver?
Factors Contributing to Stressed Drivers
There are a variety of factors likely contributing to driver stress in South Florida. When combined, these factors can lead to full-blown road rage.
Constant Construction – The Miami-Dade area's growing population is leading to new housing developments, more traffic, more road construction, and more congestion. Our infrastructure is stressed trying to keep up with the growth. Orange barrels seem to be everywhere and everyone wants to be at the head of the line. Drivers have a mental clock running as they head toward their destination, and as that clock ticks away, stress levels can rise.
Heavy Rains and Winds - Especially during the summer, heavy rains and wind can seem to appear out of nowhere in South Florida. While some drivers are content maintaining their speed during these heavy showers, others feel the need to slow significantly or even turn on the flashers, causing further confusion. The different ways people react to these heavy rains in traffic can create a white-knuckle drive.
Different Driving Styles – Miami roads are filled with drivers from throughout the world. These drivers bring different driving styles and attitudes. Those from the Midwest may be more relaxed, while those from the major cities of the Northeast may be more aggressive. We have drivers from Europe and South America and visitors on vacation driving unfamiliar cars. Far too often drivers have little patience for those who don't drive like they do.
Lack of Sufficient Public Transportation – Miami's attempts at public transportation have fallen short of expectations leaving few viable alternatives to driving. This leads to more cars on the road, equating to yet more stress. Light rail and express lanes have had little effect on resolving the stressful conditions on our roads.
Length of Commuting Time - While commuting times in cities like Washington, DC, and San Francisco typically approach an hour daily, Miami drivers also spend significant time on their daily commutes. Research shows that Miami drivers spend 49 minutes and 16 seconds each day on their commute. This ranks Miami as the city with the 13th longest commuting time in the nation. This is a significant amount of time to spend in a vehicle, which also adds to our stress.
We're the Crossroads of Southeast Florida – With Interstates 95, 75, 195, 495, and 595, people are coming into the city at freeway speeds. When traffic slows due to congestion, accidents, or construction, this is a great source of stress for many drivers. Add in the many special events the city hosts, like art shows, sporting events, concerts, and theater performances, and you have a recipe for frustration.
Acceptance of Road Rage – Sadly, road rage has become so common in South Florida, it is almost accepted as normal behavior. It is not, however. Road rage is dangerous and unacceptable behavior. When stress leads to aggressive driving and road rage and that aggressiveness leads to an accident or personal injury, the driver can and should be held accountable. Until these dangerous drivers are held financially accountable, the problem will likely only get worse.
If you've been involved in an automobile accident and sustained injuries due to the actions of an aggressive driver, Stabinski Law can help you seek compensation for those injuries through a personal injury claim. Perhaps best of all, it will cost you nothing to see if we can be of assistance.
If you have any questions about this topic or believe that someone else’s negligence or recklessness is responsible for your injuries, the attorneys at Stabinski Law can help. For 45 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless personal injury victims and their families throughout South Florida. We offer risk-free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf. Contact us today by calling 305-964-8644 or filling out a free case evaluation form to find out how we can help you.