According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department, Florida constantly aims to create safer roads for its residents. Unfortunately, focusing on that safety does not necessarily mean that Florida residents will not suffer substantial injuries in an auto accident.
How often do Florida residents and visitors suffer accidents? According to the FLHSMV, around 341,999 crashes involving 569,182 drivers occur throughout the state each year. About 12,462 of those accidents result in incapacitating injuries.
Tampa has its own set of motor vehicle accident statistics. Because Tampa continues to multiply—and was named one of the top fastest-growing cities in America in a recent year—it may lack the road infrastructure needed to safely support the number of people who come through the area. Tampa also sees lots of tourist traffic: more than 30 million people may visit the Tampa area each year.
Tampa Medical Help Following a Motor Vehicle Accident
In Tampa, EMS takes an estimated 5.9 minutes to respond to an accident. However, it may take two and a half hours for first responders to get the injured individual to a medical care center. Across the rest of Florida, the average response time hovers around 7.4 minutes, but it may take a little less time to get injured people to the hospital.
Seeking medical help, and receiving prompt medical attention, can prove critical after a Tampa motor vehicle accident. Prompt medical attention can make a huge difference in a patient’s recovery, especially patients who may have suffered severe injuries. Patients with massive bleeding, brain injuries, or significant internal damage may require prompt medical attention to reduce the overall risk of an accident.
When Do Tampa Accidents Occur Most Frequently?
Accidents may occur more frequently in March throughout the Tampa area than in any other month. June and February, by contrast, have slightly lower accident levels.
Accidents across Tampa occur more often in the evening than in the morning. Weekend days see a more significant overall prevalence of accidents, with Sunday seeing the most accidents each week. Mondays also see a higher-than-usual number of accidents, with an increased number of morning accidents on Mondays.
The Most Dangerous Intersections and Locations in Tampa
The Tampa area offers several draws that make it an attractive location for visitors and residents alike. Unfortunately, the area also has several unsafe areas where accident risk may increase considerably.
U.S. Highway 19
While U.S. 19 offers a convenient route throughout the Tampa area, it may also offer a significant hazard. In addition to containing multiple dangerous intersections where accidents occur regularly, U.S. 19 has multiple lanes of traffic that often become congested, particularly early in the morning or in the afternoon during commute time.
While S.R. 60 offers plenty of crossing opportunities for pedestrians, it does not have significant bike infrastructure, leading to a high number of bicycle collisions throughout the area. S.R. 60’s heavy traffic makes it difficult to change lanes or turn, increasing overall accident risk for pedestrians and cyclists.
U.S.-92 and I-275 Intersection
The U.S. 92 and I-275 intersection sees several severe crashes each year. The intersection involves multiple lanes of traffic crossing from both directions, bike lanes, and a high degree of pedestrian traffic, all of which can spell a recipe for disaster. The intersection sees 530 collisions per year, seven frequently severe.
Avoiding dangerous intersections and other dangerous areas in Tampa can help reduce your severe accident risk, but it may not eliminate it. Crashes can occur anywhere, including neighborhood roads.
Reasons Why Tampa May Face a High Number of Accidents Each Year
The Tampa area often draws attention due to the number of car accidents and other collisions faced throughout the area. Tampa may see a high degree of accidents for several key reasons.
Tampa’s population continues to grow rapidly.
Over the past several years, Tampa’s population growth has exceeded its ability to keep up with road infrastructure and other basic needs of a growing population. As the city grows, with more jobs opening up, the roads become increasingly crowded.
Crowded roads mean more opportunities for accidents in general. They can mean significantly increased driver frustration, which may increase the risk of road rage, distracted driving, or reckless behavior on the road.
Tampa sees a great deal of tourist traffic each year.
The Tampa area remains a powerful draw for many vacationers who want to spend time in the Tampa Bay area. Tourists, however, can raise accident risk, and they mean more people filling the streets of Tampa. Not only that, tourists often have less familiarity with the area in general, raising the risk that they will cause a collision.
Furthermore, tourists may prove more likely to engage in unsafe behaviors out on the road.
Tampa residents often have long commute times.
Average commute times in Tampa hover around 25 minutes, and this hovers around the average commute time around the United States, which sits around 27 minutes. However, that long commute time often means increased frustration for drivers out on the road. The more time drivers spend on the road, the more they may grow frustrated, and the greater the likelihood that they will engage in road rage and other reckless behaviors.
The United States Census Bureau notes that travel time continues to increase across the United States as the population grows, particularly in many areas. However, increasing commute length can also cause other problems for many drivers, including an increased risk of car accidents.
Distracted driving can pose a serious problem for many Tampa drivers.
Distracted driving causes substantial problems for many divers across the country. As the number of people on Tampa streets increases, distracted driving can pose an even more substantial problem.
Many Tampa drivers get distracted as they spend long periods on the road, and they may also have a hard time keeping focus during traffic jams. Unexpected traffic snarls can also cause many drivers to grow more distracted. They may take their eyes off the road and try to send a message to notify someone else of unexpectedly late arrival.
Road rage can create more traffic snarls and greater accident potential for Tampa drivers.
Road rage continues to rise across the United States, and Tampa drivers do not find themselves immune to the condition. With stress levels high in many areas, Tampa drivers may struggle to control their frustration when they encounter snarls on the road. Drivers engaging in road rage may show aggressive driving behaviors and prove more likely to speed.
Speeding can raise accident risk.
Speeding can occur for a variety of reasons. Often, drivers choose to speed because they think they can get to their destinations faster. In other cases, they may try to make up for lost time, including that they got out late. Speeding may substantially raise overall accident risk and create the potential for more serious injuries. Unfortunately, many Tampa drivers continue to speed, particularly on U.S. 90.
Poor weather conditions can interfere with driver capability.
While Tampa sees more sunny days than average per year, it also sees more rain than the U.S. average. As a result, Tampa residents and visitors may see heavy rainfall, which increases the risk of a serious collision. Rain often interferes with visibility and makes the roads slicker, which makes vehicles harder to control. Tampa may also experience unexpected bad weather, which can make it much more difficult for residents to predict weather patterns and avoid getting out in the rain.
What Can You Do About Potentially Increasing Traffic and Accident Rates in Tampa?
Dealing with a potential increase in accident rates can feel frustrating for everyone. You do not want to find yourself the victim of a car accident, leaving you with considerable property damage and often substantial injuries. While you cannot prevent every accident, you can take steps to reduce the risk that you will get involved in one.
Follow the rules of the road.
Always follow the rules of the road both in spirit and in reality. Give way when another driver has the right of way. Follow the speed limit. Adhere to traffic signals. Traffic laws exist to help drivers travel more comfortably and safely, and when you follow those rules, you can help reduce accident risk for everyone.
Leave extra time to reach your destination.
If you know that you need to travel through Tampa, particularly during busy times of the day, leave yourself extra time to reach your destination. A few extra minutes can decrease the stress you may feel as you hurry through the streets, and often, that can decrease dangerous behaviors that may put you more at risk for an accident.
Keep your attention on the road.
With so many drivers sharing the roads, always keep your attention on driving. Take care of programming your GPS, setting your music, and any other potentially distracting tasks before getting behind the wheel. Do not answer your phone or handle text messages while driving. Instead, pull off the road to a safe location if you must take care of those tasks.
Do not engage with raging drivers.
Try to keep off your horn unless you genuinely need someone’s attention, and do not respond to rude or angry gestures. Encouraging road rage can make it more difficult for you to get out of a potentially bad situation.
Look twice for motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
When you find yourself on the road, surrounded by other vehicles, you may have a hard time visually recognizing the presence of smaller obstacles, including cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Get in the habit of looking twice for them or keeping track of them whenever you notice them around you. Simple observation can help save lives and reduce the risk of a collision.