The Treasure Coast has experienced a multitude of catastrophic accidents on its busy, high speed roadways such as I-95, US-1, and the turnpike, and it doesn’t appear that these crashes are occurring with any less frequency from one year to the next. The higher speed limits on these potentially perilous roads coupled with typically dense traffic makes these roadways particularly dangerous, especially to certain demographics of drivers such as new drivers and the elderly. We at The Eberst Law Firm care about your safety and would like you to spend a few minutes reading the below easily overlooked and/or forgotten highway driving tips to ensure that you and your loved ones are driving as safely as possible.
Florida High-Speed Roadway Fatality Statistics
Recent statistics should be of concern to Floridians as they indicate that Florida’s high-speed roadways are some of the most dangerous, if not THE most dangerous, in the entire country. Recent research by Geotab indicates that the Florida portion of US-1 had the most fatal crashes for any highway in any state in the last 10 years. Another article by Auto Insurance Center states that both I-10 and I-95 are the top deadliest highways in the nation, and both of these highways have portions in Florida. An article by EnJuris article states that the Miami-Dade and Broward stretch of I-95 is especially dangerous, as it has 1.73 fatal accidents per mile.
Statistics about auto accidents on Florida’s Turnpike aren’t as readily available, but the same article by EnJuris states that fast drivers, road debris, and vacationers pose the biggest threats to people on this roadway. However, statistics aren’t needed to know that Florida’s turnpike is dangerous, as on Thanksgiving day last year a terrible central Florida turnpike accident led to a fatality and nine people being rushed to the hospital; this article is unfortunately one amongst several about fatalities that have recently occurred on the Turnpike.
Strategies for Safe Highway Driving in Florida
- Merging- Be extra cautious to merge at the proper speed and always be prepared for the unexpected. It may become a habit to merge quickly with traffic as most of the time traffic on the highway is very fast, but it is important to be prepared for times when traffic is backed up and you can’t merge as quickly.
- Others Merging- Be prepared to change lanes or adjust your speed to yield to vehicles that are entering the highway. If you are in doubt if you can slow down in time, always opt to change lanes if the opportunity is available.
- Blind Spots- Always keep your own blind spots in mind, especially when changing lanes, and be mindful of other drivers’ blind spots while staying out of them.
- Passing- The right lane is used for entering and exiting the flow of traffic, while the left lane on highways is used for passing. Be careful not to stay in the left lane too long without passing/going faster than the general flow of traffic, or you risk aggravating drivers behind you who may follow you too closely and/or flash their brights at you to get you to change lanes.
- Lane Changes- Don’t make lane changes unless they are necessary. Always check your blind spots by looking over your shoulder before changing lanes. Always use turn signals and turn them on at least a couple minutes prior to changing lanes; don’t be guilty of developing the bad habit of changing lanes the moment you turn your blinker on. Driving-tests.org wrote an article about avoiding the common mistakes people make when changing lanes.
- Blending with traffic- Try to maintain a speed that is similar to the other cars around you, otherwise you risk being involved in a potential accident for either going too fast or going too slow. You can always take a different road if you are uncomfortable going the same speed as other cars.
- Stopped vehicles- If you see pedestrians and stopped vehicles on the side of the highway, such as police cars and emergency vehicles, try your best to move over a lane if possible. This is much safer for them. On the contrary, if you are pulled over on the side of the highway, never stand next to your car on the side of the highway and put on your emergency lights.
- Backing up- It is against the law to back up on a highway. If you miss an exit, do not panic or try to erratically make the exit, simply drive to the next exit and then double back.
- Emergencies- Do not ever stop on a highway unless you have an emergency, such as a flat, extreme weather, or a medical condition. Pull over as far as you can to the shoulder, turn on your flashers, and always be very aware of oncoming vehicles. Review the subsection titled “Prepare for emergencies” in our enclosed article to see some helpful tips for driving emergencies.
- Tractor Trailers- These large vehicles travel on many roads, but they are even more worrisome on roads with higher speed limits due to their ability to cause catastrophic crashes. It is important for other drivers to pass them quickly and to be sure to stay clear of their blind spots. On the flipside, drivers of tractor trailers need to be very careful because due to their design, dimensions, and weight, tractor trailers can be especially dangerous to drive.
If you would like further information, Driving-Tests.org also offers a helpful article along with an informative video regarding safe interstate driving.
Consult with The Eberst Law Firm for your Florida Highway Crash
Auto accidents are inherently nerve-wracking, and accidents that occur on high-speed roadways can be especially traumatic. Leave your worry to us and let us handle these complicated claims as you take the time to focus on recovering. At The Eberst Law Firm, we have the expertise and experience needed to assist you with your stressful highway accident claim. We look forward to being able to take one of the most stressful events you will go through and help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Contact Eberst Law at 772-225-4900 or contact us online.