Although Florida is a relatively small state it hosts some of the most dangerous roads for drivers in the nation. It is estimated that three out of five deadliest highways in the U.S. are located in Florida.
The Sunshine State is also home to the country’s deadliest road – the I-4. The Alligator State has an insane fatal crash rate (2.8) by size when compared to larger states such as California (1.8) or Texas (2.0) and shares similar fatal car crash rates with the two states (2,915 vs 3,259 and 3,305, respectively).
The bulk of these crashes is caused by congested roads, speeding, and drunk or reckless drivers. Florida also hosts an aging population and it is a great vacation destination for families nationwide. During spring break, the nation’s roads get a sizable influx of young and inexperienced drivers from out of state, which may also contribute to the high fatality rates of its roads.
In no particular order, here are seven of Florida’s most dangerous roads for drivers.
With 160 fatalities in summer and over 1,000 fatal crashes in a decade, the US-1 is considered one of the nation’s deadliest highways. U.S. 1 runs along the Sunshine State’s east coast through more than a dozen counties around 530 miles.
With 1.25 fatal car crashes per mile, Interstate 4 in Tampa was deemed the nation’s deadliest highway in 2016. The most dangerous stretches of this road, also known as the “Haunted Highway”, include those from I-75 to Malfunction Junction (over 500 deaths over the last five years), near Plant City (nearly 400 car accidents in the last 22 months), and from Lakeland to Orlando (775 crashes over the last five years and the riskiest stretch on I-4: Champions Gate to SeaWorld.)
Interstate 95 runs from Florida to Maine and with 55.1 fatal car crashes per 100 miles, it is the third deadliest road in the U.S., as per a ValuePenguin analysis. The most dangerous stretch is the Little River Neighborhood with 27 fatal accidents over roughly 4 miles of pavement. The I-95 Express Lane is so dangerous because it is one of the busiest roads in the state.
What is more, the speed limit is quite high and many drivers engage in the so-called “lane diving”, which means illegally driving into the paid express lanes despite the physical obstacles. Lane diving has caused so many crashes that Florida lawmakers are seriously considering outlawing the paid express sections.
I-95 also has the highest number of deadly crashes in rain or snow in the nation (109 between 2011 and 2015) and the most fatal crashes caused by drunk drivers (266 fatal accidents during the same time period).
With over 270 deaths on the Florida stretch alone, this 2,460 mile-long interstate that runs through eight states, is the deadliest highway in Florida and the fourth-deadliest highway in the nation (54.5 fatal crashes for every 100 miles).
Interstate 75 runs from Miami to Georgia about 470 miles. With 47 deadly accidents for every 100 miles, it is considered the nation’s fifth deadliest highway (trailing closely behind I-95 and I-10). I-75 is a highly congested interstate with a fairly high maximum speed limit. It also has some of the nation’s highest road death toll in rain and snow (94 fatal accidents between 2011 and 2015).
US Route 19
With more than 80,000 drivers per day, U.S. Route 19 in Pinellas County is one of the most trafficked stretches of road in the state. The small county also has the highest fatality-per-mile rate of all Florida counties (4.75). US Route 19 is so dangerous for drivers because of congestions, speeding, and varying speed limits and widths of the road.
According to GeoTab experts, with over 600 fatal accidents over the last decade, US-27 is the third deadliest highway in the state. US-27 runs from Miami to Georgia about 480 miles. Near Lake Okeechobee, there is a narrow stretch of this road that was called “Bloody 27” due to the many fatal accidents occurring there.
Driving in the Sunshine State is no walk in the park with its highly congested roads, poorly designed road infrastructure, and reckless drivers. No wonder Florida car accident lawyers’ practice is booming, especially in the summer and fall months.
So, it is always a good idea to have the contact info of an experienced lawyer nearby, like this Tampa car accident attorney, when life throws you a curveball in Florida.
Author Bio: Early in his journalism career, Kerry L. Tucker had a revelation: there were not enough experts reporting on law issues. Legal matters are part of daily life. Yet, there seems to be a general aversion towards them. One of the main reasons for this is that the convoluted legal language is difficult for many people to follow. Therefore, he decided to change how the law is perceived by the public. Throughout his career, he met with many people who shared their personal stories with him. Some of these hit him harder. One of the cases that stayed with him and influenced his future career development was a car accident case involving a child. From then on, he decided to zero in on car accident lawsuits.