Florida is a lovely and often-mocked place for a variety of reasons, from its population of alligators to its popularity as a Spring Break destination. It’s not all beaches and sunshine however. It’s also considered one of the most dangerous states to drive in. In 2016, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported 395,396 traffic crashes in the state of Florida. There were 3,145 total traffic fatalities.
So why is Florida such a dangerous place to drive in? A large indicator of safety of roadways is how urban or rural the area is. Florida is an interesting mix of both urban metropolises like Miami and Orlando as well as small towns and scenic byways like Homestead and Ocala.
Florida’s scenic highways and byways have the disadvantage of very low visibility at night, as there are almost no street lights in certain miles-long stretches. For night driving, the possibility of falling asleep at the wheel or hitting a deer certainly does exist. Drivers should exercise caution.
Another sign of a dangerous roadway is congestion. Highly congested roadways with high population of interstate usage slows down the interstate system considerably, creating higher probability of rear-end collisions, minor scrapes, or bumper-to-bumper traffic. Roads like I-95 and I-4 are two of the most highly trafficked interstates in Florida.
Construction on Florida’s roads is common, and certain construction projects make it harder for drivers to navigate the highway systems. Consider Orlando and Tampa’s frequent construction on their roadways; it’s a near constant cycle of improvement and disarray.