3 Reasons Why Tampa Is a Hotbed For Car Accidents

One person died in this three-car crash. (KATU News photo)

Car accidents are sadly very common in modern life, with tens of thousands of accidents happening around the world every day.

Florida, and in particular the Tampa area, seems to have a much higher proportion of automobile accidents than the rest of the world, but why exactly is that?

Let’s have a look at some of the reasons this area has a higher than average car accident rate.

Using A Phone Whilst Driving

It is evident that when a driver uses a phone whilst driving, they are more likely to be involved in an accident, especially if they are using their phone to send a text message.

This is known as distracted driving, and is, as it sounds, when the driving becomes distracted from focusing all their attention on the road, and other road users.

Distracted driving doesn’t have to be using a phone, it can be anything that takes the attention of the driver away, whether this be fiddling with the car stereo to change radio stations, or find a track on a CD that they want to listen to, or simply daydreaming.

However, using a phone is the most common form of distracted driving, and Florida drivers are thought to use a phone behind the wheel much more than almost any other state, leading to more accidents.

Regardless of whether it’s legal or not in your state to use a phone whilst driving, the fact remains that you should avoid doing so at all costs.

If you do need to make an urgent phone call, pull over to a safe place, and park your car with the engine off before making a phone call.

Even if the car has a system whereby the phone calls come through the stereo system, and so is hands free, this is still very distracting and potentially dangerous. Some people claim this is no different to talking to a passenger in the car, however a passenger will be able to tell if they can talk or not depending on how focused you are on the road, whereas someone at the end of the phone will not.

Tampa Is A Popular Place

Tampa is an extremely crowded place, more and more people are moving there, with the population currently around the three million people mark. 

Tampa is also incredibly attractive to tourists, with millions of people visiting each year.

Therefore, the sheer number of road users and pedestrians mean that there are bound to me more accidents, especially at peak tourist times.

Residents tend to know the roads fairly well, whereas tourists will be driving on unfamiliar roads, so they may be slow and hesitant when driving, or even get distracted and thereby contribute to an accident.

When Tampa is at its busiest, the sidewalks also become crowded, and pedestrians can be jostled into the roads by crowds, or even step out from the midst of a crowd, not giving the driver much time to react.

If you are unfortunate enough to be in a car accident, you may need a Tampa car accident lawyer, to ensure you get full justice and compensation for the accident.

An Aging Population

Florida in general has always been a very popular destination for people to retire to, and Tampa attracts a great many of those.

These residents tend to be of a more mature age, and with increasing age, car driving skills can suffer.

Older people tend to have slower decision making time, which can lead to not reacting quickly enough to a situation, and an accident resulting.

These same people may also lose some confidence with driving as they get older, which can lead to slower driving, and more hesitancy, which can also lead to an accident.

As we age, unfortunately our hearing starts to worsen, as does our eyesight, and although hearing aids and glasses can be worn, if they aren’t regularly checked to ensure they are of the correct strength or type, the loss of these senses can also mean not being able to react to other road users, or things like traffic lights, and an accident resulting.

A physical infirmity could also affect the driver’s ability to control the car fully.

How Can You Keep Yourself Safe?

If you are driving or a pedestrian in the Tampa area, or any place there is traffic, there are a few things you can do to keep safe.

As a pedestrian, be aware of your surroundings and what is happening. If you are crossing the road, make sure the vehicles have come to a complete stop before stepping out, just in case someone is driving too fast, or is distracted and doesn’t stop in time.

Don’t use your phone whilst driving, stop somewhere safe and use your phone then.

Try not to get distracted, if you find yourself getting drowsy and not being able to fully pay attention, stop somewhere safe and have a sleep, or at least a rest to enable you to be able to concentrate.

Never drink and drive. Even if the laws in your state say you can have one pint of beer, or one glass of wine and still be ok to drive, it is always a bad idea to drink anything at all and drive. You may not be aware of how it has affected your decision making and reaction times, but it will have. There is absolutely no excuse for drinking and driving, it’s simply not worth it.

Don’t drive over the speed limit. Studies have shown that driving 10mph over the speed limit will not get you anywhere much faster than driving at the speed limit itself. Shaving a few minutes off your time is really ynot worth causing an accident over. 

When a car is speeding, the stopping distance is much more increased, so if you are doing the speed limit of, say, 30mph and someone steps out in front of you, you will have much more chance of stopping before hitting them than you would at say, 40mph.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.