Florida Motorists Should Be Cautious
Florida has been ranking in the top five for having the worst drivers in America for several years in a row. These statistics are usually based on the number of traffic tickets, accidents, and fatalities. Still, there are several more reasons why Florida drivers should be cautious. With the highest number of traffic fatalities per mile, the Sunshine State is also home to some of America's most dangerous highways.
Starting in Memphis, FL, before an interchange in Clearwater, and ending near the shores of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania, U.S. Route 19 has garnered a reputation for its mysterious volume of traffic accidents within Florida lines. Accounting for 264 miles of road along the state’s west coast, it is considered one of the most dangerous spots in each individual county it passes through.
The Most Dangerous Highway in Pinellas County
Pinellas County has recently come under fire with the nickname “death valley” because of the thousands of traffic incidents occurring each year. From 2015-2020 in this county alone, there were over 3,300 accidents, accounting for over 1,100 injuries within this 3.5-mile span. This is also a county with some of the highest traffic accidents overall, coming behind those with major cities like Palm Beach (Palm Beach County), Miami (Miami-Dade County), Tampa (Hillsborough County), and Orlando (Orange County).
In recent years, a significant concern for those on U.S. 19 is the high volume of pedestrian traffic and accidents that routinely occur.
By merely searching “U.S. 19 Florida pedestrian accident,” you can find thousands of news stories reporting on the topic. Dozens of pedestrians are killed each year on U.S. 19 in Florida, many of which occur within Pinellas County. The current pedestrian crash rate sits at 38.2 per 100,000, which is narrowly below the statewide average. Both news and crash data reports agree that while intoxication, speeding, and distracted driving can primarily shoulder the blame for this statistic, a lot of it might also have to do with city planning overall. As the state, and this area, in particular, was becoming a destination or stopping point along the 1,438-mile highway, the industrialization of the area might have overtaken the attention to safety measures.
What Florida is Doing to Combat This
Since the highway has easy access to Gulf beaches and other routes to popular tourist spots more inland, U.S.19 sees a high traffic volume each day. This means that the locals commuting to work are often driving along with tourists or interstate users who may be unfamiliar with the area. During the last several years, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has been making efforts to improve this and other roads in Pinellas County with new sidewalks, lighting, interchanges, and the newly announced Gateway Expressway expected to be completed in 2023.
The FDOT expects that this will be a step in the right direction to cut down on the accidents that occur each year, hoping that these improvements will make the highway safer for motorists and pedestrians alike.
Accident on U.S. 19? We Can Help
Our Clearwater attorneys are committed to securing your right to safe transportation and know that no one in Pinellas County should be fearful about commuting to work. Our team is dedicated to combating negligence on the roads and will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident on U.S. 19, contact an attorney with Idrizi Law Group to schedule an appointment.
You can fill out the form on our website or call (727) 202-5499 to schedule.