Long line of cars backed up at intersection.

If you’ve spent any time in Tampa over the last few years, you know the city is growing exponentially. Thousands of people have moved to the area, and business is booming. While Tampa’s extreme growth is great for our local economy, it’s certainly not great for our traffic!

Tampa Bay’s major intersections have a reputation for being hard to navigate.

This is especially true during rush hour. Commuters weighing in on traffic commentary usually refer to well-known trouble zones like “Malfunction Junction” where I-75 meets up with I-4, or intersections along Dale Mabry Highway. In addition to these major intersections, you have hundreds of accidents occurring on lesser-known streets each day.

One of these troublesome spots is on Hillsborough County’s Sligh Avenue. Where Sligh intersects with Nebraska Ave. heading westbound toward Interstate 275, rush hour traffic has become almost unbearable. Why?

Hillsborough County residents cite several reasons for congestion on Sligh Ave.

When interviewed, locals had plenty to say about the trouble at this specific intersection on Sligh. According to them, the top causes of traffic delays in this area include:

  • No Dedicated Turn Signal. The intersection has a dedicated turn lane, but no corresponding signal. This leads to long lines backed up, waiting to turn left onto Nebraska Ave.
  • Continued Growth and Construction. A new apartment complex is currently being completed right along this problematic intersection. Residents fear this will lead to even more traffic, and worsen an already bad situation.
  • Commercial Traffic. In addition to residential traffic, locals notice an increase in commercial traffic on these roads as well. This can add to the wait times at lights, as large trucks and commercial vehicles take longer to turn safely.

The traffic concerns have caused many locals to alter their daily routines just to compensate for the delays. Tampa resident Kim Nadeu told Bay News 9 that she spends multiple turns of a light cycle just to make it through the intersection. She says:

“It’s frustrating. We have to get the kids out 10 or 15 minutes earlier to adjust for waiting at a traffic light. that’s our main way to get where we need to go.”

As some of Tampa’s leading injury lawyers, we see this intersection as an accident waiting to happen. More traffic means more delays, and that leads to more drivers in a time crunch to get to the office, to daycare pickup, or to a child’s sports practice. Whenever motorists are in a rush, dangerous collisions occur and often have deadly consequences.

How can drivers better manage rush hour in Tampa?

While there’s no easy button for driving during rush hour, there are some things you can do to make it safer for you and your passengers. If you’re tired of dealing with the daily stress of a long commute, endless lights, and bumper-to-bumper lanes, we have some tried and true tips.

Alter your timing.

If possible, leave an hour earlier, or later, to avoid the worst of the rush hour traffic. We know this isn’t always possible with school schedules, work requirements, etc., but if you can slightly alter your timing around the traffic, you stand a chance of avoiding the worst delays and enjoying a smoother ride to and from your destination.

Make the most of your GPS!

Many GPS apps, like Waze, include an alternate route feature. This feature lets you tailor the trip to your specific criteria. Want to avoid all highways during your trip? No problem! Do you wish you didn’t have to pay the toll on the parkway? They can find non-toll roads to get you to your destination. The beauty of these apps is that you can choose to have it select an alternate route for you mid-drive, helping you avoid delays on your usual roads when things get backed up.

Stay calm.

We get it…it’s hard to stay in zen mode when you’re surrounded by rush hour traffic in Tampa. However, making your commute something semi-enjoyable can actually help lower the stress

Woman stressed looking out car window waiting in traffic

Staying calm is the most important part of staying safe in rush hour traffic!

levels you experience. Pack a favorite drink for the drive home, choose audiobooks or podcasts that turn the time into a positive experience, or create rush-hour playlists of music that relaxes, uplifts, or inspires you. Get creative and make your daily drive something that you look forward to instead of dread.

Plan ahead as you drive.

Pressure caused by missing your turn, being forced into last-minute lane changes, etc. leads to a huge amount of stress. Plan ahead during your drive, and give yourself plenty of time and space to get into the appropriate lane or take your exit. Much like planning your route, planning your next move can help alleviate some of the panic that comes with driving during rush hour.

Brooks Law Group understands the struggle!

As local lawyers here in the Tampa area, we understand the dreaded rush hour commute and know what it feels like to be trapped in the car for hours on end. We also understand the dangers that come with these situations and have seen firsthand the damage caused to victims and their families because of one foolish decision by an impatient driver.

We encourage you to use caution when you’ll be on the road during the morning and evening commute times, and take the time needed to drive safely and arrive alive. If you or someone you love experienced injuries due to an accident, our team is here for you. We bring years of experience in representing victims of negligent or reckless behavior. We fight for the justice you deserve and the compensation you need. Our contingency fee system means you don’t pay unless we win your case, giving you the peace of mind that we truly have your best interest at heart. Your initial case review is completely free and is easy to book right here on our website.

Don’t feel like you have to take on the rush hour fight alone. You can always Look to Brooks.

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.