If you’ve ever booked a cruise, you know that many of these vacations start here in Florida. Port Tampa Bay is the largest (and most diverse) seaport in that state. It’s a hub of both tourism and commerce and boasts huge expansions to its cargo management and storage capabilities. As a central point in Tampa, it’s busy all day every day and it plays a massive role in Florida’s booming economy.
Unfortunately, it’s also central to a large number of car accidents each year.
Traffic Is A Common Problem Around Port Tampa Bay
Because of the leisure and commercial use of Port Tampa Bay, traffic is an ongoing issue. According to their website, Port Tampa Bay is
- handling approximately 33 million tons of cargo each year
- a major shipyard repair center
- the home port for many major cruise lines
- a gateway of energy products for Central Florida
- an expanding container gateway for both distribution centers AND manufacturers
All of these assets could cause heavy traffic individually, but together they create the perfect storm for hectic highways and vehicle collisions. Tourists, local residents, truckers, and port employees converge on the area on a daily basis. At night, the draw of Tampa’s many restaurants, bars, concerts, and event venues also pulls in large numbers of visitors. This can lead to various types of car accidents.
What Kind of Car Accidents Might Happen Around Port Tampa Bay?
Thanks to all of the aforementioned traffic, vehicle collisions are always a potential around Port Tampa Bay. You might face any number of scenarios including:
Parking Lot Accidents at the Port
Because of the major cruise lines that dock here, the parking lot for Port Tampa Bay is a regular source of trouble for drivers. Finding a parking spot, and navigating the hundreds of other passengers trying to do the same, can be daunting. Fender benders are a constant threat. Pedestrian collisions are also a risk, as many people are distracted with gathering boarding passes, baggage, kids, etc., and figuring out where to go.
Large Truck Traffic around The Port
Outside of the parking lot, nearby Interstate 4 and the surrounding Tampa roads are often congested with traffic going to and coming from the port. This includes a significant number of semi-trucks and large commercial vehicles. Since Port Tampa Bay is central to many manufacturers and distribution centers, trucks are frequently heading to the port to pick up their load of cargo and take it to its next destination. Large trucks pose a threat to drivers around them because of limited visibility, longer stopping times, and sheer size. If you’ll be driving near the port, or anywhere on Central Florida’s highways, watch closely for these trucks and give them plenty of clearance.
Car Accidents with Tampa Bay Tourists and Locals
Many of America’s major cruise lines consider Port Tampa Bay to be their home port. This means they both depart from and return to Port Tampa Bay. Since people come from all over the world to enjoy these cruises, you get a large number of tourists on our roads who are unfamiliar with the traffic patterns, local streets, and expectations from other drivers. Since Port Tampa Bay shares several highways with daily commuter traffic for Downtown Tampa, Veterans Expressway, etc., this can become a big problem. Sudden lane changes, frequent and/or irregular braking, illegal street racing (especially at night!), and cutting across traffic to reach an exit are all sources of car accidents in Tampa. If you’re driving around the Port, be aware and allow extra room between yourself and other cars!
How Can I Protect Myself from Car Accidents When Driving Near The Port?
If your commute takes you near the Port, if you’re planning to visit Port Tampa Bay, or if you’re heading to one of the nearby attractions (like the Florida Aquarium!) it’s important to prepare. You avoid accidents if you:
- allow plenty of time for unexpected traffic delays in your daily commute
- know alternative routes to reach your destination if you’ll be driving near the port on a day with heavier than usual traffic
- arrive early for your cruise or event so you’re not rushed to find a parking spot
- stay on alert when driving near the Port, watching for pedestrians, distracted drivers, etc.
- use public transportation or a rideshare service to visit Port Tampa Bay or nearby attractions. This avoids the stress of driving or parking in the area altogether!
Who Should I Call If I Get in An Accident in Tampa Bay?
Brooks Law Group is here to serve victims throughout the Tampa Bay area with compassionate, expert legal services. We personally care for each client, making sure you feel informed, supported, and empowered throughout your case. Because you don’t pay unless we win, you can rest assured that your best interest is always the priority. Our dedicated lawyers bring years of experience and skill to the table if you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident involving distracted or negligent drivers, semi-trucks, or commercial vehicles. We fight for the justice you deserve and the compensation you need. Call us to book your free consultation!