Recently, we covered the most dangerous highway in the nation: Interstate 4. Since then, another highway in our backyard has been named the third most dangerous highway in America: US 27.
Based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, a company named Geotab recently published a study showing that there have been 529 fatal crashes and 614 fatalities on U.S 27. Those results are staggering!
The reasons why US 27 is so dangerous are the usual ones that plague our roadways: speed and distracted driving.
The Highlands County Commissioner, Don Elwell, commented that people drive on US 27 drive like it’s an interstate, assuming he meant that motorists forget that the highway travels through many towns and cities and drive at high speeds regardless. The commissioner also said that the Florida Department of Transportation was considering such measures as preventing left turns onto US 27 from Northwood and Ryan Boulevards and Lake Mirror Drive.
Another reason for the high accident rate was cited by Lake Placid Police Chief James Fansler who noted that US 27 travels through a great number of cities and towns where there are numerous intersections. Like any intersection, motorists often misjudge the distance and speed of oncoming cars when they try to cross the highway at an uncontrolled intersection.
Part of a National Trend?
Although US 27 has been dangerous for several years, its fatality rate is also part of a national trend that has seen highway fatalities at its highest in many years. In 2016, there was a 14% increase in fatal accidents nationwide since 2014, the biggest two year jump in 5 decades, and the deadliest year since 2007. This translates to about 100 people dying each day on our highways.
As stated above, one of the main culprits is likely distracted driving, or more specifically, the increased use of smartphones while driving. From 2014 to 2016, the number of American owning an iPhone or Android or anything comparable rose from 75% to 81%. The number of apps you can have on your phone seems infinite. And with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on your phone, along with an increase in texting, googling, and reading emails and texts, it is natural for accidents to rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the average time a motorist takes to text while driving is 5 seconds. At 60 miles per hour, you travel more than the length of a football field while your eyes and attention are focused on anything but driving.
While many experts now argue that distracted driving is just as deadly, if not more, than drunk driving, it is difficult to come up with accurate statistics since many police departments or insurance companies do not always report that distracted driving played a role in an accident. It is also difficult to get accurate reports in Florida since texting while driving is a secondary offense, meaning that an officer can only stop your vehicle if you committed some other traffic violation. Still, the NHTSA estimates that 10% of all fatal accidents and 17% of all accidents were caused by distracted driving.
Further, a San Francisco company, Zendrive, Inc., analyzed smartphone use and reported from a study of 3 million users that drivers used their phones while driving in 88% of trips. Based on this study, you can assume that most drivers are at least looking at their smartphones at any one time. As a result, drive defensively at all times. You can avoid smartphone use by simply turning it off before you get in your car, giving it to a passenger, or placing it in your glove box so you can avoid the temptation to use it.
Damages in a Car Accident
If injured in a car accident, promptly contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Brooks Law Group, which has offices in Tampa, Winter Haven, and Lakeland.
Your damages in a car accident may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future income loss
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Emotional distress
- Diminished or lessened enjoyment of life
- Mileage reimbursement for medical appointments
Contact Brooks Law Group
Attorneys from the Brooks Law Group take injury claims on a contingent basis, meaning that they do not get paid until you receive your compensation. Contact the Brooks Law Group today at 1-800-LAW-3030 for an in-depth review of your injury accident claim and give yourself an opportunity to receive the most compensation for your claim.