With year-round favorable riding conditions, it is no surprise that Florida holds the second highest number of registered motorcyclists in the country (behind California). Unfortunately, riding the highways in the Sunshine State is not only popular, but also dangerous. Florida leads the country in motorcycle fatalities, reinforcing the need for bikers to be ultra-vigilant on the road.
Although only 3 percent of the vehicles on the road are motorcycles, they account for 20 percent of roadway fatalities. Nearly 80 percent of all motorcycle-related accidents resulted in injury in 2016.* Several studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration point to recurring reasons for fatal motorcycle collisions; and each report begins with an anecdote of an accident at an intersection or busy stretch of urban highway.
Why do intersections pose the greatest threat for motorcyclists’ safety in a normal traffic pattern? Could road debris, spilled oil, complicated traffic signals and the sheer number of drivers on the street be prime suspects?
According to several new Tampa Bay traffic pattern studies, reported by the Tampa Bay Times, drivers making left turns at intersections cause far more accidents than motorists who rear-end other vehicles or drift out of their lane. Also, more local drivers are distracted by things outside of their vehicles, especially while stopped at an intersection.
“Distractions, speed, improper turns and violation of signals or right of way are what I see the most of,” said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins. “Most of Hillsborough County’s accidents occurred along major urban roadways, and nearly 35 percent of those crashes involved drivers making left turns.”
Here are the top 5 Most Dangerous intersections in Tampa Bay:
- The intersection of Dale Mabry Highway and Bearss Avenue that turns into Ehrlich Road. A study found this to be Hillsborough County’s worst spot for crashes involving injuries.
- The intersection of U.S. 19 and Tampa Road. It is the Pinellas County intersection with the most crashes, according to county statistics.
- The stretch from Falkenburg Road to Dover Road on Brandon Blvd holds an average of 25 accidents per mile.
- The stretch from Armenia Avenue to 50th Street on Fletcher Avenue is known for a high rate of accidents, with over 100 recorded last year.
- The intersection of North Lois Avenue and West Hillsborough Avenue has been the unfortunate site of numerous fatal collisions.
As a motorcyclist in the Bay Area, you’ll no doubt want to take advantage of Florida’s open highways and coastlines. Driving defensively and practicing these safety tips will help to ensure that your scenic rides are both safe and enjoyable.
If you or someone you love is unfortunately in a motorcycle accident, it’s imperative to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney you can trust, who truly understands the challenges that bikers face on the road. Contact personal injury attorney John Castro, avid motorcycle rider and attorney, who will represent your best interests.
* 2016 Traffic Crash Facts annual report, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles