A Tampa car accident lawyer explains what FDOT is doing about the problem
Wrong-way crashes continue to be the cause of many car accident fatalities. In an analysis from the AAA Foundation for Traffic reported from an article by the AAA Newsroom, between 2015 and 2018, there were 2,008 deaths from wrong-way crashes. That is around an average of 500 fatalities a year. The state of Florida has seen many wrong-way crashes resulting in deaths.
According to a report by WPTV, last year (2021) there were 8 fatal wrong-way crashes in Florida, including:
- March 9: A Tampa police officer died veering into a wrong-way driver on Interstate 275 in order to protect other drivers on the road.
- April 11: A 20-year-old Tampa woman died in a head-on collision when she drove the wrong way on U.S. Highway 41.
- November 8: Two women from Jacksonville were killed when they were driving the wrong way and collided with a city bus on the Hart Bridge.
- December 14: A 21-year-old from Lauderdale Lakes was killed by a drunk driver going the wrong way on Interstate 75 in Venice.
Crashes caused by wrong-way drivers often result in severe injury or death, which is one reason why the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is beginning to implement new efforts for the safety of drivers.
fdot's wrong-way driving initiative
FDOT uses traffic cameras and monitoring systems to observe hundreds of miles of interstates. Upon looking at data, it was found that most wrong-way crashes occur at exit ramps. In response, FDOT has now focused its efforts on about 1,600 off-ramps where drivers could enter from the wrong direction.
More research has found that the "clover leaf" intersection pattern is the safest for drivers, and many intersections are being redesigned this way. Pavement markings and warning signs are also effective safety precautions. Most of these changes have already been made in District 4 (Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward counties), completing the first phase of the initiative.
new technology for quicker responses
When a wrong-way crash is detected, camera footage is searched to confirm the crash, and first responders are dispatched.
New signs are also being installed at specific locations across Florida that will have flashing lights to warn a driver if they are going the wrong way by using an exit ramp.
New system triggers are also being looked at to warn other drivers on the road of a wrong-way driver. Messages to notify these drivers would be on overhead digital signs, which are commonly used to alert people of Amber Alerts.
Other forms of technology being used include a Microwave Vehicle Detection System (MVDS), which uses radar to measure different things on the road such as:
- The number of vehicles on the roadway
- Lane presence
- Vehicle occupancy
- Speed data
Although there is currently no way to stop a wrong-way driver, this initiative by the FDOT hopes to make the roads safer for all Florida drivers.
Talk to a Tampa car accident attorney today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was going the wrong way, you need to talk to an experienced car accident lawyer right away to learn your legal rights and options.
At Armando Personal Injury Law, we have the knowledge, experience, and resources to handle every aspect of your claim. We also know how to treat our clients. That's because when you come to us for help, we treat your problems like our problems.
Don't let the insurance companies try to take advantage of you, and don't settle for less than what you deserve. Let our law firm fight for you advocate for the compensation you're entitled to.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Our office is located in Tampa, FL and we serve clients all throughout Hillsborough County.