Tampa Bay Makes Top 20 for Worst Drivers in the US
Florida isn’t exactly known for its outstanding drivers throughout the U.S.; however, recent studies (featured here: https://www.tampabay.com/florida/2019/03/15/where-are-some-of-the-countrys-most-aggressive-drivers-no-surprise-theyre-in-florida/) have shown our habits behind the wheel to be worse than we expected. Three of Florida’s major metropolitan areas (Orlando, Tampa Bay, and Miami) have placed in the top 20 for most dangerous drivers, with Tampa falling in at number 19. Perhaps you’re surprised (or maybe you aren’t if you’ve lived here a while), but it goes without saying that the need to drive defensively in Florida is incredibly important. The focus should be on both driver’s education courses for our young motorists, and driving courses for those hoping to obtain/renew a license in the state of Florida.
What though, are the most dangerous situations to watch for, and important defensive driving tactics you should know, when hitting roads in and around the Tampa Bay area?
Problem: Sudden, and Excessive, Acceleration by other drivers
How to defend yourself: Florida drivers are no stranger to excessively accelerating to get a point across, or to simply squeeze through a stop light before getting caught on camera. Your biggest defensive tactics against getting caught in an accident because of this are to be mindful of drivers coming up behind you, and move out of the way if you are driving at a slower rate of speed. It’s never worth the risk to speed beyond the limit simply to “keep up” with others around you. Rather, move to the far right lane and allow speeding drivers to pass easily. Additionally, use your signal diligently, even on the highways. Those who accelerate quickly to try and pass slower drivers will often swerve into the next lane quickly without warning, and if you are trying to get out of their way by changing lanes at the same time, you could end up being hit from behind or sideswiped.
Problem: Braking without warning
How to defend yourself: This one is all about being aware of the vehicles in front of you, and using foresight when driving. For example, if you see cars braking up ahead, you should start braking as well, even if the cars immediately in front of you are not. By anticipating their sudden, abrupt stop, you will save yourself from an expensive ticket due to a rear-end collision, and will also protect yourself from other drivers hitting you from behind since they’ll have plenty of time to stop thanks to the warning of your brake lights.
Problem: Aggression behind the wheel
How to defend yourself: The best way to avoid altercations with aggressive driver is to avoid them altogether. If you notice that a driver is seemingly “bullying” you on the road, or you get a bad feeling about where a situation is headed, simply find a way to get off of that road and find another way to your destination, even if it costs you a few minutes extra of your time. Aggression has no place behind the wheel, yet many people take out their stress, anger, etc. on the road while driving their car, and this can have deadly consequences. Protect yourself by avoiding these drivers and slowing down (safely, in a far right lane) so they can pass and move on, or by getting off the road completely.
Contact a car accident attorney
Of course, the best defense against the negligent driving of others is having an attorney on your side that WILL STAND FOR YOU if and when the unexpected comes your way. Sessums Law Group is here for Tampa Bay residents, and we are prepared to handle your unique case with extensive skills and years of experience. Our goal is to get the compensation you deserve, so give us a call and see what we can do for you.