Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections in St. Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg, FL has a reputation for having dangerous streets for pedestrians and bicyclists. But when it comes to car accidents, St. Petersburg falls about where it should, based on its population.
Read on for an overview of St. Petersburg road safety and its plans to improve road safety.
Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections in St. Petersburg
Car accidents in St. Petersburg tend to cluster in a few places. Some of the more dangerous roads and intersections in the city include:
4th St. N./US-92
This road is a hotspot for car accidents along its entire length. A few particularly dangerous areas include the intersection with 9th Ave. N. and the stretch from 1st Ave. N. to Pinellas Trail/1st Ave. S.
This road provides a major north-south route through the city. The hotspots for car accidents on this road sit between 9th Ave. N. and 26th Ave. S.
5th Ave. N.
This road has several dangerous intersections, including 49th St., 34th St., 20th St., 16th St., Dr. MLK Jr. St., and 4th St.
Future of Road Safety in St. Petersburg
Pinellas County has a comprehensive plan to improve road safety in St. Petersburg. Some of the initiatives the county has planned include:
Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements
The county has identified ten corridors that need improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists. These improvements include adding bikeways to protect bicyclists from auto traffic. They also include improvements in bike lanes, sidewalks, pedestrian overpasses, and mixed-use trails.
The corridors prioritized for improvements include:
- Oldsmar Trail
- Nebraska Ave. Loop
- Main St/Sunset Loop
- 142nd Ave.
- 28th St. N.
- San Martin Blvd. Path
- Joe’s Creek Greenway
- 9th Ave. N.
- 18th Ave. S./Salt Creek Blvd. Trail
- 70th Ave. N.
After the county completes these corridor improvements, it has an additional list of 37 corridors to work on.
US-19 Improvement Projects
The county has slated US-19 for improvements to ease congestion and improve safety. The improvements include:
- Incorporate smart technology to manage traffic
- Remove unsafe design features
- Build overpasses
- Improve side roads
This has been an ongoing goal for the county, and these improvements will take time to complete.
St. Petersburg Road Safety Statistics
St. Petersburg has a mixed record when it comes to road safety. In 2021, the city had 389 pedestrian and bicycle accidents. These accidents caused 62 incapacitating injuries and 16 deaths.
St. Petersburg only has a population of about 258,000. This is about 1.2% of Florida’s population.
In 2021, St. Petersburg had 2.4% of Florida’s pedestrian and bicycle accidents. In other words, the city had twice as many pedestrian and bicycle accidents as it should have based on its size. St. Petersburg also had 2.8% of the pedestrian and cyclist injuries in the state, or 2.3 times as many as it should have based on population.
Finally, St. Petersburg had 1.5% of Florida’s pedestrian and cyclist fatalities. This number is 30% higher than it should be for St. Petersburg’s population.
Conversely, for car accidents, St. Petersburg has roughly the number it should have based on its size. St. Petersburg had 8,641 car accidents in 2021.
These car accidents caused 40 fatalities and 206 incapacitating injuries. St. Petersburg comes in lower than expected for car accident fatalities. Its 206 incapacitating injuries from car accidents fall about where they would be expected.
Fortunately for St. Petersburg, these numbers have improved. Since 2020, the total number of accidents, fatalities, and serious injuries has trended down. And 2020’s numbers were lower than the peak numbers in 2014.
This trend does not apply to St. Petersburg’s astronomical pedestrian and bicycle accident numbers. The numbers have steadily improved since 2014. But 2021 represented a major spike in the numbers. In 2021, pedestrian and bicycle fatalities jumped 77.8%, severe injuries jumped 44.2%, and total accidents jumped 18.2%.
St. Petersburg Car Accident Characteristics
Distracted driving and speeding play a leading role in car accidents in St. Petersburg. In 2021, 522 accidents resulted from distracted driving. Another 198 accidents resulted from speeding and aggressive driving.
Intoxicated driving also causes a lot of problems in the city. In 2021, 278 car accidents were caused by drunk or drugged drivers.
St. Petersburg car accidents tend to happen during the week. Friday has the most accidents, followed by Thursday and Wednesday.
Traffic accidents spike during rush hours. Traffic accidents peak at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. They experience a small spike again at 7 p.m.
October, November, and December have the greatest number of accidents. August and September have the fewest number of accidents.
The tourist season in St. Petersburg runs from November to April. This overlaps with the months with the greatest number of accidents. You might infer that these accidents result from the spike in traffic that accompanies the tourist season.
But traffic accidents spike on weekdays during the morning rush hour and early afternoon. This suggests that locals also contribute to the number of traffic accidents in St. Petersburg.
Navigating the Roads of St. Petersburg
You can improve your chances of avoiding an accident in St. Petersburg by driving sober, slowing down, and avoiding distractions.
You should always wear your seat belt. In St. Petersburg, 195 of the 8,641 car accidents involved unbelted occupants. These accidents resulted in seven deaths and 17 incapacitating injuries.
This means unbelted occupants had a 12.3% chance of dying or suffering an incapacitating injury. By contrast, only 2.8% of belted occupants suffered a fatal or incapacitating injury.
While you cannot avoid every accident, you can maximize your chances of safely navigating St. Petersburg’s roads.