Port St. Lucie Road Safety Overview

Port St. Lucie Road Safety Overview

As the largest city in St. Lucie County, Port St. Lucie has about 200,000 residents. And yet it has a fairly strong record for road safety.

For its share of Florida’s population, it has fewer traffic injuries and deaths than it should. It has very few roads or intersections with multiple accidents. And the city has committed to implementing traffic calming measures to keep the city safe for all road users.

An overview of road safety in Port St. Lucie gives a clear picture of what to expect when driving in this Florida city.

Port St. Lucie Car Accident Statistics

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) traffic crash report for 2020, St. Lucie County had 5,104 crashes. These car accidents caused 49 deaths and 2,657 injuries.

A Florida traffic safety dashboard compiled by Signal Four Analytics reports that 1,953 of these crashes happened in Port St. Lucie. The traffic crashes in Port St. Lucie caused 11 fatalities and 39 serious injuries.

St. Lucie County has a population of over 329,000 people. It includes 1.5% of Florida’s population but only 1.3% of Florida’s traffic fatalities. This means St. Lucie County has fewer traffic deaths than it should have for its share of Florida’s population.

Even better, Port St. Lucie has 0.95% of Florida’s population, yet only 0.29% of Florida’s traffic deaths. This makes Port St. Lucie about three times safer than the rest of Florida for traffic deaths.

Port St. Lucie Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety

One area where Port St. Lucie has a poor record is pedestrian and bicyclist safety. In 2020, there were three fatal car accidents in Port St. Lucie that killed a pedestrian.

Additionally, ten of the people who suffered serious injuries in Port St. Lucie in 2020 were bicyclists or pedestrians. This means that nearly 33.3% of the people killed or seriously injured in Port St. Lucie traffic crashes were vulnerable road users. 

Across the state of Florida in 2020, only 21.8% of people killed or seriously injured were vulnerable road users. In other words, pedestrians and bicyclists in Port St. Lucie are over 53% more likely to get seriously injured or killed in a traffic accident compared to people elsewhere in Florida.

Causes of Port St. Lucie Car Accidents

Accidents in Port St. Lucie result primarily from driver behaviors. According to Signal Four Analytics, distracted drivers caused over 23% of Port St. Lucie’s traffic injuries. This was higher than the rest of Florida. The 2020 report states that 17.6% of traffic injuries resulted from distracted driving in Florida as a whole.

Signal Four Analytics lists speeding or aggressive driving as the cause of 10% of the traffic injuries in Port St. Lucie. Again, this is higher than in the rest of the state. Across Florida, the 2020 report lists speeding or aggressive driving as the cause of only 8.0% of traffic injuries.

Port St. Lucie also has a serious problem with intoxicated driving. 10% of the car accident injuries and 27% of traffic fatalities in 2020 in the city resulted from intoxicated driving. 

But in the rest of the state, only 0.8% of accident injuries and 1.0% of accident deaths were caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

There is no easy explanation for why intoxicated driving happens in Port St. Lucie. But this trend in Port St. Lucie has continued for a while, with 18% of traffic injuries in 2018 and 2019 resulting from intoxicated drivers.

Common Types of Port St. Lucie Accidents

The most common type of accident in Port St. Lucie is an intersection accident. Signal Four Analytics locates 44% of Port St. Lucie’s injury accidents at intersections.

These accidents can have a variety of causes. But in both Port St. Lucie and Florida as a whole, a failure to yield the right of way is the second-most common traffic citation after an accident, according to the 2020 report. These citations happen exclusively at merges and intersections and probably explain many of these accidents.

Signal Four Analytics notes that 28% of Port St. Lucie car crashes happen due to lane departures. Lane departures happen when a driver drifts out of a travel lane, intentionally or unintentionally, without signaling a lane change.

Drifting out of lanes can happen due to inattention, carelessness, or driver incapacity. Over 28% of Port St. Lucie injury accidents involved aging drivers in 2020. 

Aging drivers are more likely to: 

  • Take medication
  • Have visual impairments
  • Suffer physical infirmities that impair their ability to control a vehicle 

Port St. Lucie’s lane departure accidents probably involve some combination of these problems, given the high number of accidents involving aging drivers.

On the positive side, Signal Four Analytics only lists two injuries that resulted from truck accidents. Port St. Lucie has three major highways running through it. I-95, Florida’s Turnpike, and US-1 all run north-south through the city. Despite sitting on these major roads, Port St. Lucie has a low number of truck accidents.

Most Dangerous Intersections in Port St. Lucie

Nearly half of accidents in Port St. Lucie happen at intersections. The most dangerous intersections in Port St. Lucie include:

FL-716/Port St. Lucie Boulevard and US-1

The FL-716/Port St. Lucie Boulevard and US-1 intersection is probably the most dangerous in the city. It brings together two major roads with relatively high speeds. This intersection saw multiple injuries and fatalities in 2020, according to Signal Four Analytics.

Gatlin Boulevard and Savona Boulevard

This is another dangerous intersection. Gatlin Boulevard exits I-95 and runs to the residential areas east of the freeway. Several businesses, including a bank, a gas station, and fast food restaurants, sit at the intersection of Gatlin Boulevard and Savona Boulevard. Several injury accidents happened at this intersection in 2020.

Navigating Port St. Lucie Safely

As you drive around Port St. Lucie, exercise caution around intersections. Drive defensively and make sure the way is clear before entering the intersection. Drivers in Port St. Lucie tend to forget to wait their turn at intersections.

Drive sober and watch for erratic behavior from other drivers. Port St. Lucie has a high number of intoxicated driving accidents.

And always wear a seat belt. According to the CDC, seat belts reduce the risk of death for front seat occupants by 45%.