Tampa Road Safety Overview
Tampa road safety is a top concern of drivers, law enforcement officials, and local governments. Keeping the roads and streets around Tampa safe is a challenging job. However, city and county leaders strive to design, construct, and maintain safe streets for all residents and visitors.
Traffic Accident Statistics for the Tampa Area
The streets in Tampa can be deadly. The roads throughout Hillsborough County have the highest traffic fatality rate per capita for large counties in the United States. Almost 1,800 traffic deaths occurred in the county from 2012 through 2018.
The Tampa Bay area is particularly dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists. An average of one bicyclist and one pedestrian are involved in a motor vehicle crash each day. The Tampa Bay area has one of the highest rates of pedestrian deaths in the United States.
From 2018 through 2020, there were approximately 82,359 traffic crashes in Hillsborough County. Those crashes resulted in:
- 576 fatal crashes
- 37,120 injury crashes
- 1,535 bicycle accidents
- 1,888 pedestrian accidents
- 1,875 motorcycle crashes
- 19,386 hit and run accidents
- 1,414 alcohol-impaired accidents
Many of these accidents were the result of human error and negligence.
Common Causes of Tampa Car Accidents
One or more factors may contribute to the cause of a car accident. Common factors in Tampa car accidents include:
- Alcohol and drug-impaired driving
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving
- Drowsy and fatigued driving
- Failing to obey traffic laws
- Tailgating and following too closely
- Road rage and reckless driving
- Improper lane changes and failing to yield the right of way
- Inexperienced drivers
- Weather conditions and road conditions
Identifying the cause of car accidents can help local leaders improve road safety. For accident victims, identifying the cause of a car crash can strengthen their car accident claim. Under Florida Law, the at-fault driver could be financially liable for the injuries, financial losses, and other damages caused by the collision.
What is the Vision Zero Network?
The Vision Zero Network is an initiative to reduce the number of traffic accidents. The goal is to eliminate all deaths and injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents.
The City of Tampa’s Vision Zero plan is part of its Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow initiative.
Recommendations to implement Vision Zero include:
- Develop a citywide Vision Zero Action Plan
- Use speed management strategies to improve safety
- Implement safety projects on high priority corridors
- Expand Tampa’s network of safe crosswalks, greenways, and trails
- Proactive enforcement of traffic laws throughout the city
- Use community-focused activities to create awareness of safety themes
Hillsborough County has several plans directed at improving the safety of roads throughout the county. Plans include corridor studies, speed management, & congestion, and crash mitigation.
Through the efforts of city and county officials, the goal is to reduce the consequences of traffic accidents for the community and individuals.
The Consequences of Traffic Accidents in Tampa
The consequences of traffic accidents for victims can be enormous. Accident victims may sustain traumatic physical injuries. Those injuries may result in expensive medical bills and substantial loss of income.
Additionally, accident victims may sustain permanent injuries that change their lives forever. They may require long-term nursing and personal care. The financial cost is a burden for the family, but it can also cost the taxpayers in terms of public assistance programs.
Traffic accidents also result in costs for the city. Repairs may be necessary to government-owned property after an accident. Street signs, guardrails, roads, and other items may need to be replaced or repaired.
There is a substantial cost for the resources to respond to traffic accidents. Law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and emergency medical services respond to numerous traffic crashes each day.
What is the Community’s Role in Tampa Road Safety?
The City of Tampa has a duty to provide safe streets for residents and visitors. However, the community also has a role in increasing Tampa road safety.
Motorists have a duty of care to follow traffic laws and operate their vehicles safely. When drivers engage in dangerous driving decisions, they place themselves and all others at risk for injuries and death.
Additionally, pedestrians and bicyclists have a duty of care to avoid accidents. For example, pedestrians may have the right of way in a crosswalk, but they should always look for vehicles before crossing the road.
Business owners and homeowners can keep shrubs and trees trimmed so that they do not result in obstructions. Everyone needs to work together to avoid accidents and injuries from motor vehicle crashes.