The Deadliest Highway Stretches in Florida
January 9, 2024 | Sagi Shaked | Car Accidents
The Sunshine State is known for its year-round great weather and miles of beautiful beaches. However, it is also home to some of the deadliest highways in the nation.
The question is, which road ranks as the deadliest stretch of highway in Florida? Here’s what you need to know before your next Sunshine State road trip.
The Deadliest Highways in the Sunshine State
The five deadliest highways in Florida include:
- U.S. 19
US-19 is one of the deadliest stretches of road in Florida. The section of US-19 spanning from Denton Avenue to San Marco Drive is particularly dangerous, reporting dozens of fatal accidents over the last few years. Drunk driving played a role in about 10% of fatal accidents, and distracted driving contributed to around 14%.
The road passes through some rural communities and has several dark stretches, which can increase the odds of a crash at night. These dangers are magnified if one of the involved parties is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Interstate 4 (I-4)
According to some estimates, I-4 is the third deadliest road in the country. It is filled with rental car drivers, who are likely commuting to and from central Florida’s various tourist hotspots, such as Disney World, Universal Studios, and the plethora of resort-style hotels along the I-4 corridor.
I-4 is 132 miles, spanning from Daytona Beach on Florida’s east coast to Tampa on the west coast. It averages 1.4 deaths per year per mile of roadway.
- Interstate 95 (I-95)
I-95 runs through the heart of Miami. This stretch of highway experiences a high volume of deadly crashes, as well as crashes in general. The number of car accidents per year has been steadily increasing. I-95 now averages over 2,000 collisions annually, several dozen of which are fatal.
- Florida’s Turnpike
The Florida Turnpike is over 500 miles long and passes through the heart of Florida. While it’s a popular route, it’s also known as dangerous due to its long, straight paths that tempt drivers to mash down on the gas pedal. It also has lots of commercial trucks roaming around. These elements make it riskier than the average road.
- Interstate 75 (I-75)
I-75, particularly the Alligator Alley stretch between Naples and Fort Lauderdale, is known for high speeds and limited visibility due to fog. You’ll probably see wildlife jaywalking across this busy road from time to time, making it even more dangerous.
What Contributes To The Deadliest Stretches of Highway in Florida?
All of the deadliest highways in Florida have unique traits that make them dangerous.
However, there are also a few similarities that contribute to the dangerous nature of these roads, including:
- High traffic volumes
- Aggressive driving and speeding
- Tourist traffic
- Environmental factors
Each of these issues can make your drive a bit more challenging. But when they all come together — think high speed, a bunch of lost tourists, and a sudden downpour — the risk of a crash can shoot up dramatically.
Staying Safe on Florida’s Deadliest Highways
Taking a drive down the deadliest stretch of highway can be nerve-racking, especially if you are an inexperienced driver. However, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
First, get to know Florida’s car inspection laws and ensure your vehicle is in good working order. Also, make sure you have the defensive driving skills to navigate any unexpected dangers that may arise while on the road.
Most importantly, be diligent. Staying attentive is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your passengers while traveling on Florida’s highways.