One prime location for those who have set their eyes on Florida, is Tampa. Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, the zoo and surrounding scenery bring thousands of tourists and residents to Tampa every year. This is an incredibly important part of their economy, but with the increased tourism and residents moving to Tampa comes the increased amount of car accidents. This causes many Floridians and Tampa residents to ask: Is Tampa’s population growth causing dangerous roads?
What types of accidents could become more frequent AS Tampa’s population growS?
The United States Census estimates that as of 2021, there were 387,050 residents in the city of Tampa, Florida. That number will continue to grow as people are brought in by the appeal of a permanent vacation lifestyle, which will increase the number of cars on the road. In the future, Florida is looking to implement autonomous driving vehicles, but right now there is still the threat of accidents.
The roads in Tampa are shared not only by permanent residents, but also by through-traffic and tourists. Drivers who are unfamiliar with the area may suddenly brake, or drivers who are too familiar with the area may try to zip around the slower drivers. Big trucks have to share the roads with small cars and trucks and that can make for tight fits on already crowded roads.
The following are some of the most common accidents that may increasingly occur in Tampa as the population grows:
- Failure to yield accidents - these accidents occur when people fail to stop at a stop sign, yield sign or stop light. With so many more drivers on the road, accidents involving people who do not stop and give the right of way will become frequent.
- Speeding accidents - This kind of accident occurs when drivers fail to maintain the speed set by local officials. Speeding can cause major risks to pedestrians, drivers and passengers of any vehicle on the road. Going above the suggested speed limit is dangerous because the faster a vehicle is going, the harder it can be to control it.
- Distracted driving accidents - these are accidents that involve drivers who were not giving their full attention to driving. This can be because of passengers, the radio and billboards on the side of the road. The biggest cause of distracted driving these days is cell phone use.
- Road rage accidents - These accidents occur when one or more drivers behave in an aggressive manner, such as tailgating and cutting other drivers off. Drivers who behave in this manner are allowing a perceived slight or act of aggression to overwhelm their logic.
- Driving under the influence - these types of accidents are caused by drivers who are either driving under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that alters your state of mind and ability to operate a motor vehicle.
- Construction or road condition accidents - these accidents can occur when there is construction on the road that can cause road conditions to deteriorate. In these zones, speed limits often are reduced by at least ten to fifteen miles an hour.
- Tourist accidents - This type of accident usually involves a person from out of town who is unfamiliar with the roads. They are often using GPS devices or maps and may make frequent stops or slow down unexpectedly.
Car crash statistics for Tampa, Florida
Learning how to drive and becoming a licensed driver means that you understand and have accepted the inherent risks of driving. You can be involved in an accident no matter how safe you are driving. With an increase in population comes an increased potential for car accidents. The population of the county of Hillsborough is projected to reach 1,595,000 by the year 2025. The current population of Hillsborough County is 1,460,000.
The growth in Tampa, Florida is bound to have an impact on traffic. This is an obvious statement but it can be hard to picture. To help create a clearer picture of the current state of Tampa, Florida’s roadways, the following are statistics gathered in 2021:
- In 2021, there were a total of 28,022 car accidents in Hillsborough County.
- 18,701 injuries were reported as a direct result of a car accident in Tampa, Florida.
- There were a tragic 255 fatal accidents in Hillsborough County in 2021.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and other substances caused 33 fatal accidents in Tampa, Florida in 2021.
Is population growth going to negatively impact Tampa, Florida’s traffic?
There is no denying that the growth of Tampa, Florida has had an impact on its traffic. The surplus amount of drivers and cars on the road has made it more congested, leading to more traffic violations and auto accidents. The growth of Tampa and of Florida as a whole is exploding while the rest of the country’s population shifts and declines. That is great news for Florida, its economy will benefit immensely from the increased tourism and people moving permanently.
It is going to take the whole community to look out for one another. A great and simple way to do this is by simply obeying the traffic laws. They may be annoying and frustrating, but they have been instated to keep all motorists, passengers and pedestrians safe when traveling from one destination to another. Speed limits have been set at a certain speed because that is what a reasonable driver can maintain safely. Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you are going, leave earlier than you need to if it is necessary. If everyone is willing to do their part, the population growth in Tampa, Florida can be seen in a positive, constructive light.