Tampa Roadways Face Perfect Storm this Holiday Season
Posted By Darrigo & Diaz
How record-setting traffic, truck driver shortages, and the supply chain crisis are causing more accidents and more fatalities
It’s the most wonderful time of year, but according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, this holiday season is proving to be the most dangerous—and deadly—for Tampa drivers.
Each year during the holiday season, car accidents increase by 34% and traffic fatalities increase by 38%. Why? Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, there are more vehicles on Tampa Bay roadways due to increased travel, holiday shopping, and work or school events. The holidays are also notorious for drinking and driving. Compared to an average day, crash fatalities involving alcohol increase about five times during holidays!
But 2021 is different. Car accidents in Tampa Bay are up 275% from 2020. What experts are describing as “the perfect storm,” the dramatic rise in car accidents is the result of multiple factors.
Why are Tampa roadways becoming more dangerous?
- ● Supply chain crisis – The 2021 supply chain crisis can be blamed for another problem: an increase in car accidents in Tampa Bay. The shipping crisis has caused Amazon to boost its workforce by 75% in an attempt to fill gaps in the truck driver shortage. This means an additional 260,000 delivery drivers will be on the road this holiday season.
- ● Truck driver shortage – Across Tampa Bay, the truck driving shortage has hit a record high. Drivers that are still working now face longer hours and tighter schedules, which increases the risk of truck accidents. Plus, trucking companies are offering salary increases and incentives to attract new drivers. Rookie drivers working their first holiday season may get overwhelmed and be too inexperienced to make the right decisions behind the wheel.
- ● Congested roadways – A record-breaking 115.6 million travelers will hit U.S. roadways this holiday season—a 71% increase compared to last year. As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on for a second year, many people are choosing to travel for the holidays, but are doing so via car. With more cars on the road, statistically there is a greater chance of getting into an accident.
- ● Failure to maintain vehicles – With many Tampa Bay residents quarantining and practicing social distancing this past year, AAA reports a noticeable decline in regular vehicle maintenance services. Poor vehicle maintenance is a leading cause of accidents, especially with long-distance driving.
5 tips for driving safely during the holiday season
- ● Avoid blind spots – The right side of a semi-truck is the largest blind spot for a truck driver. Avoid spending prolonged time in this zone to ensure the truck driver can see you.
- ● Keep a safe distance – Driving close to a semi-truck puts you at greater risk for being hurt by sudden stops, tire blowouts, or roll overs caused by strong wind. Whether you’re behind or in front of a large truck, leave plenty of space for merging, swerving, and maneuvering.
- ● Leave extra time – Leave extra early to account for traffic and any other things that might delay you and your family, as being in a hurry means more mistakes behind the wheel.
- ● Check weather conditions – Before you start your trip, check the weather to ensure the roads are safe.
- ● Get your vehicle serviced – Make sure your car is up-to-date on maintenance. Check tires, windshield wiper fluid, brake pads, headlights and taillights.
What to do if you have been injured in a car or truck accident in Tampa
Car accidents can be devastating, stressful, and tremendous burdens for you and your family. But help, support, and guidance is one phone call away.
The personal injury team at Darrigo & Diaz has over 20 years of experience helping thousands of injury victims and their families recover from serious accidents in Tampa Bay. From the moment you contact us, we will give you straightforward, honest answers to all of your questions. We will inform you of your options and legal rights. We can help you find local medical specialists. We will even handle the insurance companies on your behalf.
We offer free consultations and you do not have to pay anything, unless we win your case.
Call (813) 437-5523 now to schedule your complimentary meeting with our experienced Tampa Bay car accident attorneys.