The Florida Turnpike has become increasingly dangerous for car accidents, with a high volume of traffic and various factors contributing to the risks on the road. However, there are several things we can all do to make driving on the Turnpike safer.
Here are a few key actions all of us who drive on the Turnpike should consider:
Follow work zone safety guidelines
When driving through work zones, move early into open lanes during traffic shifts, drive slowly, stay alert, and avoid all distractions. These precautions can help protect both drivers and construction workers.
Share the road with all types of vehicles
Motorcyclists and commercial motor vehicles, such as large trucks and buses, have the same privileges, rights, and responsibilities as other vehicles on the road.
As Lake Worth car accident lawyer Charlie Cartwright advises, “It is critically important for those of us who drive cars to extra caution when driving around trucks and buses to ensure everyone's safety.”
Cartwright adds, “A fairly common cause of accidents and near-misses on the Florida Turnpike is car drivers not understanding how to anticipate how these much larger, heavier vehicles drive, turn, and navigate changing lanes.
Be aware of wrong-way drivers
If you encounter a wrong-way driver, stop immediately, pull over to the side of the road, and turn around when it is safe to do so. Wrong-way driving can be extremely dangerous, so it's crucial to take appropriate actions to avoid a potential crash.
That split-second in which we are literally frozen by surprise when we see a wrong-way driver on the Turnpike can make the difference between safety and a bad accident, so prepare yourself not to be shocked by anything you see on the highway.
Stay out of the blind spots of trucks
Large trucks have significant blind spots, so it's essential to avoid lingering in these areas. Be mindful of the truck driver's visibility and give them plenty of space to maneuver safely.
Don't engage with drivers experiencing road rage (and watch your own rage!)
This is a tough point to get across today, when, as Cartwright observes, “so many of us seem to be so angry behind the wheel so much of the time.”
Cartwright suggests that if you encounter a driver exhibiting aggressive behavior, it's best to avoid engaging with them. Maintain a safe distance and focus on your own driving to prevent any potential conflicts.
Don’t try to be what you perceived as clever by getting too close to the other car or showing off with some aggressive maneuver. Be safe and smart and, ideally, calm.
Maintain a safe following distance
Leaving enough space between your vehicle and the one in front of you can give you more time to react to sudden changes in traffic conditions. This can help prevent rear-end collisions and other accidents[
Always wear your seatbelt
Seatbelts are one of the most effective safety devices in vehicles and can significantly reduce the risk of injury or death in a crash. Make sure to wear your seatbelt properly, with the lap belt around your hips and the shoulder belt across your chest.
Stay informed about traffic conditions
Before getting on the Turnpike, check traffic websites and apps for real-time updates on congestion and accidents. This information can help you plan your route and avoid potentially hazardous situations.
Be prepared for emergencies
Familiarize yourself with the Florida Turnpike's stranded motorist safety tips, which provide guidance on what to do if you experience a breakdown or other unexpected situation on the road. Being prepared can help you stay safe and minimize the impact of these events on other drivers.
By implementing these strategies and encouraging others to do the same, we can all contribute to making the Florida Turnpike a safer place for everyone sharing the road.
About Aron Solomon
A Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer, Aron Solomon, JD, is the chief legal analyst for Esquire Digital and Today’s Esquire. He has taught entrepreneurship at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania, and was elected to Fastcase 50, recognizing the top 50 legal innovators in the world. Aron has been featured in Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes, CBS News, CNBC, USA Today, ESPN, Today’s Esquire, TechCrunch, The Hill, BuzzFeed, Venture Beat, The Independent, Fortune China, Yahoo!, ABA Journal, Law.com, The Boston Globe, and many other leading publications across the globe.