Intersections are supposed to help prevent congestion by easing the flow of traffic, but some intersections are poorly designed or, due to increasingly heavy use, no longer adequately serve their original purpose. This is especially common in four-way intersections that contain multiple lanes and turn lanes. In the Tampa Bay area, which has seen an explosion in population over the last twenty years, overcrowded roads and streets have become commonplace.
Florida’s population has also surged over the last few decades and is projected to continue to climb into the foreseeable future. This growth has had a direct impact on the number of users of the road network, resulting in a higher occurrence of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities across the state.
Statistics made available by the 2016 Pinellas County Traffic Crash Trends and Conditions Report show that in 2015, a total of 28,501 motor vehicle crashes happened in the county. Of these, 99 resulted in one or more fatalities, while 3465 caused serious injuries.
Car Accidents on SR 580 and Countryside Boulevard
A major east-west highway serving northern Pinellas and central Hillsborough County, State Route 580 is a key route for commerce and commuting. In Clearwater, it intersects the heavily commercial Countryside Blvd. area where Countryside Mall and a number of retail outlets (including big box and grocery stores), restaurants, and colleges are located.
In recent months and years, the intersection of SR 580 and Countryside Boulevard has been the site of an alarming number of serious car crashes. These accidents involved rollovers, angle, right turn, left turn, and head-on collisions. As vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increases along such corridors, so does the probability of crashes and injuries.
Clearwater has seen a total of 2752 crashes with 25 fatalities and 676 injuries between the beginning of 2011 and the end of 2015. In this time frame intersection accidents at SR 580 and Countryside Blvd. alone numbered 45, resulting in nine injuries, including two bicyclists. In January 2018 a truck carrying chemicals flipped over, causing a prolonged highway closure in that location. At least three more serious accidents occurred at this intersection in February, September, and December 2019. The cost in terms of personal injury and property damage and police, fire, and other first responder municipal services is immense.
Causes of These Car Crashes
The majority of car crashes in this area—as in most places—happen as a result of aggressive driving, impaired driving, careless or negligent driving (including distracted driving caused by cell phone use), failure to yield, failure to keep in the proper lane, following too closely, improper backing, running red lights or stop signs, and driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. All these factors are especially critical in cases of accidents involving those classified as vulnerable—pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
Here's What You Should Do if You've been in a Florida Traffic Accident
When an accident happens, it’s imperative to do the following:
- remain at the crash scene;
- check on the condition of all people involved in the crash;
- call the police;
- exchange information with other drivers;
- get contact from witnesses;
- inform your insurance company;
- get appropriate medical treatment and track the details of same;
- and take photos of vehicle damage and injuries.
It’s also important to obtain help from a personal injury attorney who fully understands the law and how insurance policies work. Our office is a local Clearwater firm but we have satellite offices all across Florida and we will come to you. We’ve also represented individuals involved in collisions at 580 and Countryside Blvd. We can handle every aspect of your injury claim so that you can focus on your physical recovery.
Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in Florida car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.