A recent report indicates a dramatic decrease in the number of wrong-way automobile accidents in the Tampa Bay area. According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), there were 31 wrong-way car crashes recorded in the Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties from 2010 to 2014. From January to July 2015, the Tampa Bay area recorded 14 wrong-way car crashes. However, the Florida Highway Patrol is reporting a recent decrease in the number of these accidents.

Wrong-Way Car Crashes

The recent decrease reportedly is the result of the FDOT’s new pilot program which was implemented as an attempt to thwart the issue of wrong-way drivers. In May 2014, transportation workers began painting giant red and blue interstate shields and other markings on the pavement and installed wrong-way signs near 186 interstate exit ramps in the Tampa Bay area. FDOT also installed blinking red-light sensors at three interstate exit ramps and installed 18 pole-mounted vehicle detectors along I-275. Additionally, pole-mounted warning devices have been installed along the I-275 at the interchanges associated with the exits for Fowler, Fletcher and Bearrs Avenue. This experimental system should alert wrong-way drivers through the use of its surveillance cameras, solar panels and flashing red lights. When the system detects a wrong-way driver, an immediate alert will be sent to the Florida Highway Patrol and local traffic management. Though these newly-implemented warning tactics seem to have helped decrease the number of wrong-way crashes, FDOT and law enforcement officials emphasize that total prevention depends upon the decision-making of our drivers.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the wrong-way driving incidents involve the use of alcohol and/or drugs. FDOT reported 66 alcohol-related wrong-way driver arrests in the Tampa area between April 2014 and August 2015. In light of the predominant role of alcohol and/or drugs, a wrong way crash should include an investigation into the possible impairment of the wrong-way driver.

Have you been injured in a wrong-way car accident?

Severe and permanent injuries often occur as a result of the amount of force involved in the impact of a wrong-way car accident. If you or your loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a wrong-way driver or a drunk driver, contact the Capaz Law Firm to speak with an experienced Tampa Bay accident attorney.