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Congestion Costing South Florida Drivers More than Time

The next 40 days will be the most dangerous time of the year on South Florida roads.

According to the Sun Sentinel, commuters in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties spent more than 45 hours stuck in traffic in 2011. That’s up from the 2010 calculations in the Texas Transportation Institute’s annual congestion report. This report ranks metropolitan areas around the country by the amount of time drivers waste in traffic and how much extra time is needed to get to where we’ve got to be, in addition to a number of other factors.

Here in South Florida, if you’re planning on taking a trip that would normally take a half hour when there are few vehicles on the road, the same trip could take more than an hour and a half, according to the “planning time index” that was created by researchers. What this index does is it calculates the amount of extra time that you’re going to need to get to where you’ve got to be on time. The index is accurate 19 out of 20 times.

Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers understand that congestion is getting worse and worse as our economy improves. More people are feeling comfortable spending at the pump and therefore there are more cars sharing our roadways. For example, before the downturn in the economy, South Florida logged less than 60 hours in traffic back in 2005.

This means a lot more than wasting time in traffic. All of that time is cost South Florida drivers close to 95 million gallons of fuel. That means each driver wasted close to 30 gallons of gas sitting in traffic.

Out of all the metro areas in the country (close to 500), our area ranked 11th. In the previous year, we ranked in at 15. And it’s only expected to get worse, so be ready.

If we don’t do anything about this congestion, officials are estimating that the costs of sitting in traffic are going to balloon by close to 70 percent by 2020. We can also expect the number of hours we’re going to lose to jump by close to 60 percent.

To help to alleviate this congestion, Interstate 95 has converted its carpool lanes to express lanes. In these lanes, drivers can pay a toll for a generally faster and less congested trip.

On the turnpike, officials got rid of chokepoints from Miamar to Florida City. By removing the tollbooths, drivers can pay the toll with overhead gantries. Now, everyone who passes through can pay with SunPass or they will be getting a bill in the mail.

Before heading out, you’re urged to plan! Leave with plenty of time to spare to accommodate traffic and congestion. Allowing yourself extra time will help to eliminate the need to speed and will help to keep you safe and on time!

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

South Florida Traffic Accidents and Teen Deaths — A Direct Connection, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, February 10, 2013

FHP Targets Aggressive Drivers in Collision Prevention Effort, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, February 6, 2013

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