Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere in Indian River County, but there are certain roads that are considered “accident magnets” because of the high frequency of car accidents that occur there. In Indian River County, this road is State Road 60 (SR-60).
A 160-mile long trans-peninsular route that connects Clearwater to the west with Vero Beach in the east, SR-60 is notorious for traffic fatalities. Recent months have seen several vehicle accidents along the rural road that winds through citrus groves and cow pastures. The majority of these accidents were attributed to poor visibility and passing maneuvers, with most occurring late at night or early in the morning. Just last month a Fort Pierce man was killed after he was hit by a car on SR-60. The crash happened about 4:50 a.m., just west of 102nd Avenue. In April, a Vero Beach man was killed after he was struck by a SUV on SR-60 while riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. Why is SR-60 so dangerous?
The history of SR-60 When SR-60 was first developed, there was a two-lane stretch from Yeehaw Junction to Vero Beach that was particularly dangerous. With narrow lanes, frequent fog, few passing lanes, and no guard rails, this stretch of SR-60 averaged one serious accident a week in 1991.1 In 1993, the state Department of Transportation approved a 20-year action plan to transform this accident-prone section into a safer, four-lane divided road. Now, more than 20 years later, this stretch of SR-60 is wider, brighter, and divided. So, why are accidents still so prevalent? Reasons for SR-60 accidents Most of the accidents along SR-60 happen late at night or early in the morning. Statistically, drivers during these hours tend to either be professional truck drivers, road-trippers, or late-night revelers. Therefore, lack of sleep and intoxication are often factors. Here are some safety recommendations to keep in mind as you drive on SR-60 or as you drive on any rural highway:
- Stay Alert: Pay attention to the road and surrounding vehicles.
- No Tailgating: Rural highways tend to leave little room for error correction. Allow at least a full car length for every ten miles per hour of speed, and a little more just to be safe.
- Reduce Distractions: If you listen to music as you drive, program the music so that you aren’t constantly changing it as you drive. Avoid using a cell phone, eating, grooming – or anything except paying attention to the road.
- Be Prepared: Be ready for entering cars and wildlife which can appear unexpectedly.
- No Speeding: Obey the posted speed limits, even if there is not much traffic.
If you’re involved in a crash on SR-60, what should you do?
If you’re injured by a negligent driver in an accident on SR-60—or anywhere else along the Treasure Coast—discuss your rights and options with an experienced accident attorney. If you have been involved in a car accident, contact Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd online or call us today at 866-460-1990. Led by Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer Steve Hoskins, our firm has decades of experience representing clients whose lives have been changed due to car accidents and personal injuries throughout the Treasure Coast. References: 1Tin, Annie. State Plans Call for 4-Lane S.R. 60, Orlando Sentinel, 1993: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-1993-07-07-9307070670-story.html