How the supply chain crisis, truck driver shortage, and record-setting traffic are causing more accidents and more fatalities on the Treasure Coast
It’s the most wonderful time of year, but according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, this holiday season is proving to be the most dangerous—and deadly—for Treasure Coast drivers.
On average each year, there is a 34% increase in car accidents during the holidays and 38% more roadway fatalities between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Why? There are more vehicles on Treasure Coast roadways during the holiday season due to travel, holiday shopping, and work or school events. Plus, the holidays are notorious for drinking and driving. Naturally, with more cars on the road and an increase in dangerous driving behaviors, more collisions and fatalities are bound to happen.
But this year is different. Car accidents in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee are up 275% from 2020. What experts are describing as “the perfect storm,” the extreme spike in car accidents can be attributed to a multitude of factors.
Why are Treasure Coast roadways becoming more dangerous?
- Supply chain crisis – The 2021 supply chain crisis can be blamed for another problem: an increase in car accidents on the Treasure Coast. The shipping crisis has caused Amazon to boost its workforce by 75% in hopes of filling gaps of the truck driver shortage. This means an additional 260,000 delivery drivers will be on the road this holiday season.
- Truck driver shortage – Across Florida, the truck driving shortage has hit a record high. Drivers that are still working now face longer hours and tighter schedules, which increases the risk of truck accidents. Plus, trucking companies are offering salary increases and incentives to attract new drivers. Rookie drivers working their first holiday season may get overwhelmed and be too inexperienced to make the right decisions behind the wheel.
- Congested roadways – A record-breaking 115.6 million travelers will hit U.S. roadways this holiday season—a 71% increase compared to last year. As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on for a second year, many people are choosing to travel for the holidays, but are doing so via car. With more cars on the road, statistically there is a greater chance of getting into an accident.
- Failure to maintain vehicles – With many Treasure Coast residents quarantining and practicing social distancing this past year, AAA reports a noticeable decline in regular vehicle maintenance services. Poor vehicle maintenance is a leading cause of accidents, especially with long-distance driving.
5 tips for Treasure Coast residents driving safely during the holiday season
- Avoid blind spots – The right side of a semi-truck is the largest blind spot for a truck driver. Avoid spending prolonged time in this zone to ensure the truck driver can see you.
- Keep a safe distance – Driving close to a semi-truck puts you at greater risk for being hurt by sudden stops, tire blowouts, or roll overs caused by strong wind. Whether you’re behind or in front of a large truck, leave plenty of space for merging, swerving, and maneuvering.
- Pad the travel time – Give yourself ample time to get where you’re going. Rushing in bad weather and heavy traffic is never a good idea.
- Check weather conditions – Before you start your trip, check the weather to ensure the roads are safe.
- Get your vehicle serviced – Make sure your car is up-to-date on maintenance. If your trip will include driving through snow, you should winterize your vehicle and stock your car with a winter survival kit—just in case something happens.
Involved in a car accident in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach or Okeechobee?
Know your rights. Call us immediately at 866-930-6435
If you are involved and/or injured in a car accident in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach or Okeechobee, the best thing you can do is call our office and speak with one of our car accident attorneys. Free of charge, we will set-up an in-person or over-the-phone consultation to help you understand your rights and what your next steps should be.
The car accident attorneys at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd have over 40 years of experience helping thousands of injury victims and their families recover from serious accidents on the Treasure Coast. We’re experienced. We’re local. We’re on your side.
Schedule your free consultation by calling 866-930-6435