We hear about it all the time — serious car accidents on the Alley.
Alligator Alley is a 100-mile stretch of road that connects Naples to Weston and the rest of the west coast of Florida. It cuts across the northern tip of the Everglades and is among the most remote roads in the United States.
Our Weston injury lawyers understand that the Alley is 100 miles of straight, long, boring road. There are no billboards. No attractions. No external distractions. It’s just your eyes on the straight and narrow lanes of traffic. When driving this trip at night, there aren’t a lot of lights to help you to see or to help you to stay awake.
There are very little opportunities to make a U-turn without running the risk of getting hit. No roads. No exits. No gas stations. To make it even worse, there are only two staffed rest stops and one gas station located between the toll booth in Naples and Weston. If you run out of gas or you run into some mechanical problems, you’re virtually out of luck and you better have plenty of time on your hands to wait for help. Lastly, we think that people underestimate the risks of drowsy driving on this roadway. More than an hour of monotonous driving can really impact a driver’s concentration.
“It’s been frustrating to try and get resources out on the Alley when there is an emergency,” said Lt. Dave Erdman with Broward Fire-Rescue.
According to the Sun Sentinel, more than 30 percent of accidents on the Alley were due to careless driving. This was back when it was only two lanes. When it shot up to four lanes, the number of accidents involving careless driving rose to nearly 45 percent.
In earlier years, the number of accidents wasn’t as high as it is today, but that’s because there weren’t as many people using it. Instead, officers were only getting calls about tourists getting bit by snakes or travelers running into alligators.
Back then, the speed limit was only 55 miles per hour, too. Today it’s 70 miles per hour and as we’ve recently reported, speed is one of the top contributors in fatal car accidents across the U.S. — and the Alley is no different. Troopers say that they’ve often clocked drivers at 90 miles per hour.
No wonder we see so many accidents.
The truth of the matter is that Alligator Alley is a long journey and it’s a trip everyone should plan for. First off, you want to make sure that you’re well rested before you venture across the state. It’s a long, straight trip and you want to make sure you’ve got plenty of energy to keep your attention focused on the road. You’re also going to want to make sure you fill up your gas tank before you hit the toll plaza. Luckily there are signs on the side of the road reminding drivers of the last gas station before the toll.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Freeman & Mallard for a free and confidential consultation. Call 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Breakdown Safety: Staying Safe in Your Time of Need, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 22, 2012
Are Your Medications Setting You Up for an Accident?, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, September 16, 2012