Pensacola is fast becoming a very dangerous place to drive according to recent articles published in the Pensacola News Journal. Accidents are on the rise and everything from tailgating to distracted driving has been cited as the root cause. Recently, new traffic data is showing an increase of almost 20% more accidents occurring this year over last year, on one of the most dangerous thoroughfares in our city, the Pensacola Bay Bridge. Numerous articles have been written on accidents that are a result of everything from feeding babies in the backseat bottles, to a multi-distracted driver turning down a radio at the same time as he was answering a cell phone. Because of the density of traffic, 4 and 5 car pileups with injuries are not uncommon, keeping our hospitals and chiropractors busy. Accordingly, gridlock on the bridge has become a common everyday occurrence and back–ups make getting emergency vehicles to the scene of the accident very difficult when time is of the essence. Almost all accidents are the result of rear end crashes due to the heavy congestion and close proximity of cars moving across the bridge according to officials.
Public Safety our Chief Concern
According to police, secondary emergency response efforts have been thwarted due to excessive grid-locking phone traffic. Drivers feeling the frustration while driving in slow or non-moving traffic have been phoning into police, making an already strained dispatch system even more congested with unnecessary phone calls. The end result is a public safety concern because dispatchers and police are responding to traffic issues coupled with all of the other emergency situations that arise. During peak hours of operation, weekdays, 7am – 9am and 4:30pm – 6pm, and on weekends during daylight hours, the Bay Bridge has become a very dangerous place to drive for both passengers and drivers alike. There are additional concerns involving frustrated drivers that are displaying aggressive behaviors such as tailgating or constantly switching from one lane to another to get ahead of traffic. Any time a gap in the flow of cars appears, some driver are ready to fill it no matter how small or how much time they have to proceed. Accidents are being caused, down the line, behind these executed maneuvers because any time one car has to brake because another vehicle creates an uncomfortable situation for the other driver, brakes are applied.
Police and Safety Officials Concerned About Automobile Accidents
With the density of traffic mounting, it has become almost impossible for police to manage drivers and their driving behaviors on roadways like the Pensacola Bay Bridge. Gridlock is an unavoidable reality for commuters who use the bridge regularly. The State of Florida’s Department of Transportation has plans on replacing the bridge with 3 lanes in the future, but for now the communities of Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola Beach and all points east are stuck in congestion, that leads to frustration, and unavoidable accidents and injuries.
The Pensacola News Journal also reported that police are additionally concerned with response time associated with emergency and non-emergency vehicles trying to reach the scene of an accident on the bridge to access injuries and clear vehicles off so that traffic can resume. It is reported that police dispatchers only give a 15 minute response time for non-emergency tow trucks to arrive at the scene of an accident or, they dispatch another vehicle. The Bay Bridge is not identified as having a modified response time to take into consideration traffic congestion which is affecting tow truck operators.
Bay Bridge Accidents and Injuries
Artie Shimek is a car accident and personal injury attorney very familiar with Pensacola and the issues surround the bay bridge. Artie has been practicing law for over 28 years and is a native of Pensacola. Artie has handled 1000’s of accident cases and has a proven track record of winning when it counts. If you or a family member have been injured in an accident, you only get one chance of compensation. Make it count…Call Artie and his staff for a free, no obligation, consultation. You pay no costs or fees unless we recover money for you. Call us today at 850-434-7995…