Update: January 2023 – the latest numbers for all of 2022 are now updated below
Tampa area drivers do their best to avoid the busiest highways and streets each morning and evening. Drivers who can find other routes try to steer clear of frantic stretches like Interstate 275 and Kennedy Boulevard. Yet, even the best shortcuts through Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater can become packed with cars, SUVs, and trucks. Those busy roadways also carry plenty of accident hazards.
A careless driver looking at a cell phone or a reckless driver traveling too fast can make a mistake that causes a chain-reaction collision involving multiple vehicles. These frightening accidents shut down traffic and often endanger lives.
Tampa’s Robert Sparks Attorneys commissioned a study of the most recent car accident data to better illustrate the need for caution on our city’s thoroughfares. It’s hoped a visual reminder of the dangers that exist on Tampa roads will encourage drivers to practice safe driving techniques that allow everyone to get home safely.
An Early Estimate of Traffic Fatalities for January Through June 2022
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, statistical projections published in September of 2022 show that there were 20,175 fatal motor vehicle accidents across the country in the first half of the year. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the census responsible for supplying yearly fatal injury data, will release the total numbers later this year.
The same study reported a one percent decrease for fatal car crashed in the southeast region (including Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida). Conversely, northern regions reached as much as an 11% increase.
Florida and Tampa Car Crash Figures Across 2021
At the time of our study, 2022 Tampa accident rates were not trending in a positive direction. As of the beginning of September, the Hillsborough County collision numbers stood at over 17,800 incidents with a tragic 127 deaths already reported. Those figures were well on their way to exceeding 2021 results. However, by the end of 2022, the total number of crashes in Hillsborough County reached 26,698, a mere dip from the year prior. In fact, total fatal crashes resulted in 254 and 201 in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
Florida traffic accident rates in general took a major dip in 2020 when the pandemic kept a lot of drivers off the roads. It’s discouraging to see how quickly collision numbers bounced back to pre-2020 levels in 2021 in Tampa and across Florida.
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) department documented very similar accident numbers in 2019 and 2021 for Florida and for Hillsborough County/Tampa traffic.
Busy and dangerous intersections like where Adamo Drive and Grand Regency Boulevard meet continued to fuel crash figures in Tampa in 2021. SR 582 and 30th Street and US 92 and Cherokee Avenue were two other dangerous spots that contributed to 2021 numbers.
Another frightening trend that emerges when comparing 2021 and 2019 data is how car accident totals were lower in 2021, but the fatalities recorded ended up higher. Even 2020 was a deadlier year than 2019 despite fewer people leaving their homes. The hope is that motorists traveling in 2022 and 2023 will take notice of these tragic statistics and work towards safer driving practices going forward.
According to FLHSMV, The Tampa Police Department and other local police forces, like the Plant City Police, responded to around 40% of accidents in Hillsborough County in 2021. The Florida Highway Patrol responded to 30% of local accidents. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department worked around 29% of the collisions.
St. Petersburg and Clearwater Car Accident Numbers
The trends were largely the same for St. Petersburg and Clearwater traffic accident figures. In Pinellas County, traffic accident incidents bounced back in 2021 to nearly what they were in 2019.
Sadly, the number of fatal incidents only grew in 2021, far exceeding 2019 numbers. In 2019 there were 108 lives lost on Pinellas County Roads like the often hazardous Seminole Boulevard/Missouri Avenue. The interchanges of U.S. 19 and Seville Boulevard and U.S. 19 and Nebraska Avenue were two other dangerous spots for St. Petersburg drivers. In 2020 the death toll also reached 108 victims. In 2021, the toll shockingly rose to 153 lost lives.
Tampa DUI Accident Statistics for 2022
So far in 2022, drunk driving accidents have remained a serious threat to everyone who uses Tampa streets and highways. The FLHSMV documents 290 drunk driving accidents in Hillsborough County as of the start of September with 8 tragic deaths attributed to those accidents.
Tampa drivers are at risk of an encounter with an impaired driver at any time of the day or night. The actions of a driver on drugs or after having consumed alcohol are hard to predict.
The crashes are also often more devastating because intoxicated drivers don’t always have the presence of mind to hit the brakes when they are heading for an impact. Collisions may occur at full speed to leave victims with major injuries.
Unfortunately, drunk driving was one cause of accidents in Tampa that remained steady from 2019, through the pandemic of 2020, and into 2021.
Tampa Hit-And-Run Accident Statistics for 2022
Hit-And-Run Accidents are some of the most heartbreaking accidents on Hillsborough County roadways. When a hit-and-run driver decides to leave a defenseless victim at the scene of an accident it often means that the injured have to wait even longer to receive life-saving medical care. Accident victims are also left vulnerable to additional impacts until the collision is reported and officers can secure the scene.
These terrible decisions also leave victims and their families facing enormous medical bills. A hit-and-run driver can elude capture and leave victims unable to call upon a car insurance company for assistance.
Unfortunately, hit-and-run cases are surging in Florida and in the Tampa Bay area. As of the start of September 2022, transportation officials had already documented over 4,800 hit-and-run accidents in Tampa, five deaths, and over 1,200 injuries.
FLHSMV transportation officials found that hit-and-run cases in Hillsborough County returned to extreme levels in 2021 after taking a dip in 2020. The even worse news is that 2021 numbers for hit-and-run accidents and deaths skyrocketed well past 2019 levels.
Support for Tampa Bay Area Accident Victims in 2022 and Beyond
From the data, 2022 appears to be bringing Tampa drivers another dangerous year on the roads. You may not be able to steer yourself clear of every accident, but it’s important to know your rights after a careless driver hurts you or a loved one. There are benefits available to you and your family that insurance adjusters may try to hold back from you.
If you live in Tampa or the surrounding area, contact Robert Sparks Attorneys for a free consultation after a car accident. It’s a no-risk opportunity to speak with our Tampa car accident lawyers and go over your options before you sign away important benefits in an unfair car accident settlement.