Author Archives: Ted Esposito

Is Florida Traffic Really as Bad as They Say?

Yes. Believe it or not, Florida drivers are the worst.

…and that is according to other Florida drivers! Florida drivers routinely drive (and remain) in the left lane (instead of using the left lane for active passing only), speed, drive impaired, text, cut you off, flip you “the bird” and then text while cutting and flipping you off. Set aside the occasional blue hair that puts on her turn signal and leaves it on for 30 miles or the person who speeds up to cut you off, just to slow down. Ummm…just get in behind me.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. Orlando Sentinel recently ran a Facebook poll to ask readers what they dislike about Florida drivers and quickly got more than 400 responses. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Beth Alden, executive director for Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization, said those numbers correlate with other data she’s seen on travel time reliability.

The Florida Department of Transportation evaluates how much longer it takes drivers to go somewhere during peak hours and heavy congestion than is expected for that corridor, a measurement it calls “travel time reliability.” The state has a reliability goal of 75 percent for its interstates, and Tampa falls short of that goal at 71 percent, Alden said.

“We are in a downward trend in terms of reliability,” she said. “It means we have to budget more time to get where we have to go, particularly if it’s a hard deadline, like picking up your child from day care.”

While congestion can be a sign of a growing economy, it also comes with a cost — both in time and dollars — to a city and its drivers.

Who hates Florida drivers? Other Florida drivers.

Top complaints include people who don’t use their turn signals, people who aren’t paying attention when the light turns green, those who run hazard lights in the rain, honk their horns too often and chronic tailgaters.

Traffic jams are so bad that I frequently play a game in my mind when I get in a traffic jam: Is it a bad accident or is everybody just looking at nothing? More often than not, it’s nothing.

So how much time do Tampa drivers lose per year because of traffic? A recent report states that Tampa drivers lost 87 hours because of traffic last year. How much does traffic cost the average commuter? About $1,200 per year!

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