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What You Should Know

Common Crashes in the Capital City

Observations of a Tallahassee Car Accident Attorney

After five years of practicing personal injury law in Tallahassee, Florida, I’ve noticed that car accidents happen in the same spots in Tallahassee over and over again. It is my hope that by reflecting on common causes of crashes in our city, that we as a community can make smarter choices when driving.

The Deadly Third Lane

  • Imagine this situation: There are three lanes of traffic heading in one direction. Cars are stopped for traffic in the two innermost lanes next to the median and traffic is moving freely in the third lane. The stopped cars in the two inner most lanes leave a gap so that a car in the median can make a turn in front of them. Sounds nice, right? The problem is the turning car cannot see traffic in the third lane, and the oncoming traffic in the third lane cannot see the turning vehicle until it is too late. The turning vehicle is then t-boned by the oncoming vehicle in the third lane, whose driver hasn’t had an opportunity to brake.
  • Common locations:
  • North Monroe street between John Knox Road and the I-10 overpass
  • Capital Circle
  • My advice?
  • To the drivers who are stopped in traffic: I know you are trying to be helpful, but you are setting the turning car up for disaster. As you can imagine, the passenger in the turning car gets hit head on when this type of crash occurs causing serious injury- and sometimes death. Please, don’t give vehicles the option to turn in front of you.
  • To drivers in the median: Please do not pull out in front of stopped traffic. Just don’t do it. You never know if there is an additional lane of traffic that you cannot see and the drivers in the through lanes of traffic have the right of way.
  • To the drivers moving freely in the third lane of traffic: Yes, you have the right of way. Yes, you technically can travel the speed limit. But please, slow down. When traffic is backed up and stopped in the lanes next you, be aware that a vehicle could dart out in front of you. Pay attention and be ready to apply your brakes.

The Exposed Rear

  • Most vehicles do not fit horizontally in the medians in Tallahassee, Florida. And yet, many drivers pull through and stop in the median waiting for traffic to clear. All too often, the rear of their car is completely exposed to oncoming traffic. The exposed rear is dangerous to the vehicle’s occupants because their rear could get hit by oncoming traffic. It is dangerous for oncoming traffic because those vehicles oftentimes have to brake unexpectedly, increasing the likelihood of being rear-ended.
    • Common locations:
      • Capital Circle
      • Thomasville Road
    • My advice:
      • To drivers thinking about exposing their rear: If you want to wait in the median, please only do so if your entire vehicle can fit within the median. If it does not, consider turning right and pulling into a turn lane where you can make a legal U-turn. Make a legal U-turn when traffic clears.
      • To drivers traveling on Capital Circle or Thomasville Road: Pay attention when you are driving. There is absolutely no time to check your phone or look down at your radio. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.

The Old Bainbridge Bends

  • Old Bainbridge Road is a beautiful canopy road that weaves its way through many neighborhoods in Northeastern Tallahassee. Beware, though, as the signs that say “Hidden Driveway” aren’t kidding. As you weave around the bends on Old Bainbridge you are likely to encounter a vehicle pulling out in front of you from a side street. Just like you, they can’t see around the bend.
    • My advice:
      • To the drivers on Old Bainbridge Road: Please do not speed; not even a little bit. Keep your eyes on the road and be ready to hit the brakes.

To my fellow Tallahassee drivers, have you noticed any common causes for crashes in our capital city? Let’s think about, talk about it, and make our home a safer place to drive.