10 Common Road Mistakes Made by Drivers in Florida
Are you heading on vacation to Florida soon?
If so, you’re not alone! Florida is a popular destination for tourists all over the world. In fact, the state welcomed over 113 million visitors in 2016.
That record-breaking number is proof that the sunshine state is an eclectic mix of people, often from out of state as well as foreign countries.
Since most places in Florida require a car to get around, many people on the roads are driving in unfamiliar territory. That confusion will often cause chaos and congestion on the roads.
That’s why there were almost 400,000 traffic accidents in Florida during 2016.
When you’re driving your family around in Florida, you’ll want to be aware of the other drivers around you. This is especially true if you’re driving a rental car you need to protect.
The best way to protect yourself against drivers in Florida is to be a defensive driver yourself. Here are ten things you should be on the lookout for when you’re driving in the sunshine state:
Florida drivers are notorious for disobeying speed limits and driving too quickly on busy roads. It’s often Florida locals that are guilty of this, as they’re in a hurry to get past tourists.
When you’re driving in Florida, whether you’re a local or just a visitor, make sure you’re always aware of the posted speed limit. Speeding makes the roads dangerous for everyone.
2. Not Using Turn Signals
Another common mistake Florida drivers make is not using their turn signals when they’re approaching a turn or changing lanes.
It’s illegal in Florida to change lanes without signaling, but not everyone will follow this rule. This is especially true if they’re from out of town and aren’t familiar with local laws.
To keep yourself safe, always stay focused while driving, so you’ll be prepared for a driver to move over without signaling.
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Tailgating is never a good idea, but it can be even more dangerous in the busy Florida traffic. Drivers in Florida can be slow, but tailgating isn’t a way to make them move faster.
To avoid a fender bender, always remain a defensive driver and keep enough distance in between you and the car in front of you.
4. Last Minute Turns
Making last-minute decisions is common for drivers who aren’t sure where they’re going. Unfortunately, this is many drivers in Florida as a lot of them aren’t local.
We’ve all had moments where our GPS misled us, or we realized we’re about to miss a crucial turn. While the instinct might be to make the turn, this is extremely dangerous for you and the other drivers on the road.
Make sure you plan on where you’re going beforehand and give yourself a good idea of the turns you’ll need to make. Also, keep an eye out at major intersections for drivers who take last-minute turns.
5. Driving Slowly in the Left Lane
Many drivers in Florida are elderly, and this often means they drive slower than you might be used to in other places. It’s important to stay patient and alert when you’re faced with drivers who drive under the speed limit, especially in the left lane.
If you encounter a driver going slowly in the left lane, pass them when traffic has cleared.
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6. Rolling Stops
Stop signs are not suggestions; they’re the law. Unfortunately, not every driver in Florida will follow this rule. When you’re at a stop sign, make sure you always come to a complete stop and check that no vehicles are in your way before moving again.
Since not everyone will do this, it’s important that you stay alerted and protect yourself from drivers who aren’t as careful.
7. Not Checking Blind Spots
We’re taught to always check out blind spots before turning or changing lanes, but this is still a common mistake driver in Florida make.
The best way to prevent accidents here is to remind yourself to always check your blind spot, and be prepared to respond appropriately if you see a car trying to make a move when you’re in their blind spot.
8. Making Illegal Turns
Making illegal turns is common for drivers who aren’t familiar with the roads. Sometimes it can be confusing to know when and where you’re allowed to turn.
This is especially common with U-turns. If you’re not sure where you’re going and miss a turn, it’s tempting to pull a U-turn at the next available turn. However, this isn’t always allowed.
Make sure you stay alerted and always pay attention to road signs signaling. Again, keep in mind that not everyone will follow the rules, so always keep a look out for others making illegal turns.
9. Driving Distracted
Since most Florida drivers aren’t local, they’re probably using some GPS system to navigate. While this might seem helpful, it can cause a lot of distracted drivers.
We all know that looking at screens, texting or otherwise taking your eyes off the road while driving can is a top cause of accidents. If you notice another driver is distracted by the GPS or anything else, proceed with extra caution.
10. Not Checking for Pedestrians
It’s important to be cautious of Florida drivers when you’re in the car yourself, but also when you’re a pedestrian.
Pedestrians have the right of way, but drivers from other states or countries likely have different rules and might not know this. So before you cross the street, make sure you check and double check that all cars have stopped before you cross the street.
This is especially important to remember if you’re walking where cars are allowed to make a right turn. Just because you have a walk signal, doesn’t mean that all cars will be courteous. Stay alert, so you don’t put yourself or others at risk.
More Resources for Drivers in Florida
If you’re planning a trip to Florida soon, and plan on driving for any part of the journey, we have all the resources you’ll need.
Check out the rest of our blog for everything from tips on staying safe on the road to fun spots off the beaten path you need to see.
Do you have any other tips on common mistakes drivers in Florida make? Leave them in the comments below.