Tampa can be a great place to live and work. But just like any other location, it can be dangerous to travel around the city. Tampa in particular has a few location-specific dangers that are worth paying attention to and considering before you set out on the streets. These include (1) a lack of public transportation, (2) a high proportion of elderly residents, and (3) locals who are sometimes known for erratic driving. While Tampa is not as likely as Miami to be home to reckless drivers and more car accidents, it’s still a somewhat dangerous place to drive.
The fact that Tampa’s public transportation is relatively limited may seem like an inconsequential fact, but it actually has a good bit of influence on driving dangers. For starters, lack of public transport can mean that there are more vehicles in the road. When everyone drives carefully, this should not be an issue. But statistically speaking, more cars on the road means more potential for accidents.
In addition, little public transportation also means that you may see more walkers and bikers in the road. When you don’t own a vehicle, you need to get around somehow, so these people opt to walk or ride bicycles or mopeds. When you have a lot of pedestrians on busy roads, the potential for accidents rises considerably.
Of course, when you add in the fact that there are many elderly residents of Tampa, the pedestrian issue becomes more complicated. According to some locals, some elderly residents will simply walk across the street without looking. This increases the risk of pedestrian accidents as well as car accidents, as drivers may need to slam on the brakes or swerve to avoid a pedestrian in the street.
Also, the fact that there are elderly residents also means that there is more of a chance that there are more elderly drivers. One local noted that people in Tampa are known for “creative” driving. And while Tampa does not regularly make the Allstate listing of least safe places to drive, it still poses dangers for drivers and pedestrians alike. And while hitting a pedestrian will not always damage a vehicle, it often results in severe injuries or death for the pedestrian. This can prove to be very emotionally difficult (as well as financially).
Additionally, any time you drive in a tourist destination, you risk running into drivers who don’t completely know where they’re going. They may be distracted, and they may not always realize when they’re on a one-way street, etc. For this reason (and in general), it’s a good idea to drive defensively when you’re traveling around Tampa. A little focus can help you avoid costly and painful accidents.
Tampa also has some dangers associated with weather. Like much of Florida, Tampa is prone to sudden downpours. It’s best to be prepared with strong windshield wipers, headlights that give you maximum visibility, etc.
Tampa also can occasionally experience hurricanes and flooding, which are conditions where it’s generally not a good idea to drive at all. While some of this weather can come as a complete surprise, it’s smart to be aware of the predicted weather and any upcoming storms, especially of you’re planning a longer car trip. You don’t want to be stranded, and you certainly want to make sure your can park your vehicle somewhere it won’t be damaged by debris or other weather.
Essentially, like any city, Tampa has its own set of dangers. When you’re able to stay aware of pedestrians, weather concerns, and possibly distracted drivers, you reduce your risks of having to sort through the aftermath of an automobile accident.