JACKSONVILLE, Fla — What could be simpler than driving in a straight line? Interstate 10 heads east and west directly in and out of Jacksonville.
First Coast News requested crash data from the Florida Highway Patrol for 2020 for the Duval County portion of I-10. Their data shows there were 224 crashes in high crash zones.
“They’re going to be places you wouldn’t expect a crash to be especially along I-10," said Katie Jeffries, First Coast News Traffic Anchor. "I mean it's more or less a straight away so that to me says speed is likely an issue. Maybe drivers not paying attention is an issue.”
Jeffries says driver responsibility is always a key component. The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization data from 2019 found that in Duval County the top three issues are intersections, careless driving and lane departure.
"Just be aware," said Mark Corey, an out-of-state driver. "You’re not going to be able to avoid it. It’s everywhere you go.”
“They go below the speed limit in the fast lane and when you’re in a rush, you kind of want to go by them," explains Alexis Wyatt, who drives on the highways daily for work. "They’re like nope then it’s just a big traffic jam.”
Another factor at play on I-10 is the sunrise and sunset. In the morning, you are driving directly east into the sunrise. During the afternoon rush hour, you're driving west into the sunset.
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Let’s break down the 3 problem areas.
- I-10 near US 301 - You’ll know this area because of the construction. There were 73 crashes in this area in 2020, 18 with injuries. Majority happening on a Sunday. Jeffries says that is a heavy travel day for folks
- I-10 between Cassat and Lane Ave - This sarea saw 102 crashes wit 28 injuries and one fatality. The worst day for that stretch was Monday
- I-10 between Chaffee Road and Devoe Street - This was the third trouble spot and quite possibly the most dangerous. This stretch has 49 crashes, but 14 injuries and 4 deaths. FHP crash data shows accidents happening almost equally every day of the week
“Sometimes people want to blame the roadways per se but a lot of it comes down to driver responsibility," Jeffries said. "You have to drive safely.”
Your life is literally in your hands when your hands are on the steering wheel.