JACKSONVILLE, Fla — We are all somewhat on autopilot. You get in the car, drive to work and drive home. We know our route.
How safe is your commute? First Coast News has obtained the most recent crash data from 2020 from the Florida Highway Patrol Office of Analytical Support for three main highways in Duval County.
First, we are taking a look at I-95. They don’t call it rush hour for no reason.
You’ll want to pump your brakes when you hear this. The most dangerous three stretches of I-95 in Duval County have a combined 378 crashes with a total of 5 deaths in 2020.
“People are in a hurry," said Michael McDougall, a former truck driver. "They won’t slow down. They don’t pay attention to what they’re doing. They’re only focused on getting home. Don’t give a crap about anybody else.”
I took a drive at 9:30 a.m. on a Tuesday on I-95 near Lem Turner, one of the most dangerous locations on I-95 in Duval County. According to FHP data, Tuesdays are actually the most dangerous days with a higher number of accidents taking place on this day of the week.
From my experience, there was congestion and difficulty merging even after rush hour. Like McDougall said, they won't slow down.
While the stretch near Lem Turner Road didn’t have nearly as many car accidents as the other two locations last year, the percent of fatalities was higher. 3 deaths out of 58 total crashes. That’s 5%.
First Coast News Traffic Anchor Katie Jeffries noticed the most common days for crashes on these I-95 stretches were weekdays, though this data did not provide an hour-by-hour breakdown.
"That to me says this plays a lot into rush hour traffic," Jeffries said. "That is when you are going to see the most people especially along I-95 near Kings because that area is close to downtown so you’ve got a lot of people entering or exiting the roadways."
"There is a lot of different merging happening especially during that morning rush and that of course is going to play into crashes," said Jeffries.
Roughly 195 crashes happened in the stretch of I-95 between Kings Road and Forest Street with 33 injuries and 2 deaths, according to FHP data. Monday is the most dangerous day for crashes in this area.
The third worst stretch is I-95 Emerson where many of you get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic daily. There were 125 crashes with 23 injuries involved in 2020.
“I think you just got to pay attention," Mark Corey said. He's an out-of-state driver visiting the Duval County area. "Keep your head on a swivel. It’s no different than when you get your license at 16.”
Sometimes the most dangerous game is your daily commute.
On Tuesday on Good Morning Jacksonville at 6 a.m., we are breaking down I-295 data.