If your Tampa commute seems endless, you may wonder if it’s actually getting worse or if you’re just tired of the same drive to work day in and day out. But if you have been making the same commute for the last few years, it may well be several minutes longer than when you started.
Two studies show that commutes are getting longer, and more traffic congestion is the apparent culprit. One study, using data collected by global traffic data firm INRX, found an 11 percent increase from 2017, with Tampa drivers spending 87 hours a year in rush-hour traffic. That differs from a current trend in most high-congestion cities, where drivers saw commutes remain steady or decrease.
Last fall, a study based on 2017 data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau showed steady increases in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area commutes over the previous five years. In 2017, the average commute time was 27.9 minutes, up from 26.7 minutes in 2016. The study also found that drivers spent 10 hours longer per year commuting in 2017 than they did in 2012.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is making efforts to address congestion, but in the short term, its efforts may actually add to your time behind the wheel. That’s because over the next two years, FDOT has several major construction projects slated or already underway, including multiple widening projects along State Route 52 in Pasco County and lane closures on the ongoing Courtney Campbell Causeway project, which should wrap up this summer.
Increased traffic congestion — whether caused by more drivers on the roads or construction projects — can lead to frustrated drivers and road rage. Avoid antagonizing other drivers or driving aggressively and clear the way for aggressive drivers you encounter during your commute. Steering clear of bad drivers (when possible) increases your chance of avoiding an accident.
But if you do have an accident and suffer injuries, reach out to an attorney with successful experience handling accident and injury cases. A competent lawyer can help you obtain the maximum compensation from your insurance company and advise whether you should file a liability claim against another driver or third party.