Florida's interstates among the most congested, safest

Posted at 10:48 AM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 10:48:59-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Florida's interstates are some of the most congested in the country, and it's not getting any better.  That's according to a national transportation research group, which also has some good things to say about our interstates.

If there's one thing -- besides the government and taxes -- that people probably complain about the most, it's having to sit in traffic.  Inching through something like that gives you time to think and a make a list about everything you hate about the interstate.

"They're dangerous and very congested," says local driver Tracy Malone.

And it's not just your imagination.  A research organization called TRIP ranked the states with the most congested interstates in America, and Florida is near the top.  It found 59% of Florida's urban interstates are congested.

"But that's not necessarily because of the interstate, it's more because of the people," says driver Lindsay Watkins.

Good point, because TRIP says between 2000 and 2014, Florida interstates saw a 21% increase in the number of miles people traveled -- one of the highest increases in the country.

"And there's a lot of construction going on so it hampers you more when you're trying to move through."  Mike Randolph has a unique insight on our interstates, because of his job.  "I just transport motor homes, RV's, buses, and coaches around the country for the dealership and the factories."

And he actually likes driving here because of the interstates.

The TRIP report agrees, praising Florida interstates for their safety. It found 0% of interstate bridges are structurally deficient, and 91% of interstate pavement is in good condition.

"You don't have the big potholes like you do in the northeast with the frozen weather all the time," says Randolph.

And one more interesting note from the report: because of safety design features like more lanes, medians, and no sharp curves, interstates are twice as safe as other roads. In fact, the report says in Florida, nearly 300 lives are saved every year because people are taking the interstates instead of other roads.