PORT CHARLOTTE – A major intersection in Charlotte County is causing concern for drivers. The sheriff’s office says the intersection of U.S. 41 and Midway Boulevard is one of the top crash locations county-wide.
Every week, they release the top four crash locations in the area.
The intersection of US 41 and Midway Blvd. in Port Charlotte is constantly making the list.
The main issues are the location and size. It’s in the heart of the county. It’s a 6-lane road that gets a ton of traffic.
There's also a lot around; on one corner there's a CVS Pharmacy and the other three corners all have gas stations.
Locals say nearby businesses make traffic and potential crashes worse.
They say people are making last-minute turns, even illegal ones to get into the businesses.
A local student says he’s seen a few collisions after school. “It’s actually really bad, especially after school,” Port Charlotte High School student Michael Isaac said. “The intersection is pretty dangerous.”
Isaac says drivers often run red lights at the intersection.
The sheriff’s office is working with the county to determine if any changes need to be made such as extending the traffic lights.
Drivers say if something isn't done, the traffic could get even worse because a Wawa is expected to open soon. They say they expect will add that much more congestion in the area.
The sheriff’s office says most collisions happen during lunch time and the top cause is distracted driving.
They say more than half of the crashes they response to are because people are paying attention to their phones instead of the road.
“The most important thing for people to understand is that when they are driving, that vehicle it’s capable of doing so much harm and injury to others,” said Katie Heck, Public Information Officer for the Charlotte County sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office urges drivers to put down the phone and do not text and drive.