Photo: A road closure on Florida’s Interstate-4 due to a crash. (Photo via @WFTV)
A recent study from EverQuote on highway fatalities revealed that Interstate-4 in Florida was the most dangerous interstate in the country.
According to Fox35Orlando.com, the study found the 132-mile-long highway between Tampa and Daytona Beach had the highest death rate for any interstate in the United States, with 1.41 fatalities per mile from 2010 to 2015.
Using information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, EverQuote found that distracted driving is a factor, including drivers in Florida averaging 1.4 phone uses per trip, making the state the second worst in the category.
Florida Safety Council’s Glenn Victor believes that both distracted driving and tourism are factors in the high number of fatalities along I-4.
“What's the first thing they do when they get off the plane?” Victor said in a statement. “They rent a car that they’re not familiar with and they’re on their GPS, so they're looking at the phone and their GPS which of course is a distraction while they're driving.”
“I-4 is so dangerous and even more dangerous right now with the big I-4 Ultimate project,” Victor added about the continued construction on the highway.
While tourism sounds like an odd factor in terms of interstate fatalities, I-4 is one of the main highways connecting some of the most popular vacation destinations in America. Not only does the interstate connect Tampa and Daytona Beach, but it also connects the entire region and multiple international airports to Orlando.
Visitors coming to Florida to see the theme parks in Orlando will likely have to drive on I-4 as they make their way to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and many other tourist destinations in the region.
Add in the fact that it also connects the central part of the state to Florida Turnpike, and the incredibly important interstate also happens to be the most dangerous in the country. As if that wasn’t scary enough, Florida also has two other highways which run through the state on the list in I-95 and I-10.