CareMore is an initiative by the North Florida TPO to get people to drive more carefully in the Argyle area.

About

In 2011 the North Florida TPO conducted a traffic study for the Argyle area which found that the crash rate for major roads here are well above the statewide average and in some cases twice as high.

This alarming statistic led to a detailed crash data analysis, interviews with traffic enforcement personnel, a focus group of people who had accidents in the area and a meeting with stakeholders to discuss the findings. All agreed that public awareness of this problem is needed to address the causes – careless and aggressive driving.

The Argyle area around Blanding Boulevard and I-295 is a hotspot for traffic accidents.

  • In seven square miles
  • Over 500 crashes each year
  • More than 300 of these crashes involve injuries or fatalities

In addition to the personal trauma and family tragedies, the economic cost of crashes in this small area is staggering at over $91 million per year.

Most of these crashes are caused by careless and aggressive driving, so the Argyle area encompassing Blanding Boulevard from Collins Road to Wells Road west to Argyle Forest Boulevard and Branan Field Chaffee Road has been designated a “CareMore Driving Zone.”  It’s a place where you have to be extra careful.  So let people in, instead of cutting them off, don’t tailgate and put the phone down.  It’s time to care more, not less, about yourself and others while driving in Argyle.

Our goal is to reduce the number of crashes to less than 40 per month.  Let’s work together to make Argyle a safe place to drive for residents, commuters and shoppers!

The Causes

What's Causing all these Crashes and How Can We Avoid Them?

Speeding and running red lights cause major accidents that can often result in fatalities, serious injuries and thousands of dollars in damages. Most of us know these are things we should never do. Yet even when we think of ourselves as “good drivers,” we can have lapses due to frustration and fatigue, especially when dealing with Argyle traffic. Here are the key driving challenges to keep in mind:

Top 4 don'ts

Click One

ONE: Distracted Driving

Distracted driving can involve a number of activities including changing the radio station, talking to passengers in the back seat or reaching down to pick up your coffee. You are distracted any time you don’t have your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheels and your brain engaged in driving. These activities tend to happen momentarily. However, cell phone use, whether talking or texting, tends to last for longer periods of time.

Did You Know That:

  • Using a cell phone while driving delays your reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit for drunk driving.
  • Drivers who use a hand-held device are four times more likely to get into a crash serious enough to cause injury.
  • Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to get involved in a crash.

Over 50 countries have banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving.  In the U.S., 37 states have some type of ban on texting or cell phone use while driving.  The state of Florida does not and specifically prohibits local jurisdictions from regulating cell phone use in motor vehicles.   The Florida Careless Driving Statute (316.1925) says that, “Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the same in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.”

Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean texting or talking on the phone is a smart thing to do while driving, especially in the Argyle area where traffic can be unpredictable.  Care more about yourself, your family and others on the road.  Stay off the phone until you reach your destination.

Resources:

ONE: Distracted Driving

Tailgating, or following too closely, is a huge cause of rear-end collisions. Due to the stop and go traffic along Blanding Boulevard, rear-end collisions are a common occurrence, especially chain reaction crashes.

STOPPING DISTANCE NEEDED TO AVOID CRASHING...

How do you avoid them?  Make sure you allow a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.  Don’t be surprised at how much room you need to stop safely!

A good rule of thumb is to allow at least one car length for every five mile per hour of speed.  If the pavement is wet or conditions are bad due to rain, fog or smoke, you need to allow more space.  It’s also important to be more alert and leave space in front of you when approaching an intersection so you won’t be caught short when the car in front of you stops for the light. 

You may find that when you leave a safe distance in front of your car, someone pulls into the lane ahead of you.  Just back off and maintain your safe distance.  It also may be annoying if someone in front of you is driving too slowly.   Don’t tailgate in an attempt to intimidate the driver.  If they stop short and cause a collision, you will be responsible for following too closely!  You have two choices – either back off and be patient or safely pass them on the left.

You can reduce the chances of being “tailgated” by driving with the flow of traffic and staying in the center or right lanes unless you need to pass someone or make a left turn.  Finally, make sure your brake lights are working properly.

 

TWO: Tailgating

An aggressive or unsafe lane change can be as simple as not checking to see if a car is in the next lane or failing to signal as you change lanes.

With all the new technology on vehicles these days, people seem to have forgotten one of the basics – turn signals.  It’s critical to use them when you turn to avoid accidents and by law (Florida Statute 316.083) you must also signal when changing lanes.

Besides not signaling, what makes the way a person changes lanes “aggressive?”  Basically, it’s cutting people off by not leaving enough room between your vehicle and the one behind you in the lane you’re entering.  You have to change lanes in a manner that will not interfere with the safe operation of other vehicles (Florida Statute 316.085).  So if there’s not enough room to change lanes without causing someone to brake, don’t do it.  Be especially careful changing lanes when approaching an intersection.

You can avoid crashes with aggressive lane changers by slowing down if you see someone trying to pull in front of you.  Speeding up to block them and “show them a lesson” will only serve to inflame the situation and put you at risk.

THREE: Aggressive Lane Changing

You’ve been inching along in the right lane on Blanding Boulevard, waiting to get to the exit. Traffic is moving faster in the other lanes and it’s frustrating to see people fly by while you wait. Then along comes a “creeper,” hanging out in the center lane awaiting the slightest space to jump ahead into the line.

A gap finally opens in front of you and as you begin to move forward, the creeper edges toward your lane in front of you.  What do you do?  Speed up to cut the creeper off and start a game of chicken?  After all, you feel the creeper is a cheat who’s trying to butt in line.  Or you could just be the better person and let the creeper in.  It really won’t cost you any more time and you’ll avoid escalating the situation into something more dangerous. 

There is no law requiring courtesy, but it is safer to be courteous.  By letting someone in ahead of you, you are also preventing a back-up in the adjacent lane caused by someone waiting to get in.  That sudden back-up in the adjacent lane could cause a rear-end collision that may hurt you in the end (or the side!).

FOUR: Failure To Yield

Know The Law

The following state statutes relate to driving problems frequently encountered in the Argyle area.

316.074
Obedience to and required traffic control devices
316.083
Overtaking and passing a vehicle
316.085
Limitations on overtaking, passing, changing lanes and changing course
316.0895
Following too closely
316.121
Vehicles approaching or entering intersections
316.122
Vehicle turning left
316.123
Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection
316.1235
Vehicle approaching intersection in which traffic lights are inoperative
316.125
Vehicle entering highway from private road or driveway or emerging from alley, driveway or building
316.130
Pedestrians; traffic regulations
316.1923
Aggressive careless driving
316.1925
Careless driving

Blanding Blvd Traffic Camera

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CareMoreArgyle

20 Jul 2012 @ 5:20pm

CareMore Driving Argyle goes to the movies tonight. See the PSA at the AMC 24 movies theaters at Blanding and Wells. Drive safely.

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CareMoreArgyle

08 Jun 2012 @ 3:29pm

Hoping rain will hold off for commute home. Busiest time for crashes in Argyle area is Friday 4-7 PM. Be careful out there!

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CareMoreArgyle

07 Jun 2012 @ 6:40am

Don’t tailgate in rain on Blanding. It takes over 100 ft to stop at 30 mph. Check the Blanding traffic cam at http://t.co/aHVAAwHL.

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Driving Argyle

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