If you live in Riverview, you see it getting worse every day. The traffic on Route 301 is becoming unbearable. In fact, I’ll rephrase that last sentence: the traffic on 301 through Riverview is already beyond unbearable, it is downright insanity. A few days ago, I commuted to attend a meeting in Clearwater. It took me just shy of two hours each way, and nearly one hour of the commute was spent traversing the few short miles from the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway to Bloomingdale avenue on 301. What is most concerning to me is the timing of the Riverview traffic on US-301. Just in the last few weeks, I have been traveling south from Causeway Boulevard toward Gibsonton Drive well past rush hour, after 7:00 P.M., and the traffic on 301 was still extremely congested.
In the past few weeks on social media, Riverview residents have comically posted things like #RiverviewisFull and #BrandonisFull. The comedic truth is not lost on me as someone who both lives and has a personal injury law firm in Riverview.
Riverview businesses, Riverview residents, and local Tampa Bay news outlets are stepping up to address the traffic and increased risk of car accidents in Riverview. Recently Driving Tampa Bay, an ABC Action News segment, reported on the dangerous intersection at Fern Hill Drive and Gibsonton Drive.[i] Ring Power, a local employer of nearly 500 employees, took the initiative by scheduling a meeting with County Commissioner Stacy White, setting the wheels in motion for a temporary light to be installed at this intersection within three weeks.
Other improvements designed to help the traffic situation in Riverview are coming, but even Hillsborough County admits they may not be enough to keep up with the growth here in the South County area. A March 2018 Tampa Bay Times article noted how “Hillsborough County officials are scrambling to keep up with infrastructure needs”[ii] in south Hillsborough County. Huge residential developments like Waterset, Panther Trace, Lake St. Charles, Waterleaf, Royal Lakes, Village Brook and Waterset dot the north-south 301 corridor that fills with commuters each morning and evening. One project that has received a lot of attention is the improvement to Big Bend Road and the I-75 interchange at Big Bend Road.[iii] The timeline of the project has been streamlined, but in the eyes of the average Riverview commuter, it provides no immediate help. Construction is not expected to begin until late 2023.[iv] In addition to the Big Bend Road project, according to the Tampa Bay Times, Hillsborough County is planning an expansion at Lithia-Pinecrest Road, another heavily congested road subject to auto accidents.
It is an axiomatic and tragic fact that as the traffic worsens on US-301 in Riverview, more auto accidents are occurring and will continue to occur. Rear-end accidents on US-301, for example, will likely increase. To avoid the congestion and increased likelihood of rear-end accidents or distracted driving accidents on Route 301, my wife tried driving south on US-41 as an alternative route during her afternoon commute. She reports that the traffic on U.S. 41 was no better. Indeed, just yesterday, a Riverview teenager was seriously injured when she ran into the rear of a stopped SUV on U.S. 41 at the Alafia River Bridge. The 19-year-old suffered serious injuries from Route 41 crash according to the Tampa Bay reporter.[v]
Alarmingly, road rage accidents continue to increase.[vi] With the traffic problem becoming untenable in Riverview, I am concerned about the increase in Riverview road rage incidents as well.
Advice for Avoiding Riverview Car Accidents on Route 301
If you live in Riverview and commute to Tampa, Route 301 is likely a necessary part of your daily commute. It is paramount you keep the increasing traffic on US-301 in Riverview in mind as you plan your daily commutes. The traffic on Route 301 in Riverview tends to worsen substantially after 6:30am. If your work schedule allows, plan to leave such that you will traverse most of Route 301 in Riverview prior to 6:30am during your morning commute. Unfortunately, we typically have less control over our afternoon commute returning to our homes along 301. As I described above, traffic along US-301 in Riverview is still backed-up after 7pm. Some of the most horrific car accidents happen during a return home in a heavy traffic area. Folks are often thinking about plans for the evening, dinner plans, or plans with their children. Other folks are anxious to check social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram to catch the day’s news. These thoughts and desires increase the likelihood that more distracted drivers are driving on 301 in Riverview. The sad math is that more distracted drivers equals a greater potential for Route 301 automobile accidents.
But, you can avoid most accidents even with distracted drivers in Riverview surrounding you. Staying off your phone, particularly avoiding texting while driving on Route 301, will give you an edge. In addition, remind yourself to continually be aware of your surroundings, and most importantly, do not let the despair of being stuck in traffic on 301 coming home to Riverview bother you. Our minds and bodies have an amazing capacity to react, if we control negative thoughts and distraction.
I had a near accident happen to me on Halloween near US-301 at Lake St. Charles Boulevard at the Winn Dixie. The vehicle 2 cars in front of me swerved to avoid a raccoon, then the vehicle one car in front of me swerved the other direction towards the sidewalk. Luckily, I had enough space between me and the Riverview driver in front of me that I could slow down and avoid a collision.
Our Riverview personal injury lawyers drive Route 301 on a regular basis. We are very cognizant of the traffic issues on Route 301 in Riverview. If you have been seriously injured in a Route 301 auto accident, our Riverview car accident attorneys can help analyze your legal issues with a free consultation. Call us today at 813-445-6121.