Three of the top five riskiest roads in Florida, because of distracted driving, are right here in Jacksonville, according to new data released by the company Lytx, a driver-risk-management company.
The intersections include areas I-10 and Roosevelt Boulevard, I-295 and Commonwealth Avenue and I-95 and Myrtle Avenue North. Those roads are the riskiest, in part, because of the number of people using cellphones while driving.
Researchers found the number of drivers seen using their cellphones while driving contributed to that risk.
Action News Jax reporter Courtney Cole spoke to two drivers who said they drive through the intersection at I-10 and Roosevelt Boulevard all the time.
"Sometimes I notice that. Not just here, but several places in the city. Either texting or looking down or seeming preoccupied sometimes,” Jack Owens said.
"A lot of people do be on their phones and that does make it more dangerous,” said Asya Johnson.
According to Lytx, on average drivers who used their handheld cellphones while driving were 50% more likely to get into a crash than drivers not using their phones.
"I've seen some near misses there plenty times. A few pretty close calls myself,” Owens said.
“I’ve seen some near misses there plenty of times. A few pretty close calls myself.” #NEXT on @ActionNewsJax at 5:15– new data says 3 of Florida’s 5 riskiest roads are in Jax. Where they are & what makes them dangerous: pic.twitter.com/QghgG5ONhc— Courtney Cole (@CourtneyANJax) February 25, 2019
Owens said he believes the other factor that contributes to making I-10 and Roosevelt dangerous is speed.
"They come around that corner fast and they hit this intersection and don't slow down in time for the traffic pulling out,” Owens said.
Right now in Florida, texting and driving is only a secondary offense. That means drivers can't be cited for it, unless they're stopped for something else.
State lawmakers have filed a bill to make texting and driving a primary offense. It will be taken up during the Florida Senate's 2019 session on March 5, 2019.
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