As a Florida car crash lawyer for nearly twenty years, I have seen an outrageous number of accidents in Alligator Alley. Why is Alligator Alley so damn dangerous? Why do we hear repeatedly about serious car accidents and deaths on this seemingly innocent 100-mile stretch connecting Naples and Weston?
Today, a car carrying four brothers from Guatemala rolled over in the eastbound lanes of Alligator Alley at mile marker 89. According to FHP speed likely caused the crash. The brothers range in age from 14 to 28 and were headed to Miami. Troopers say none of the brothers had a driver’s license.
Here is my opinion as to why it is so dangerous:
1. Its straight-shot road, with no billboards or roadside buildings to relieve the eye. When night falls, there are few lights and drivers just lose concentration.
2. The Alley is four lanes, separated by a grassy median, with canals on both sides. Giving drivers little or no opportunities for U-turns without risking getting rear-ended.
3. There are only two staffed rest stops and a single gas station between the Weston and Naples making it difficult to fill depleted gas tanks or get help in the case of breakdowns.
4. Many tourists unaware of these deficiencies get tired, frustrated, or fail to brake appropriately.
The Florida Department of Transportation should hire human factors experts to figure out how to keep drivers alert and within the speed limit during this 100 mile journey. I suggest flashing caution lights, speed bumps and perhaps another toll station, just to slow cars down. In the meantime check out the FDOT’s summer safe driving tips.