broward county car and motorcycle accidents

Deadly Motorcycle Accident Reinforces Concerns About I-95 Safety

Deadly Broward County Motorcycle Accident

On Wednesday, November 3, at about 10 pm, four vehicles met in a single, horrific crash on I-595, killing three motorcycle riders. According to the Miami Herald, “two motorcycles, a Lexus and an unmarked police cruiser were involved.” The chain reaction collision began when a Yamaha bike hit a Suzuki, “causing their motorcycles to topple on the expressway and ejecting all three riders.” Immediately, “a white 2009 Lexus IS then hit [the] Suzuki motorcycle.” Finally, a Broward County deputy, returning home from a shift at the airport, hit the fallen operator of the Suzuki with his unmarked Dodge Durango.

Killed in the accident were 25-year-old Steven William Shearer and his passenger 28-year-old Cortney Taylor Walters, both of Ft. Lauderdale, and 30-year-old Edward Charles Benway III of Pompano Beach. The Herald reports that “Detectives believe Benway was checking on Shearer and Walters when he was hit by the deputy.” The motorcycles had been traveling at about 65 miles per hour.

The cause of the crash is unknown at the time of this writing. But the tragic accident illustrates the danger of chain-reaction crashes on busy, high-speed arteries, such as I-95 and its extensions. Miami-Dade is the leading Florida county for auto accidents, but Broward County is a close second. In 2018, Broward recorded 40,724 total crashes and 204 traffic fatalities, second only to Miami-Dade.

Florida Counties with the Most Car Accidents

  1. Miami-Dade County – 65,509
  2. Broward County – 41,308
  3. Orange County – 30,992
  4. Hillsborough County – 27,900
  5. Duval County – 24,685
  6. Palm Beach County – 23,914
  7. Pinellas County – 17,959
  8. Lee County – 12,695
  9. Polk County – 11,339
  10. Volusia County – 9,509

The deadliest roads in Broward County

Broward County also ranks second in the state for the number of deadly road segments. Broward features 14 stretches where accidents occur far too frequently. Here’s a list of the worst offenders:

  • State Road 822 — With 4.39 fatalities-per-mile, this 2.28-mile stretch of Sheridan Street is the deadliest road in Broward County. This should be no surprise, since this arterial highway connects I-95 and U.S. Highway 1, each of which is dangerous on its own.
  • State Road 7 — Running through Fort Lauderdale, the nine-mile portion of State Road 7, also known as U.S. 441, receives about 48,000 vehicles daily and recorded 29 fatal crashes in just a two-year period.
  • Intersection of Atlantic Blvd. and U.S. 1 — In the heart of Pompano Beach, this is bustling with pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Yet, car drivers behave as though they have exclusive rights. This crossing racked up more than 6,000 accidents in 2015 alone.
  • Kernan Road — According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the point where Kernan Road meets Beach and Atlantic is one of the most dangerous intersections in Florida.
  • I-95 Northbound from Miami-Dade to Broward County — From Exit 1A Miami up to Deerfield Beach, this road has compiled 1.73 fatal accidents per mile.
  • Pines Blvd. and South Flamingo Rd. — During a five-year period, almost 100 pedestrians died in traffic at this intersection.

Drivers should take extra precautions when on these roads, and motorcyclists might choose to avoid them altogether.

Why are Broward County roads so deadly?

Broward County experiences more than its fair share of accidents, and the reasons are fairly clear:

  • Growth — Broward County is growing in population and becoming more congested. That means more drivers as well as more bicyclists and pedestrians.
  • Newcomers and tourists — When drivers are unfamiliar with the area, they tend to be looking at scenery and street signs, rather than observing the flow of traffic.
  • Risky behavior — Young people who come to Broward and vicinity to party take chances with alcohol and drugs, and they keep late hours. All of these factors make accidents more likely.
  • Aggressive driving — As traffic becomes more congested, drivers get frustrated and become more aggressive. Unsafe behaviors, such as speeding and tailgating, increase the likelihood of an accident.
  • Cellphone use — Cellphones are now ubiquitous, and many drivers lack the self-control to refrain from using them behind the wheel. This and other distractions take the driver’s attention off the road.

An improved economy in recent years has also contributed to the rise in accidents. More people working means more commuters on the road. And when people have money to spend, they’re more active, so they’re out driving in the evening as well.

Tips for staying safe while driving in Broward County

Every driver has a part to play in reducing the incidence of traffic accidents. You can do your part by:

  • Not driving when you’re overly tired or emotionally upset
  • Maintain a safe following distance
  • Reviewing how to safely share the road with big rigs, motorcycles and bicycles
  • Plotting alternative routes along safer, less-traveled roads.
  • Keeping your car well maintained

Accidents, such as the one reported above, shatter the lives of countless people. We all have a duty to ourselves, our loved ones, and the strangers we encounter on the road to drive with caution.