How Bad Is Fort Lauderdale Traffic?

Overall satisfaction with traffic flow in Fort Lauderdale is at an all-time low, according to a recent survey.
Written by Mariza Morin
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Traffic flow satisfaction is at an all-time low for Fort Lauderdale drivers, according to a recent ETC Institute study.
Affectionately known as the “Venice of America”, Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a coastal city on the Atlantic Ocean known for its beautiful beaches, arts, and culture—and more recently for its increasing traffic flow problems.
How bad has the traffic become in Fort Lauderdale? We'll give you the rundown on rising traffic congestion in Florida’s “Venice” and we’ll look at how bad traffic has become, why it’s so bad, and how to navigate traffic in the coastal city. 
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How bad is Fort Lauderdale traffic?

Fort Lauderdale is part of Broward County, which ranks second in Florida for the most deadly road segments. Although it’s a problem shared by the whole county, Fort Lauderdale often bears the brunt of the county’s traffic issues. 
According to a
Neighbor Survey
by the ETC Institute, Fort Lauderdale drivers have grown increasingly frustrated with the flow of traffic over the last ten years. The overall satisfaction with traffic flow among motorists went from39%in 2012 to 15% in 2018. Residents believe the biggest causes of traffic flow issues stem from poorly timed traffic signals, street maintenance, distracted drivers, and the need for roadway improvements. 
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Why is Fort Lauderdale traffic so bad?

Different factors affect traffic congestion, including a city’s total population, infrastructure, and driving habits among residents. Here are a few reasons why local frustration with traffic flow in Fort Lauderdale has increased over the years. 

Population size 

The city of Fort Lauderdale has a population of 182,760 residents. That might not seem like a lot, but it’s in the heart of Broward County—the second-most populous county in Florida and home to almost two million people. Broward County has about 1.8 million registered drivers and more than one car per resident. With this kind of traffic, it’s no wonder Fort Lauderdale residents are getting fed up with growing congestion. 

Major chokepoints

Three major interstates serve Broward County: I-75, I-95, and I-595. 
Interstate 95 in particular is the most notable traffic hotspot of the three highways in Fort Lauderdale. In fact, I-95 between I-595 and State Road 84 has been labeled the “deadliest mile in America.” That’s according to a
new study
, which found that from 2000 to 2019, 23 fatal crashes resulting in 24 deaths occurred on this one-mile stretch of interstate highway. 

Driving habits

On average, Fort Lauderdale drivers spent about 4 hours driving to and from work. Longer commute times mean more time stuck in traffic and more cars on the road—which might explain all the recent growing congestion in the coastal city. Increases in daily traffic lead to more congestion, delays, and serious accidents on the road. 
MORE: The best type of car insurance to get if you commute long distances

How to navigate Fort Lauderdale traffic like a pro

Regardless of the growing traffic flow issues, it’s possible to navigate your way through Fort Lauderdale and avoid getting stuck behind the wheel for hours. Follow these few driving tips if you want to drive through “Venice of America” like a traffic pro: 
  • Avoid rush hour when possible. Fort Lauderdale’s rush hours start to get heavy between 6 am and 10 am and 4 pm to 7 pm
  • Take back streets to your destination. I-95 might seem like the fastest way to navigate Fort Lauderdale, but as previously mentioned, traffic flow is becoming a major issue. Look into taking smaller roads instead of busy highways. 
  • Use a traffic app to stay alert. Download the
    Florida 511
    mobile app which gives you minute-by-minute traffic conditions in real-time, provided by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
  • Don’t get distracted. One top complaint from Fort Lauderdale residents is the growing number of
    distracted drivers
    on the road. If you’re in a traffic jam, avoid texting, adjusting your radio, eating, listening to loud music, or anything else that might take your focus off the road.

Prepare for Fort Lauderdale traffic by updating your car insurance

Whether you’re traveling through Fort Lauderdale on vacation or you’re a daily commuter, consider updating your
car insurance
policy to ensure you’re covered for accidents due to heavy traffic.
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Driving in Fort Lauderdale can be tricky due to growing traffic congestion, especially if you’re not used to such conditions. Make sure to check Florida 511 for up-to-date traffic reports, use your GPS navigation, and avoid any distractions while driving in the coastal city.
To avoid rush hour—it’s best to drive through the coastal city before 6am, after 7pm, or between 10 am-4 pm.
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