Your Complete Fun Guide to Driving Florida’s Alligator Alley
Since alligators like hot surfaces, they are often found enjoying Florida’s hot tar roads. More than 20 million people reside in Florida, and more than 1.25 million alligators are living with them. These reptiles’ large population isn’t problematic anymore, as they are becoming an attraction on Florida’s roadways.
Here is a complete fun guide to driving through Florida’s “Alligator Alley,” an 80-mile stretch of I-75 that runs from Naples to Fort Lauderdale. Whether you’re a resident or a tourist, you’ll want to check out these tips to avoid any inconvenience.
Keep Your Distance
When you encounter an alligator roaming around the road, make sure to keep a safe distance away. Stay at least 30 feet away from the alligator, whether it’s just nearby or crossing the road. While alligators appear to move slowly, they can move surprisingly fast when they want to.
Stay Away From Nests
Nesting female alligators guard their nests most of the time, sometimes hiding near the nest where they cannot be seen. These nests look like large piles of dirt and vegetation and are occasionally seen throughout the spring and summer. If you get too close to a nest, the female alligator will most likely try and protect her eggs.
Don’t Feed the Alligators
There is a law in Florida that prohibits people from feeding wild alligators. The reason why this law exists is that alligators might associate humans with an easy meal. Therefore, it is against Florida law to feed them.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When you see an alligator on the road blocking your path, you must stop your car as fast as you can without swerving. Running over an alligator can cause both you and the alligator big trouble in the form of an unforeseen accident. Therefore, if you see an alligator crossing the road, wait for it to get to the other side before you continue your journey. But, if it is lying in the middle of the road without any intention of getting out of the way, try to drive around the alligator if you can to avoid any conflict.
Never Get Out of Your Car
When alligators sense that a car is too close to them, they have a tendency to attack. It is best to call and wait for a trained professional to help move the alligator from the road if you can’t safely drive around it. In addition, never try to run an alligator over, as injuring or killing them is punishable by law and carries a fine. Be nice to alligators, and they will most likely ignore you and let you continue on your way.
Is It Safe to Drive Alligator Alley at Night?
This is a question drivers ask—especially tourists who want to fly down and have fun in Florida’s hotspots. Similar to driving during the daytime, you should practice caution when driving in Alligator Alley during the wee hours of the night, but it is safe.
Keep in mind that the road is only lit by lampposts and other drivers’ headlights. If you’re concerned about running over an alligator, fret not. There are actually fences that keep these wild animals away from the street. Yet, some manage to escape.
Enjoy the Experience
There are only a few highways in the world where you can drive with a possible experience of wildlife interruption. Don’t forget to keep a lookout for these large reptiles and enjoy the open road.