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From the Left Lane Articles, Personal Injury

THE MOST DANGEROUS ROAD IN THE UNITED STATES – MORE ON FLORIDA’S I-95

FROM THE LEFT LANE (Article 14)

In 2010, Florida’s 382-mile stretch of I-95 was named the most dangerous interstate highway in the United States.

Based on National Highway Transportation Safety Administration statistics, there were 662 fatal accidents on I-95 in Florida from 2004-2008, or 1.73 deaths per mile. The study examined 250 stretches of U.S. highway and compared the number of fatal crashes to the number of miles on each particular highway.

Florida’s roads are dangerous and deadly and enjoy such featured attractions as distracted drivers, high numbers of large commercial trucks and poor road maintenance – all of which are contributing factors to the high rate of fatality on Florida’s highways.

As the summer begins, it becomes even more important to be alert behind the wheel. For Florida, this means more drivers on already congested highways, many of whom are from out-of-state and unfamiliar with Florida’s traffic laws.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alex Annunziato knows the perils of I-95. He largely blames driver distractions for many accidents.  Those distractions include cellphones and other technologies, such as video players and satellite navigation systems. “They would be bad enough on ordinary roads.” Annunziato said. “But on congested I-95, the dangers they pose are magnified.”

“I think it’s the volume coupled with the level of distraction that’s present in the driving environment these days,” he said. “That really is a recipe for what we’ve been seeing here.”  Often, when he pulls drivers over, he gets a clear view of the level of their distraction even though they are rolling down a major expressway at 60-plus miles an hour.

“They’re completely startled. You can absolutely see it when my lights come on. They just have this look of, `Where did this guy come from?’ ” he said.  Annunziato said 12 years ago, when he was a young state trooper, enforcing the law on the local stretch of I-95 was no more difficult than being visible in his black and yellow cruiser. Everybody would slow down and obey the rules.  It’s different today, he said. “I get people passing me all the time. I see a lot of aggressive driving out there.”

Fitting too many drivers onto one expressway, even up to 10 lanes wide in Palm Beach, Broward and up to 12 lanes wide in Miami-Dade, is another reason I-95 is so dangerous. The Florida Department of Transportation admits traffic volume is a problem, but FDOT spokeswoman Barbara Kelleher says it’s no longer possible to add lanes.

“We don’t have the money to buy all those homes and all that right-of-way in order to add lanes to what’s already there,” she said.  What can be done, Kelleher said, has been done already: Installing express lanes in Miami-Dade — and eventually in Palm Beach and Broward — to separate long-haul drivers from short-range commuters, and using signals at on-ramps so motorists don’t crowd onto the expressway at once.

If you find yourself injured in an accident in Florida – it is best to consult an attorney with substantial experience. There are so many different circumstances that a proper answer to your particular problem can only be obtained by a trained and experienced lawyer.

If you have any question regarding this or any other legal matter our firm may be able to help you. Please contact Jupiter Legal Advocates at (561) 748-8000 or email us at info@jla.legal for further information and assistance. We try our very best to respond immediately.

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