Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers: Common Crash SiteFebruary 14, 2017
Commuters who regularly drive on the Jones Falls Expressway portion of Interstate 83 have probably seen, or been directly involved in a car accident at the location at some point over the years. In fact, the site is so infamous that the towering Pepsi sign, which has become somewhat of a crash site landmark, has its own parody Twitter account. Baltimore’s Department of Transportation reports that there are between 250 and 300 wrecks each year on this stretch of highway that accommodates over 100,000 cars each day. In response, the city of Baltimore has commissioned a $65,000 study to identify specific problem areas along the highway and determine potential solutions.
According to Frank Murphy, Baltimore’s acting transportation director, one of the main problems is poor road design. The highway’s tight curves coupled with a high volume of commuters traveling between the city and the suburbs increase the likelihood of a crash. When the highway was originally designed, engineers intended for the roadway to follow the rail line through the Jones Falls Valley. There were elevated sections where the road had to cross over the stream.
Safety Versus Savings
In 1956, when the road was designated an interstate in the hopes of securing more federal funding, the plans did not meet interstate design standards. Officials at Public Works knew this, but they also knew the standards could not be met as the cost to design to interstate standards was prohibitive. They widened the roads where they could, but the many of the tight curves remained.
Graham Young, the city’s deputy chief of traffic, said that the city of Baltimore is hoping to receive a wide range of recommendations for ways to fix the problem. While the Pepsi sign itself is not to be blamed for the crashes, it is a visible landmark for where most of the accidents have occurred. Many of the crashes that have happened near the sign have been quite serious. For example, a police officer fell over the side rail, landing on the Pepsi parking lot where she suffered severe injuries. She had been helping a stranded motorist when a car hit the rear of her cruiser. A tow truck driver and police officer were injured when another vehicle hit the crashed vehicle they were helping. The tow truck driver was struck and knocked off the elevated roadway. He fell into the flooded Jones Falls where he was eventually rescued.
These are just two examples of the hundreds of crashes that have occurred at this location. And in addition to the injuries, the damage to the vehicles, and the traffic these accidents cause, it means police officers are called to the scene of an accident rather than remaining at their patrols and focusing on crime-prevention in the neighborhoods.
Residents in the area have commented on how unsafe that stretch of Interstate 83 is and that there should be more posted warnings, particularly when the roads are wet or icy.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Serious Car Crashes
If you were injured in a car accident on a stretch of highway known for having safety issues, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Protecting your rights and your safety is our top priority. We will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.