With more than 30 years' experience as a Panama City injury lawyer, Attorney Wes Pittman knows that dangerous road conditions play a significant role in many car accidents. In some cases, road design or maintenance is a secondary cause that contributes to an accident primarily caused by a negligent or impaired driver. In other cases, the physical condition of the roadway is the primary factor that leads to a single- or multi-vehicle accident. We represent people injured in crashes due to hazardous road conditions and help them recover needed compensation.
WMBB reported this week on a single-vehicle accident that closed a local highway for two hours. On Tuesday morning, the tire of a cement truck blew as the vehicle turned from Highway 22 onto Business 98. The blown tire caused the fully-loaded truck to tip on its side. It took three tow trucks to bring the cement truck upright, and officials rerouted traffic for more than two hours while crews worked to clean up the roadway. The truck driver, an unnamed Blountstown resident, suffered from minor shoulder injuries.
According to Springfield Police Chief Phillip Thorne, the condition of the road played a major role in causing the accident. Thorne noted that there is a distinct grade at the location, and he remarked that it is surprising there haven't been more serious accidents stemming from the road conditions. He said it will be listed as a contributing factor in the formal accident report.
In May 2009, an investigation titled "On a Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways" explored the role that the physical condition of roads plays in causing motor vehicle accidents. The study concluded that road conditions played a contributing role in more than half (52.7%) of the 42,000 motor vehicle crash fatalities that occur each year in the United States. Additionally, road conditions played a part in 38% of non-fatal injuries stemming from vehicle collisions. As these numbers suggest, road conditions play a major role in injury severity.
In fact, the study concluded that road conditions are the number one most lethal contributing factor, influencing the chance of death more than speeding, drinking alcohol, or failing to use a seatbelt. According to the study, accidents involving road condition as a contributing factor cost more than $217 billion, a figure that is more than 3.5 times greater that the annual investment in roadway capital improvements ($59 billion per the Federal Highway Administration).
A wide range of issues can render a roadway unsafe. Structural issues, unsafe roadway design, aging structures, and inadequate or inaccurate signage can all cause or contribute to vehicle accidents. Temporary issues from construction, including debris and poorly marked routing, are also dangerous and can even be deadly. These defects can lead to both single-car and multi-vehicle accidents. Dangerous road conditions can also be a factor in pedestrian accidents. Defective designs can prove especially hazardous in inclement weather.
As your Panama City dangerous roads law firm, we are prepared to help those who are injured or lose a loved one due to unsafe conditions in the Panhandle region. In some cases, a claim against a city or other municipality may be appropriate. Attorney Pittman understands the complex procedural requirements applicable to such claims. Our legal team also partners with experts in accident reconstruction and engineering to prove that road conditions caused the crash. Call to arrange a free consultation to discuss your unique injuries and how we can work together to get you the compensation you deserve.