Dangerous Interchange and Fatal Accidents Draw Attention of DOT Officials

The State Road 84 interchange along Interstate 95 is getting some changes, with the ultimate goal of reducing speeds in the area. Unfortunately, this stretch of roadway sees too many speeding motorists and too many fatal accidents.

This interchange is a lot different that many others in South Florida. It’s a multi-level mess of hairpin turns and ramps. Many drivers hop off 95 at alarmingly quick speeds, drive up the ramps, aren’t able to make that sharp left turn onto 84 and wind up losing control and getting into accidents. Many other drivers get distracted by all the signs, signals, barriers and the median dividers. It’s all one big recipe for an accident.

“The most common factor in the crashes is high speed,” said Mark Plass, with FDOT.

Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers understand that there have been five fatalities in this area since 2007. The most recent fatal accident happened in February and finally prompted roadway engineers to look at how the safety in this area could be improved. In the most recent accident, a box truck neglected to make that turn onto 84, slammed through the barrier and wound up dangling over the road. The accident caused congestion in the area for hours and showered the interstate with debris.

Since that accident, there have been multiple sets of rumble strips installed along the road. These strips are to alert drivers that it’s time to slow down. Roadway officials also replaced the red turn arrows with bright, visible red lights. They’re supposed to be brighter and easier to see for motorists. A third traffic signal was added to all of the off-ramps in the area.

Officials are hoping that all of these additions will help to get motorists to slow down. In the coming weeks, more pavement markings and signs will be installed.

This area has been a problem since it was rebuilt back in the 90s.

Officials say that they know it’s a problem and one of the worst exits on the Interstate.

From 2007 to 2011, there have been more than 125 accidents that happened on off-tamps in the area. More than half of those accidents involved injuries. That southbound ramp saw close to 80 accidents and the northbound saw more than 45.

The truth of the matter is that dangerously-designed roads are a significant cause of car accidents. A dangerous road can result from faulty design, faulty maintenance, faulty construction or faulty adaptation to changing conditions.

According to statistics, about 20 percent of all deadly car accidents involve a single car that runs off the road. Many times, these cars roll over or slam into a fixed object. Many may argue that these are driver errors, but we know that faulty road design is the culprit in far too many cases.