By: Grace Hancock
If you’ve been a resident in the Tampa Bay area, you know that wrong-way crashes have continued to plague our community. Wrong-way crashes happen when a driver accidentally steers his or her vehicle into the wrong direction of where they should be traveling on the road, colliding with cars traveling in the correct direction. Wrong-way collisions often happen because of driver error, drunk driving, or poor road design. Many of these wrong-way car crashes end with people being killed. A recent and tragic example of this happening in the Tampa Bay area occurred in early March of 2021 when Master Patrol Officer Jesse Madsen of the Tampa Police Department gave his life in the line of duty by veering into the path of a wrong-way driver to protect others on the road. The wrong-way driver, identified as being Daniel Joshua Montague, was also killed in the collision.
Tampa Bay’s Response: Wrong-Way Detection Systems
Since 2014, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has been installing wrong-way detection systems as preventative measures against wrong-way car crashes all around the Tampa Bay area. These wrong-way detection systems include radar detection that goes off if a driver gets onto the interstate going the wrong way. The radar detection also sets off flashing lights to caution other drivers on the road and alerts the Florida Highway Patrol.
FDOT spokesperson Kris Carson says: “The goal is to have pretty much everything covered on I-275 north of I-4. And we prioritize these ramps based on their geometric[ity]; if they are possibly confusing to motorists, by crash data that we have, if they are near a lot of bars and restaurants, and entertainment venues where we know there could be some drunk driving arrests.”
Because wrong-way crashes don’t only happen on the interstate, the FDOT says that they have installed safety measures on other roads as well. FDOT spokesperson Carson says: “We are adding additional pavement markings, more signage. We are looking at businesses where people are coming out of driveways and medians to make sure there is no confusion.”
The FDOT reports that they have a project starting in April 2021 that will have more safety measures added to several more exits from Fowler Avenue all the way to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, with even more locations coming in 2022.
Hancock Injury Attorneys- Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one have recently been injured in a wrong-way car crash, you may be entitled to recover money from the person that caused your injuries. Our team at Hancock Injury Attorneys can help not only estimate the costs of your particular injury, but we can also make sure you are adequately compensated for any lost wages, pain and suffering and future losses related to your accident. Contact our attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys or call us at (813) 915-1110 for a free case consultation today.