Washington, DC Beltway Auto Accidents
Washington, DC Car Accident Lawyers
For decades lawmakers have been calling for increased emphasis on the
safety of the Washington, DC Capital Beltway, the Baltimore Beltway, and supporting
highways in both Maryland and Virginia, and numerous efforts have been made to improve the safety of the roads,
but they remain some of the more dangerous highways in America. High volume,
constant construction, complex structure, and a mixture of local, commercial,
and long-distance commuter traffic make driving these highways a deadly
danger that many people are forced to risk on a daily basis.
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in an accident on the Capital
Beltway, the Baltimore Beltway, or supporting highways, including I-495,
I-695, I-95, I-295, DC and Maryland 295, I-270, I-66, or the Springfield
Interchange (the "Mixing Bowl"), the personal injury lawyers at
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. can help. Please contact us today for a free initial consultation.
High Volume, High Risk
Construction of the Capital Beltway began in 1955, although it did not
take the name officially until Maryland and Virginia officials approved
it in 1960. At the time construction began, its planners did not imagine
the volume of traffic it would one day have to carry, and as a result
the entire Capital Beltway system, its feeder highways, and connected
major routes are all subject to high levels of congestion on a daily basis.
Congestion leads not only to delays, but also to frustration and
car accidents. With the high level of traffic, simple one- or two-car accidents often
become chain reactions and lead to many-car pileups.
If you were in an accident that was caused by or worsened by high volume, our
experienced DC car accident lawyers know how to handle your case.
Construction: Solution and Contributing Cause
Because its designers originally imagined a more modest level of traffic,
many sections of the road originally had only four lanes. To keep up with
increasing traffic volumes there have been many major construction projects,
mostly aimed at widening the roads. The current plan is to increase the
lanes in most sections up to twelve, but to accomplish this has required
numerous roadway construction projects that may last up to a decade. In
the short-term, these construction projects often contribute to congestion
by narrowing existing roadways. They can also create a greater likelihood
for accidents, since they change the normal pattern of merging. Large
trucks can be especially dangerous in construction zones. According to
data released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA),
about a quarter of all vehicle fatalities in construction zones are due
to large truck accidents.
Construction zone traffic accidents involve a complex web of responsible
parties. Our experienced truck accident lawyers know how to unravel the
web and identify the best threads to weave into your case.
The dangers of driving on the Capital Beltway, Baltimore Beltway, and supporting
roads are increased by the complicated nature of some of the exchanges.
Complicated exchanges can force drivers to merge rapidly or move across
several lanes of traffic to get where they want to be. While additional
lanes can help accommodate higher volume, these additional lanes can become
additional hazards when attempting to negotiate a complex intersection
like the Springfield Interchange, sometimes called the "Mixing Bowl,"
in Virginia, once rated one of America's deadliest interchanges.
Some intersections are poorly designed and unreasonably dangerous. We can
help you determine whether an unsafe roadway contributed to your accident.
Complicated interchanges become even more dangerous when navigated by drivers
unfamiliar with the area. Part of the danger of the Capital Beltway and
Baltimore Beltway is that these roads carry a complex mixture of traffic.
Traffic includes not only bored and potentially distracted commuters driving
the same road day after day, but also through traffic carrying freight
from major ports to destinations all up and down the East Coast. When
you add to this tourist traffic and other visitors to the Washington,
DC area, the combination becomes potentially deadly.
Whether your accident was in Washington, DC and involved a
distracted driver, a freight truck, or a negligent tourist, the personal injury lawyers
at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. can help. Please call
or email us today to schedule a free initial consultation.