A 76-year-old man from Okeechobee, FL, died in a fatal accident on 95 on June 18th. Whilst the reason behind this accident has yet to be determined, it appears that the man somehow lost control of his car as he traveled through a fence and straight into a canal. The accident occurred near Delray Beach. Unfortunately this death is one among many to occur on I-95 this year alone. I-95 is responsible for 13 percent of all fatal commercial vehicle crashes in the U.S each year. This extremely trafficked highway spans nearly 2000 miles through 16 states and is the main high way through the entire East Coast. Because of the high amount of fatalities that occur here each year, several politicians and public figures have tried to come up with ways in which to make I-95 safer for motorists. The Virginia Department of Transportation did it’s part recently when it installed the Highway Safety Improvement Project (HSIP) which has repaved and added rumble strips to all four shoulders as well as eliminated drop-offs between lanes in the area between the Virginia and North Carolina state mark as well as the bridge before exit 17.
Unfortunately some of the accidents that occur on this high way occur at little or no fault to the setup of the road. Several people died in an accident on 95 near Elkridge, Maryland, in Janurary as a gasoline truck fell off an overpass and into oncoming traffic. The tanker exploded, resulting in multiple fatalities. The driver of the tanker, Jackie Frost, is believed to have experienced some form of medical emergency that caused him to lose control of the truck. Even though this tragedy can hardly be contributed to anything other than bad luck, a victim’s relatives have decided to sue the company Frost worked for. They claim that they did not check his health to the full extend they should have, before putting him behind the wheel of a vehicle containing a large amount of highly flammable liquids.
Even though it is debatable whether or not this tragic accident could have been prevented, it is understandable why the family left behind feel they have experienced an unjust situation. It is hard to accept a family member’s passing in a violent crash with no one at fault and no one to blame. Even though guard rails are in place to prevent cars from driving off the overhead, they are not high or sturdy enough to prevent a large, forceful vehicle from falling from the overhead. If these guard rails were raised, perhaps it would contribute to a higher sense of safety on the Elkridge stretch.
To abstain from becoming part of another accident on 95, motorists are encouraged to pay special attention to traffic around bottleneck areas, particularly in rush hour, as these areas tend to experience the most crashes. It is also important to be well rested and focused when driving. There are numerous resting stops and hotels for both truck drivers and regular motorists along I-95 that provide a safe night’s sleep.