Are Florida Roads Safer on Anniversary of Tragic I-75 Crash?

by Carmen Dellutri on February 13, 2013

Fort Myers personal injury attorneyAs we approach the one-year anniversary of the horrific chain reaction crash on I-75, many wonder if Florida’s roadways are any safer. While some improvements have been made, there are still much left to do to prevent another tragic accident.

As we have previously discussed on this Florida Injury Blog, poor visibility resulted in a series of accidents that left 11 people dead and 22 injured. The primary I-75 accidents began at 4 a.m. on Sunday, January 29. The interstate had been closed for several hours because of fog and smoke from a brush fire on Paynes Prairie. After Florida Highway Patrol reported that visibility improved, I-75 was reopened. Approximately 45 minutes later, the collisions occurred.

A report issued by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found that troopers erred when they reopened the highway. However, the Florida Highway Patrol released its own report, which downplays the actions of the FHP and places much of the blame on the accident victims.

Thankfully, state officials did reach some consensus about what can be done to prevent future accidents. According to the Bradenton Herald, the FHP has implemented the following:

  • It reviewed all of its relevant policies governing road closures and a watch supervisor in each troop is now responsible for the oversight of all significant incidents.
  • It trained more than 6,000 sworn Florida Turnpike Enterprise radio communications members and reserve troopers on road closure procedures and protocols.
  • It will now conduct an annual review its road closure protocols with the Florida Forest Service.
  • It is conducting a public awareness campaign on driving in the smoke and fog, featuring billboards in four cities.

While these changes are a good first step, other measures, including a $4 million road improvement project, will not be completed for several years. Many of the personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits filed in the wake of the crash are also still working their way through the court system.

For tips on what to do if you encounter smoke in the roadway, please stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Port Charlotte accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Port Charlotte injury attorneys for a free consultation. 

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