Sure, traffic accidents happen every day. But when accidents have a common pattern, it is important for the community as well as safety officials to evaluate whether a dangerous pattern could be prevented.
Within less than two weeks, two people have been killed in car accidents at the same Alabama location. One was a 26-year-old driver, and the other was a 40-year-old truck driver. The victims of the fatal accidents have differing driving experiences, were driving different types of vehicles; yet, they both got into trouble at the same spot.
Could the Alabama road's setup be a contributor to the two deadly wrecks? After the fatal accident this week, some are questioning the safety of the point on Interstate 65 (around marker 319) where the wrecks occurred. It is possible that speed, weather conditions or other factors played a role in the accidents. Still, it is important to determine whether changes to the roadway or the speed limit in the area could prevent further tragedy.
Investigators continue to collect and study details of both of the Alabama traffic accidents. The state doesn't currently have any intention to alter the roadway or traffic laws despite some residents' arguments that change would be a safety improvement.
States are responsible for their roads. If a pattern of injury and death emerges at a particular location, some might argue that officials are being negligent to not make changes. Doing so in some cases might be expensive, but financial cost is nothing compared to the continued preventable loss of lives.
Source: WAFF-TV, "Troopers investigate second fatal crash on overpass in 8 days," Jack Madison, Nov. 27, 2012