We’ve already spoken previously about the potential accident risk posed by certain stretches of roadways throughout the state. It would appear that drivers and local residents near more than one road in Maryland have reason to be nervous, based at least on recent news stories covering a fatal crash that killed one woman.
As personal injury attorneys serving individuals in Baltimore, Annapolis, Gaithersburg and the District, I and my colleagues travel on streets and highway along with thousands of other motorists every day; any danger to one’s health and well-being is a legitimate concern.
Of course, passenger car and motorcycle accidents can occur any time without notice, but those crashes caused by a poorly designed roadway or badly regulated speed zone could potentially be avoided given the proper amount of attention. Sometimes all it takes is public outrage to bring the topic to the fore.
This is not to say that every car or commercial truck accident is the result of bad planning or poor road conditions; more than a few traffic collisions are simply a result of one or more drivers being inattentive, inappropriately distracted or just plain aggressive in their actions or driving style. In cases like those, it is not unusual to see one or more of the injured parties bring a personal injury lawsuit against the allegedly negligent driver.
But it is true that many people believe, whether based on facts, hearsay or simple suspicion, that a certain geographical area or portion of roadway is a danger to them and their families. More often than not, there is a logical reason for the cause of a traffic accident, be it a single-vehicle crash or a multi-vehicle wreck.
As we have said before, sometimes it takes a string of injury accidents or fatal car or truck crashes to raise awareness to the level needed for state road authorities to step in and make changes to improve the safety of a roadway. Local governments are also caught in the middle, as budgets have been squeezed so much, there is little in the way of funds to take on larger roadway modifications.
We bring this up since running across yet another news story of a fatal car crash, this time in Baltimore County along a stretch of Belair Road in not far from Perry Hall Rd. According to news articles, the crash occurred on a Wednesday when a Honda Accord, driven by a 30-year-old woman, apparently crossed over the centerline of the road from the south-bound lane and into oncoming traffic.
Based on police reports, the Honda grazed, or sideswiped, the first vehicle and then rammed head-on into a second northbound car. The driver of the Accord, Amy Thiess, was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision, according to a spokesperson for the Baltimore County Police Department. Another victim, a 42-year old female resident of Nottingham, reportedly survived the wreck; she was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center with severe injuries.
While this is certainly a devastating event for the family of the deceased driver, this latest crash points up what local resident have apparently known for quite some time. This stretch of Belair Road, also known as Rte 1, has a bad reputation according to the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA). Based on data collected by the SHA over the past three years, the portion of this roadway from Forge Rd. to Miller Rd. has seen more than 30 traffic accidents.
It should not be surprising following this latest event that any safety-related changes to this road will come none to soon for some residents. One man, who reportedly has a home nearby the scene of this latest accident, voiced his concern to reporters essentially stating that he feels he could be T-boned every time he enters the roadway from his driveway, which is apparently right at the crest of a blind corner on Belair. “I can’t count the number of accidents we’ve had, especially when it gets icy or it gets snowy,” he said.
Fatal crash underscores danger of Belair Road, ABC2News.com, February 9, 2012