Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on May 27, 2016 in Auto Accidents
Unprotected concrete bridge posts that sit close to highways are posing a fatal hazard to Texas drivers. An NBC 5 news investigation uncovered multiple accident deaths as a result of bridge posts that did not have the proper protective barriers.
When unprotected concrete bridge posts are positioned near the sides of freeways, they pose a hazard to drivers. If vehicles leave the roadway, hitting these structures can be fatal. However, if the structures are protected by safety barriers, accidents may be much less severe.
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and federal guidelines indicate that protective barriers installed surrounding concrete bridge supports could reduce accident death risks. According to TxDOT, protective barriers are recommended when bridge posts are positioned less than 30 feet from the freeway’s edge or less than 16 feet from the sides of a freeway ramp.
Accident deaths have taken place in areas where, according to these guidelines, barriers should have been in place. The investigation located a number of areas where concrete bridge posts are exposed, despite guidelines indicating safety barriers should be installed to reduce the risk of accident deaths.
On Spur 482 at the Texas Highway 183 overpass, no protective barriers are in place surrounding the bridge posts that sit approximately five feet from the side of the road. In this location alone, there have been at least five deaths resulting from impact with the bridge structure.
Victims’ families and safety advocates suspect that some of the fatal crashes involving concrete bridge posts were made worse due to TxDOT’s failure to install protective barriers, and many feel these deaths could have been prevented.
If unmaintained roads or hazardous structures played a role in the death of a loved one, your family may be entitled to compensation. The car accident lawyers at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings will fight to maximize compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering.