The construction zone on State Road 417 is a mere 3.8 miles long, but Orlando personal injury attorneys, Florida Highway Patrol officers, area residents and traffic safety advocates are increasingly worried about a recent rash of auto accidents. The construction zone runs from Curry Ford Road and State Road 528, and commuters who drive on this stretch every day are worried about the potential for deadly accidents. FHP troopers have responded to six auto accidents in the zone over a six-week period and claim that unexpected lane closures are a major concern. In one spot, three lanes merge into two without warning, making surprised drivers take evasive action to avoid rear-ending others who have to slam on their brakes.
One daily commuter is Sam Venzekri, who claims that frequent changes in lane closures and configurations during construction are a recipe for tragedy.
He said, “It’s very confusing you don’t know where you’re going. You’re trying to watch out for the other car and may hit the other car and you don’t know where you’re going.”
A spokesperson for the Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority says that commuters’ concerns about safety are unfounded. He reports that state inspectors travel the route at least twice each day looking for problems in the construction zone. However, FHP officials say otherwise. One recent afternoon, one of their troopers was involved in an accident while trying to avoid striking a construction barrel used to route traffic.
Diane Cummings often travels through the zone at night. She reports that confusing lane painting is another contributing factor to the accidents.
“It’s hard to distinguish which lanes are which and where they’re going and people seem to have trouble driving straight,” she says.
The construction is underway to convert a four-lane section of S.R. 417 to six lanes. While more lanes should make this heavily congested roadway safer in the long-term, Mr. Venzekri believes that the contractor, Hubbard Construction, could and should make this construction zone safer while work is underway.
“Normally most construction is very organized,” he said. “I don’t know why this one is disorganized. Just make it clear to drivers, these days drivers are texting, talking on the phone or busy with a lot of stuff and a little thing like that can cause a huge accident.”
Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham would like to remind area residents to exercise extra care while driving through this construction zone and the many others throughout the area. He also cautions drivers not to talk on their phones or text while driving as no conversation or message is worth risking their lives or the lives of those around them. If you or a close family member has been injured in an accident caused by a poorly designed construction zone or a distracted driver and you would like experienced legal counsel, call Mr. Cunningham today at 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 to schedule a free consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, call toll-free at 1-888-FLA-Auto (1-888-352-2886).
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