The Threat of Dangerous Roads in Panama City

March 13, 2013

intersection.jpg We've all known them -- the crazy curves that are tough to navigate in the best of weather, the confusing intersections, the nearly blind merges, the off-ramps that are tough for even a local to navigate. Having served the community as your Panama City accident law firm for many years, we are all too familiar with dangerous roadways in our region. We work with accident victims to consider all potential civil claims, including those related to dangerous roadway design. Such claims are complex and are only appropriate in certain cases, but they can be a vital tool that can force a municipality to pay attention and remedy a dangerous roadway.

Danger at the Intersection of Front Beach Road and Moylan Road
Bill Miller told a News Herald reporter about a particularly dangerous intersection, one he's brought to the attention of the Florida Department of Transportation ("FDOT"). Miller, a store manager, says he's often had to call police twice a week to report an accident at the intersection where Moylan Road dead ends into a four-lane section of Front Beach Road. These frequent accidents are a threat to area properties, with two accidents in recent months ending with a car in the moat of an adventure park. Miller notes that the accident risk seems to rise with the Spring Break crowds, including a crash just last Thursday. He adds that some of the crashes have been truly horrible. Commenting in more general terms, Sgt. Steven Nacy of Bay County Sheriff's Office Beach Precinct noted that officers respond to a number of accidents at intersections where cross streets end in a "T" intersection with a four-lane stretch of Front Beach Road. Sgt. Nancy added that he can see how the lack of a traffic light could add to the problem.

The FDOT has agreed to undertake a traffic study at the Front Beach Road/Moylan Road intersection. Such studies involve compiling traffic counts and studying law enforcement crash data. While the study is welcome news, it will not begin for two months and will take between two and three months to complete. After the study is done, FDOT will determine whether a stoplight should be installed at the intersection.

Types of Hazardous Roads
We applaud the efforts of Bill Miller and other concerned citizens who speak up when they spot a dangerous intersection or other roadway threat in our region. There are several categories of dangerous road problems including: Design defects (i.e. poor planning that is reflected in construction blueprints or other plans, such as dangerous curves, a hazardous intersection, or inadequate surface materials); Construction defects (i.e. construction that deviates from plans or is otherwise shoddy); Maintenance defects (i.e. allowing roads to become dangerous or fall into disrepair, such as not fixing potholes); and Failure to adapt (i.e. not responding to changes in use or reports of recurring accidents).

Responding to the Threat of Dangerous Roads and Protecting the Rights of Victims
We encourage residents to follow Miller's example and speak up about dangerous roadways, bringing them to the attention of local government and transportation authorities. Contacting the press can be a useful tool if the municipality fails to respond. As for those injured in accidents influenced by a dangerous road condition, bringing suit against a municipality or municipal authority is challenging, but it is possible in some cases. These suits require adhering to a number of procedural rules, including providing written notice to the municipality before filing suit. Suits against municipalities are often subject to a tighter timeline and limitations period than other injury claims, making it particularly important for victims to contact an experienced Panama City dangerous roads lawyer as soon as possible.

At The Pittman Firm, we promise to examine all potential claims on behalf of our injured clients, including claims related to dangerous road conditions. This process begins with a call and a free consultation with our Panama City injury lawyer. The sooner you call, the sooner we can start working to get the compensation you deserve.

See Related Blog Posts:
Head-On Collisions: Rarer, And More Dangerous, Than Many Imagine

Rainy Weather Raises the Importance of Flood Safety on the Road

(Photo by David Goehring)