What Makes the Capital Beltway Dangerous?August 16, 2019
Thousands of motorists travel the Capital Beltway every day, whether they are commuting to work, or traveling up or down the east coast via Interstates 95 and 495. The 64-mile long Beltway is known for being one of the most congested highways in the country as it circles Washington, D.C. and runs through many suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. While the Beltway is one of the most traveled highways in the country, it is also one of the most dangerous due to the multiple lanes, rushed commuters, heavy traffic, and impatient drivers. Unfortunately, we cannot control how other motorists drive, but we can make safety a priority every time we are behind the wheel.
Factors that Make the Beltway Hazardous for Motorists
The Capital Beltway earned its reputation for being a dangerous highway for several reasons. The sheer volume alone increases the potential for traffic accidents, many of which are rear-end crashes caused by motorists who are tailgating or not paying attention. According to one Maryland State Highway Administration spokesperson, nearly 44 percent of accidents that occur on the Beltway are rear-end accidents. Distracted driving is another common cause of traffic accidents. This is a problem in the stretch of the Beltway between Georgia Avenue and Rockville Pike due to the impressive view of a Mormon temple. Other unsafe driving behaviors that cause accidents on the Beltway include drunk driving, speeding, and aggressive driving.
While driver behavior is often responsible for traffic accidents on the Beltway, poor road conditions can also increase the risk of collisions. For example, potholes can cause motorists to veer out of their lane to avoid the pothole. According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, there is a significant amount of potholes on national parkways across the region. In fact, AAA emergency roadside assistance crews came to the aid of 10,196 members across the region who had tire issues, many of which were related to potholes. That number is likely higher since some motorists change flat tires themselves.
A manager from AAA Car Care Center recommends that if a driver is unable to avoid a pothole, they should slow down, but release the brakes just before impact. This will help minimize the damage to the vehicle. If your vehicle is damaged after hitting a pothole, pull over to a safe spot, take pictures of the damage and note the location of the pothole so you can include that in the police report.
Reports suggest that plans are in the works to widen the Beltway from eight to 12 lanes in certain areas. High-occupancy toll lanes are also being considered to improve the flow of traffic, prevent motorists from feeling rushed, and becoming frustrated, reckless, or aggressive. Ultimately, these efforts are intended to improve highway safety and prevent accidents.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Victims of Car Accidents on the Capital Beltway
If you were injured in a car accident that occurred on the Capital Beltway, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will determine who is at fault for the accident and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.